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  Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 23:06 GMT
Royle regrets 'cruel' exit
Ipswich defender Hermann Hreidarsson wins possession
Hermann Hreidarsson (blue shirt) defended stoutly
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Ipswich boss Joe Royle described his side's penalty shoot-out exit from the Uefa Cup as "cruel."

Royle's side were just two minutes away from a second successive appearance in the third round of the competition against Czech champions Slovan Liberec.

Ipswich looked like holding on to their 1-0 first-leg lead until Bouffour Gyan scrambled an 88th-minute goal to take the tie into extra-time.

Neither side could force the breakthrough, and misses by Jermaine Wright and Finidi George proved costly in the penalty shoot-out.

Ipswich, who lie 20th in Nationwide Division One, battled all the way against a side who only lost out to AC Milan in the Champions League on away goals.

It was tough to take for Royle, who said: "It was cruel and we didn't deserve that.

"We were comfortable, they ended up playing route one football with six giants on the pitch.

"In the end, a ball came into our box, it ended up in a skirmish and it might even have gone in off the legs of one of our players.

"There's no easy way to lose but we were terrific.

"The players are very sad but they will get stronger out of that," said Royle who refused to point the finger of blame at Wright or George.

Royle said: "Penalties are a lottery. They can go for you, or against you.

"The two lads who missed are upset, but that's football."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Conor McNamara:
"Right from the start this was a test of nerves for Ipswich"
Ipswich boss Joe Royle
"It was very cruel because we didn't deserve that"

Second round, 2nd leg

Second round, 1st leg

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