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Monday, 15 April, 2002, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Spanish pride lost?
Have your say on Spain's progress
Underdogs South Korea beat Spain on penalites for a place in the semi-finals.

Have Spain under-achieved again, or can they still be proud?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.


I was disappointed to see them go out. For me, Spain were the best team in the quater finals, with a better defence and midfield than Brazil, and the attack force to challenge the 'Three Rs'.

To see them go out unfairly was disppointing, as was seeing the excellent Valeron fouled out of the game. They played great attacking football, and were a pleasure to watch. So, I say well done all the team, and thank-you for brightening this World Cup with some great games.
Rhian, UK

I could see nothing wrong with the two goals Spain had disallowed against S.Korea. The Spanish players must have felt in a 'no-win' situation with the whole crowd and seemingly the officials against them. Players who impressed me for Spain were Casillas, Puyol, Hierro, Raul and Morientes.
Andre, England

Congratulations to Korea - the score is what finally counts (Spain should have been up in 90 minutes with a two goal lead) and the result of the penalty shoot out is unquestionable. However, I am positive that throughout the world, questions about the fairness of Spain's defeat have arisen.
Rafael Matos,Spain

Joaquin - you were THE best player throughout the match with Korea. Please don't let the penalty miss get you down. I am your big fan now and will cheer for you at Euro 2004.
Hyun-Su Kim, Korea

I thought the World Cup format was intended to bring two of the best teams together for a meaningful and worthy championship. Instead, it appears that the more skilled teams can expect to have two or three goals a game disallowed. The better you play the more goals you have disallowed.
Gerardinho,USA

Open Quote
Baraja, Puyol and Hierro were magnificent and have every right to be seriously angry
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J Barnes,Spain

I am very sorry for Korea, but this World Cup will not remain in history for their impressive matches, but only for the poor refereeing decisions against Italy and Spain.
Marco Morgante, Italy

About Joaquin's cross - when the ball was kicked, it was inside the line but, with spin, it sailed outside the line and came back, which TV replay did not show due to the angle (that's what the assistant referee said).
Young,Korea

Baraja, Puyol and Hierro were magnificent and have every right to be seriously angry. They deserved a World Cup semi-final. The golden goal and penalties need to be abandoned and a new system introduced that would favour the better team.
J Barnes,Spain

Open Quote
Spain lost fair and square
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Sheena Smythe, UK

Spain did a superb job but was not good enough to win. Spain should feel proud regardless. After sufficient protests they accepted their loss and moved on. I respect the decency that the Spanish team displayed. It may be true that Korea won with a definite luck as a co-host. Yet South Korea were good enough to win as well.
Paul Hong, USA

What disallowed goals? The only reason why the ball went into the net twice is because the Korean goalkeeper stopped playing and the Spanish players kept playing after the whistle.

The goalkeeper would have got the two shots covered had he played at the ball. Sure they were bad decisions, but they wouldn't have resulted in goals anyway. Spain lost fair and square.
Sheena Smythe, UK

How Korea beat Spain I will never know.The Spaniards were a far better side and were robbed by truly outrageous officiating. Good luck at Euro 2004.
Tom, Australia/England

Open Quote
The linesman clearly made a wrong call
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Yang,Korea

To all of the Spanish whingers...grow up. You had umpteen chances to kill off the game but were unable to score. Ever heard the saying "you make your own luck?".
Zuke, England

The linesman clearly made a wrong call. And now we are saddled with a victory that feels worse than a defeat.
Yang,Korea

As an Irish person, I was personally disappointed to see my country lose against Spain in a match that could have gone both ways. But Spain deserved to win today. The disallowed goals should have stood and I am frankly surprised at the reaction to the blatantly unfair refereeing (including McCarthy's- making him appear like a sore loser, sad but true Mick). Now if you'll excuse me I have a Spanish husband to console.
Claire, Spain

It was an honour for Korea to have a match with you.
Yoo,Korea

Thanks to the Spanish and Korean players who showed great game.
NOH, Kwang Woo,Korea Republic

Open Quote
Fifa should sort themselves out before they alienate everyone
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Carlos Delgado,Mexico/UK

I'm so disappointed for Spain and Italy that were killed by the referee and the linesman. There were too many controversial disallowed goals for them. It wasn't just luck for Korea to win, I admit they played very well and they made me proud as an Asian, but they take an advantage for being a co-host, and that is a shame!! It would be better to lose the game but have a fair game.
Wiwin,Indonesia

The decisions against Spain were outrageous, even worse than against Italy. The linesman raised the flag when he saw that Morientes was going to score. Are they under pressure? Fifa should sort themselves out before they alienate everyone.
Carlos Delgado,Mexico/UK

My condolences to the Spanish.
Sarah Galbraith,Japan

I honour you Spain. You were much better than Korea. Just, Korea had more luck. I thought the ball kept in play.
Bok Y. Park,Korea

Open Quote
Spain should be celebrating their place in the semi-final, not packing their bags for the long trip home
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ohn Hoar, ex-pat in Spain

Like Italy, Spain were robbed of victory by the officials. That said, Spain needs to inject a bit more aggression into their style of play if they want to win a major tournament. Spain has all the other qualities necessary.
David, UK

Before the saved penalty was taken, the Korean goalkeeper moved six feet off his line. The penalty should have been retaken.
Nick Barnes, Australia

Once again the assistant referees have let down the World Cup by their disastrous inability to interpret the rules of the game. As much as I dislike Sepp Blatter's leadership, I think he has clearly identified incompetent refereeing as the bane of this World Cup. Spain should be celebrating their place in the semi-final, not packing their bags for the long trip home.
John Hoar, ex-pat in Spain

The game could and should have been Spain's, but Korea had the luck.
LJ, Korea

Open Quote
The Koreans deserved to win as they played positively throughout
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Janine, London, UK
Spain has nothing to be shamed of. They were clearly the better side, but better sides don't always end up winning the match - as we have found out many times in this World Cup.
Brian, USA

I admit we were very lucky and Spain were superior during most of the game, but we were worthy of the luck of the penalty goals. As to the linemen's alleged favouritism, this just reminds me of Italian sour grapes again.
Hwang, S Korea

The Koreans deserved to win as they played positively throughout including in extra time. The Spaniards seemed to have settled for penalties, thinking that they had the better goalkeeper.
Janine, London, UK

I was disgusted that yet another game has been brought into disrepute by an incompetent assistant referee. Quite simply, Spain were beaten by the linesman, as Italy were.
Jim Mansfield, England

Open Quote
Spain got lucky this time, but the Koreans will kill them in the semis
Close Quote
Joe, Canada
Congratulations to Korea they were tenacious in their win. Mind you, the quality of play by the Spanish was superior overall.
John, Canada

I look forward to the quarter-final match between our two countries. I have great admiration for both Spain's professional league and national team. Spain is a major power and I'm just glad Korea has the opportunity to play with them. I look forward to a good game.
Red devil, Korea

I guess the Irish ran out of their luck this time. They should of pulverised Spain during overtime. Ireland was clearly the better team holding more possession than the Spainish. Spain got lucky this time, but the Koreans will kill them in the semis.
Joe, Canada

I have for many years endured the taunts after the Spanish side inevitably crumble under the weight of their own expectations.

It would be great to see the monkey off Spain's back for once.
Luis Orgaz, Australia

Open Quote
What I saw was a game that Spain should have won in 90 minutes
Close Quote
Ron, England
I thought the ref was spot-on. It's good to see the rules being applied rigorously. Under adverse conditions, so skilfully laid by the Irish, we did not go into self-destruct mode, which is encouraging.
Carlos, Spain

Sadly in England we like our stereotypes, and always cast Ireland as the plucky underdogs and Spain as the underachievers. What I saw was a game that Spain should have won in 90 minutes, and then a Spanish team minus Raul, down to ten men, two of whom were walking wounded, having to survive extra time.

It was a real gutsy display from Spain that is not being given proper recognition, and if their players can recover from the injuries they could well build on it. Ireland played well, but had a great chance with their numerical advantage in extra time, and couldn't take it. Fair result.
Ron, England

It was a fantastic game but there have been many biased comments in favour of Ireland. Yes, Ireland did play well, but again they had to ride their luck in the very last minute to score. In any World Cup you need some luck - Ireland exhausted theirs. For once Spain got what they deserved for their attack minded play and superb technical ability. I really believe they merit winning the competition.
Peter,England

Open Quote
Spain were superior to Ireland in all senses
Close Quote
Eva, Spain
Anyone who has ever watched any sporting event knows that to be the best not only do you have to be good, but you have to be lucky. For once, Spain finally were. If nothing else, this game showed Spain's character and will.
Tony,United States

Hierro lost control and gave away a penalty, it's unfair to say it was not. But the Irish lacked the final punch, and if they couldn't beat Spain with ten men, Luis Enrique injured on the field, and without Raul and Morientes, they shouldn't blame it on bad luck - it was their fault.
Gabriel,Spain

Spain were superior to Ireland in all senses. The Irish worked really hard but Spain deserved to win!
Eva, Spain

Open Quote
Though Spain won and may go onto win the World Cup, Ireland were quite simply the better side
Close Quote
Alan (English),Ireland
It's been a joy to watch all the Spanish games and to see how well a young goalkeeper can do when he's given a chance. Spain have been playing great football, they have been playing to win, not like teams such as the US who play not to lose - making all the magic of beautiful football to go away. I only want to see the best team win. Play football, win fair.
Daniel, Chile

It's been a boring World Cup so far, with boring teams. These teams played a game that you could actually watch - Well done Spain, sorry to see Ireland go.
Aido, USA

Many of the messages on this board amaze me. Ireland's tactics outfoxed Spain and they played great technical football. Duff, Finnan, Keane and Breen ran the show. With more composure Ireland would have won in normal time. The ref was fair and astute. Though Spain won and may go onto win the World Cup, Ireland were quite simply the better side.
Alan (English),Ireland

Open Quote
Good luck in the rest of the tournament Spain. Ireland gave you a close run, and you both provided a great and exciting spectacle
Close Quote
Mark, England
I have lost all respect for the Spaniards following their unsporting comments following the game with the Irish. To suggest that the referee (who incidentally had an excellent game) was against them by disallowing two goals (both of which were at least 5 yards offside) and awarding two penalties to the Irish (both decisions were spot on) beggars belief. The truth of the matter is that Spain are extremely fortunate to have advanced at the expense of the better team on the day.
Sandro, England

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when the Spanish coach said that "there shouldn't be any penalties in the 89th minute of a World Cup game." In that case FIFA must tell the referees until which minute they will respect the rules. Personally I think that corners between the 35th and 40th minute should be banned.
Francis, Norway

I am very disappointed about Ireland losing in a match that came down to penalties. But at the same time, I congratulate Spain because if Ireland HAD won on penalties I would have been very happy, even if it is not the most glorious way to win.

Open Quote
Spain are the luckiest team in the World Cup and you should show a bit of humility
Close Quote
LRB, England
I live in New York now, but I spent some great times in Spain so now I will root for Spain and the USA! Enjoy the rest of the World Cup everyone. England might continue to do well also.
Irene Birmingham, Ireland

Good luck in the rest of the tournament Spain. Ireland gave you a close run, and you both provided a great and exciting spectacle. England's games have been a complete bore in contrast. If you get past Italy, you will win the cup. There is no quality left other than the two of you and, at a push, Brazil.
Mark, England

Despite two unfair penalties against Spain, two of their best strikers out and having two of their goals refused, Spain still beat Ireland - what a victory!
Mike Kenway,UK

Open Quote
With a little more luck Ireland could have won, but Irish luck was not with them on the day
Close Quote
Aiden,Ireland
I think some of the people posting here were watching a different match. Spain dominant? I don't think they had a single chance that wasn't offside. After the first half Ireland grew and grew and began to roll over Spain. Duff terrorised your defence to shreds.

Spain are the luckiest team in the World Cup and you should show a bit of humility. You were second best last night. And, you can rest assured- you won't win the World Cup.
LRB, England

I thought I might add a comment from someone from Ireland. I think the fairest thing I heard said was that the final result all came down to luck in the end. The two teams were well matched and it was a thrilling game to watch.

With a little more luck Ireland could have won, but Irish luck was not with them on the day. One cannot begrudge Spain their luck, however, though I don't think the penalties awarded against them were unfair as some contributors here have suggested, judging by the slow-motion replays I saw on TV. I wish Spain lots more luck in championship.
Aiden,Ireland

Open Quote
Spain's domination of the first half was masterful. Their play in the second half was mediocre
Close Quote
Gerardinho,USA
This should have been a walk in the park for Spain. To take nothing away from Ireland, the mismatch in class and quality was there for all to see. The mammoth gap between La Liga's Real Madrid and First Divison's Coventry, Wimbledon and Leeds's reserves should have resulted in at least a 3 goal victory for Spain... and Spain looked the part up to and after the first goal. But then what happened? Ireland's self-belief and team spirit crushed Spain psychologically.

What was Camacho thinking taking his strikers off? Did he not see the Ireland Germany game? Finally, what terrific refereeing. He was not afraid of the tough decisions. Spain can rue one bad offside decision (out of countless good ones), but otherwise an excellent game for the officials.
Lee Weinert, Australia

Spain's domination of the first half was masterful. Their play in the second half was mediocre, and that would be putting it nicely. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that they are the best team in the tournament due in part to Morientes and Raul being the best up front tandem in the tournament. If Spain can maintain the first half form they displayed in this game for an entire game, they will not be denied.
Gerardinho,USA

Open Quote
Now that Ireland are out, I have a feeling Spain could go all the way
Close Quote
Ruairi O'Donnell,Irish living in Spain
Thanks to Spain and Ireland for the splendid match. We are very proud of our boys playing almost with 9 men in extra time, but the Irish are a brave team too. What a pity, this World Cup need more matches like this. Bravo for Spain and Cheers for the Irish. The people here love both teams.
Pablo Pastor, SPAIN

Does the coach Camacho want to go home early taking Raul and Morientes off? Ireland should load out Mick McCarty to Spain to show how sporting Irish people are.Now that Ireland are out, I have a feeling Spain could go all the way. Look who's left: Italy, Germany and then England. Now that would be a great final, England v Spain. The two best football leagues in the world, that that will be a great final! Come on you boys in RED!
Ruairi O'Donnell,Irish living in Spain (married to a Spaniard, for the moment...)

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In my opinion it was Spain who was lucky to advance to the second round
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Georgii Loskutov, Russia
Although my team is England, I have always backed the Irish squad. I was saddened to see them lose the place that they so obviously deserved. They fought well, and can go home knowing that they were the best team of the two, if the unluckiest.
Paula,England

My heart goes out to the Republic of Ireland. They fought like real men. They gave a thrilling performance. I thought the play of Robbie Keane and Damien Duff was outstanding. In my opinion it was Spain who was lucky to advance to the second round. With Raul and Morientes out they looked bleak, without any bite up front. Hail to the character and pride of Ireland!
Georgii Loskutov, Russia

Spain thoroughly deserved to win. I was appalled by how biased the referee was towards Ireland. Just compare the number of fouls committed by each side and the referee's response.
Z, UK

For years Spain have been unlucky at penalty shoot-outs, Mexico 86, England 96 and the Olympic's final in Sydney 2000 come to mind.

Well for once Spain were lucky to go through, and I say lucky because playing extra time with ten men and surviving is always down to luck. However the 90 minutes were totally dominated by the Spanish.

Also the referee and his myopic linesmen were awful. I'm sorry for Ireland; they are a good team and have some class, but then again - so do Spain!
Joe, León, Spain

I was a bit disappointed with Spain today. On paper they have far better players than Ireland, but they couldn't beat them. Ireland were the better team for much of the second half and in extra time.

Open Quote
Spain thoroughly deserved to win. I was appalled by how biased the referee was towards Ireland
Close Quote
Z, UK

Spain got scared and took off their strikers in order to defend more deeply. They were terrified of Damien Duff and had three men marking him for a lot of the game. I don't know if they can recover from being rattled so badly, especially now that Raul is doubtful for the next match. Spain overestimated themselves and underestimated Ireland.
Lucia, Wales

Spain, you are lucky to still be in the Cup, but not for long on that display. Just remember who you were playing against - players who struggle to play for their club teams because they are not considered that good individually.
Mark Corder, England

Why did Spain let off the pressure in the second half? I get the feeling that Camacho made quite a few tactical mistakes and were lucky that Spain weren't done away with by the brilliant Irish in the extra time.
Ajit Unni, India

I think Spain showed great composure in this match, despite occasional bursts of Irish pressure.

There were some dubious calls made by the referee which hurt Spain, but in the end the better side won. After the match, Mick McCarthy was quoted as saying that despite the loss, the Irish had "hurt" the Spaniards, and that this would hinder their performance in the later rounds. I entirely disagree; a victory like this doesn't break a team, it makes a team. Aupa España!
Jose Aragon,UK, Spain

Despite two unfair penalties against Spain, two of their best strikers out and having two of their goals refused, Spain still beat Ireland - What a victory!
Sharayz, UK

Open Quote
I get the feeling that Camacho made quite a few tactical mistakes and were lucky that Spain weren't done away with by the brilliant Irish in the extra time
Close Quote
Ajit Unni, India
Spain's football was far better than Ireland's and I'm glad they went through.
Simon, UK

As much as I feel that the Irish have been unlucky, for once I feel that Spain deserves a bit of luck to go through. Spain were unlucky against Italy in '94 (Tassotti on Luis Enrique), England in Euro 96 (Salinas disallowed goal) and were the better team against France in Euro 2000 to name but a few. Nobody remembers the good teams (unless you're Brazil) only the winners and if Spain get there playing the way the Germans do, on penalties, then there will be no Spaniard complaining.
Eduardo Esteller, England

As a Spaniard living in England, I love my adopted country and hope that both Spain and England both can go all the way to the final. The Irish team should be very proud for what they have achieved so far. But if Spain can play with passion and vision, then their superior technical ability will prove to strong for Ireland. Arriba Spain, Come on England.
Manny Rasores,Spain & England


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