Under-23s captain Tom O’Connor described a mixed bag of emotions after Wednesday night’s Premier League International Cup defeat to Dinamo Zagreb; pride at reaching the competition’s final four, but disappointment at how the game actually unfolded at St Mary’s.
His side were unlucky on the night, having lost Harry Hamblin to a debatable red card midway through the first half, meaning 65 minutes were played with a man less.
Zagreb, who ran out 3-1 winners on the night, will now meet German giants Bayern Munich in the final, for the chance to be crowned 2018/19 International Cup champions.
“All the boys are very disappointed,” the Irishman began. “We've been looking forward to the game and did all the prep right in the week.
“Unfortunately, on the night, we've gone down to ten men early on and a few things have gone against us.
“We didn't start the best, but after going behind we lifted it. We were on top midway through the first half and got a goal back.
“The red card killed us, it was really unfortunate and it changed the game. It made it hard for us to play our usual pressing game and allowed them to control it.
“At 1-1 it was a good game. A competitive game. We've had good results all the way through this competition, and I thought we had a good chance of winning again tonight - but it wasn't to be.”