Irish drift to 14-1 to qualify after Croatia loss
IRELAND are 14-1 with Ladbrokes to qualify for the Euro 2012 knockout stages after they were beaten 3-1 by Croatia in Poznan.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s team were eventually outclassed and, while Sean St Ledger had earlier equalised Mario Mandzukic’s opener, Nikica Jelavic restored Croatia’s advantage before the half-time interval.
Shay Given’s unfortunate own goal - Uefa awarded it to Mandzukic - ended any hopes of a fightback and Ireland now face a huge task to keep themselves alive in the tournament. Meanwhile, Mandzukic is 14-1 to claim the Golden Boot in places and as low as 5-1 with Hills.
The Irish can now be backed at 250-1 with Ladbrokes to become champions of Europe and they are 50-1 with bet365 to miraculously finish top of a section which also includes Spain and Italy, who earlier drew 1-1 in Gdansk.
Croatia are generally 33-1 to triumph at Euro 2012 and 10-11 to qualify from Group C. Spain are Hills' 5-6 favourites to reach the quarter-finals in first spot and Italy are 11-4 with 3-1 with Blue Suare to top the group.