Green was the colour of choice and there was barely enough room to maneuver for patrons inside Doolin’s Irish Pub in Vancouver Sunday, as the Republic of Ireland and Croatia began their Euro 2012 competition.
Ireland fell to Croatia by a score of 3-1 in Group C action, much to the chagrin of those who took in the match at Doolin’s, which had been open since 9 a.m. and was packed with soccer fans by early afternoon.
The building was still abuzz, despite a late first half goal from Nikica Jelavić that put Croatia up 2-1 in the 43rd minute, just before the whistle blew for halftime.
Mario Mandzukic scored twice for Croatia, while Sean St Ledger scored the lone goal for Ireland.
“It’s grand in here,” said Salley O’Neill, who was decked out with a large, novelty Irish top hat.
“When they score, it’s like a sea of silence. It’s disheartening when they score, everyone feels it,” she said when asked about the second Croatian goal, which many in the pub thought was offside once they saw a replay.
O’Neill took in the game alongside Kevin Bell, who was sporting a Robbie Keane jersey.
Kean, 31, is the captain of the Irish side.
Earlier in the day, Italy and Spain played to a 1-1 draw in what was a highly entertaining match.
The match also coincided with Italian Day on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. The famed street, which features a variety of Italian food and beverage establishments, was closed to traffic from Broadway to Parker Street for the festival.
The Spanish side is coming off a FIFA World Cup championship in 2010, and are the defending Euro champions, after claiming the title in 2008.
Euro 2012 continues Monday, with England taking on France (9 a.m. PDT), followed by host Ukraine playing Sweden (11:45 a.m. PDT) in Group D action.