Burnley's Nathan Collins gutted Ireland wonder goal wasn't the winner against Ukraine

Burnley’s Nathan Collins was gutted his wonder goal for the Republic of Ireland against Ukraine wasn’t the winner.

By Chris Boden
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 3:00 pm

The Clarets centre back slalomed through the Ukranian defence after showing great anticipation to intercept and beat Oleksandr Zinchenko, Serhiy Sydorchuk and Illia Zabarnyi before scoring his first goal for his country with the outside of his right foot.

The goal put Ireland ahead in Lodz in their Nations League tie, but his effort was cancelled out by Artem Dovbyk after the break.

And Collins told RTE: “If it was the last minute, it would be great, because we could have got the win.

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LODZ, POLAND - JUNE 14: Nathan Collins of Republic of Ireland celebrates scoring their side's first goal with teammates during the UEFA Nations League League B Group 1 match between Ukraine and Republic of Ireland at LKS Stadium on June 14, 2022 in Lodz, Poland. (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

“But I’d have taken a draw. They’re a good team and we know where we are as a team as well.”

On his goal, Collins added: “I haven’t watched it back yet. I need time to watch it back, to have a look at it.

“I just took it in the moment, I took it in my stride and I saw what was open and I took it.”

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has been delighted with Collins, not only in Poland, but in all four games during the international window: “Nathan has established himself, he’s caught the imagination. The four games he’s played, he’s been really exceptional in all four games. His decision-making for one so young is excellent and obviously he’s got a lot of very good attributes and you feel that he’s improving all the time.

“It was a special goal to score away from home, a very special goal and he deserves huge credit for that.”

And West Brom’s Dara O’Shea feels the sky is the limit for Collins: “It was unbelievable, but I’m not surprised that he scored it.

"As soon as he picked the ball up, I knew that he was only going forward. The finish was spectacular, so fair play to him.

“Nathan is a talent and a credit to himself and is only getting better. He’s got to keep this momentum going, ride the wave that he is on and God knows where it can take him.”