Nathan Collins on Mike Maignan save: “I thought I had done everything right, but that’s the difference at the highest level.”

Nathan Collins was left reeling after his late powerful header was saved by Mike Maignan in their match against France on Tuesday, resulting in a 1-0 defeat. Collins said the following in the mixed zone after the game on the incident, as transcribed by RMC Sport. 

Collins had thought he could be the savior for Ireland as he rose high above Aurélien Tchouaméni to meet Josh Cullen’s corner with a powerful header aimed towards the top right corner of Maignan’s goal. However, the French goalkeeper made a phenomenal leap to deny Collins his goal. The Wolverhampton player was stunned on the pitch and couldn’t believe it when he spoke to the press afterward.

“I watched the replay, and it’s even worse than I thought,” Collins said. “I thought I had done everything right. I went as high as I could, I put power on it, but it was an incredible save. We know set-pieces are a big threat, we all make different runs and cause them problems. I got my head on it, but it was a fantastic save. That’s the difference at the highest level, it’s so frustrating. I’m heartbroken for the boys too.”

After the final whistle, Collins approached the French goalkeeper in disbelief and asked him, “How?” Maignan simply shrugged, as if to suggest he had just done his job. The save not only secured a crucial victory for France but also left the Irish team devastated.

“There’s a lot of frustration,” Collins continued. “The guys are on the ground, hurt. We put in so much effort. The coaches are hurt too. Tactically, I think we succeeded, so it’s so frustrating. But let’s pick ourselves up and go again in three months (the date of the next qualifying matches).”

GFFN | George Boxall

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