Refereeing decision robs Ireland under 17's in the European Championship

Jeppe Pedersen of Denmark is challenged by Adam O'Reilly

The decision to retake the penalty may well have been the right one going by the absolute letter of the law but to send Corcoran off seemed excessive and very cruel on a valiant Irish effort.

A Preston North End youngster has been sent off in freakish circumstances as the Republic of Ireland controversially exited the Under 17 European Championships with a penalty shoot-out defeat to the Netherlands.

The penalty had to be retaken and Ireland had to put an outfield player in goals for the kick.

His shot was brilliantly saved by Irish goalkeeper Jimmy Corcoran, but the youngster was given his second yellow card for disputably moving off the line too early.

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As the Dutch wheeled away in triumph after a 5-4 victory on penalties following a 1-1 draw at the end of the game, Corcoran broke down in tears and was comforted by his team-mates.

Republic of Ireland senior manager Martin O'Neill, who was watching the game from the stands at the Proact Stadium in Chesterfield, made his way onto the pitch after the game and spoke to the referee.

Ireland had forced their way back into the match after the Netherlands capped a spell of dominance by grabbing the lead in the 62nd minute with a powerful header by Liam van Gelderen.

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