Euro 2016

St Ledger laments sloppiness

Ireland defender's goal could not prevent opening game dismay

Sean St Ledger was left disappointed despite scoring Ireland's equaliser

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Republic of Ireland goalscorer Sean St Ledger bemoaned his team's uncharacteristic sloppiness after their 3-1 defeat to Croatia in Poznan.

St Ledger had cancelled out Mario Mandzukic's early header but Nikica Jelavic's finish and a Shay Given own-goal left Ireland pointless after their opening game in Euro 2012's Group C.

Given might also feel he could have done better with Croatia's first goal, while Stephen Ward miskicked to gift Jelavic the second.

It was an unexpected failing for the Irish after keeping 11 clean sheets in their last 14 games and St Ledger could barely hide his dismay in a post-match interview.

"We conceded sloppy goals which is unlike us, we are usually pretty tight," said the Leicester centre-back.

Dubious

"The second one was dubious, it could have been offside and we thought it was a foul.

"We had to come out in the second half and the next goal was important.

"Obviously they got it and when you are 3-1 down to a side like Croatia it's always going to be tough.

"It was unlike us the goals we conceded. I wouldn't say Croatia split us open but they were poor goals to concede."

Ireland must now face the prospect of needing to get a result against Spain on Thursday or risk the possibility of being eliminated before the final group match.