Watch: Celtic star Shane Duffy's last-ditch heroic defending in Euro play-off

By John Reid

October 9, 2020

The Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2o2o play-off semi-final against Slovakia ended in heartbreak for Celtic’s Shane Duffy, as the team he captained lost 4-2 on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes.

However, Duffy can be proud of his contribution to the game, with one moment in particular showing all his defensive qualities.

Shane Duffy reflects on Ireland’s defeat (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

In the 74th minute of the game, Slovakia had a great chance to take the lead. A Lukas Haraslin shot had Darren Randolph beaten.

Great positional sense

However, Duffy showed great positional sense to get back on the goal line and clear the ball away. It was an outstanding piece of defending which can be watched below.

Duffy will naturally be disappointed that he won’t have the chance to captain Ireland in a national tournament next year. It is also a disappointment that he will miss out on a play-off final against Northern Ireland next month. That would have been an incredible occasion.

However, Duffy has no time to feel sorry for himself, as Ireland are back in action sooner rather than later. They have Nations League games against Wales on Sunday and Finland on Wednesday.

Will be rallying team to get back to winning ways

Duffy doesn’t seem to be the type of character who will let the disappointment of the play-off result get him down. You imagine that he will be rallying the side to get over the result.

Shane Duffy after scoring for Celtic against St Mirren / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Neil Lennon might well hope that Duffy doesn’t play the entire 180 minutes of those games, but that will be up to Ireland manager Stephen Kenny.

Of course, the best way for Duffy to make up his Irish heartbreak is by helping Celtic to victory over Rangers in next week’s Glasgow derby.

Duffy will be well-up for the game, and he is more than capable of scoring a goal that would instantly banish the memories of the Ireland loss. His first priority will be defending though, and Duffy has shown in that one moment for Ireland just how good he can be at that.

In other news, take a look at Diego Laxalt’s first day of Celtic training.