Danny Murphy and Alan Shearer defend Ciaran Clark own goal

Republic of Ireland's Clark scores own goal

The Republic of Ireland defender scored an own goal in the draw with Sweden.

Republic of Ireland's Clark scores own goalRepublic of Ireland's Clark scores own goal

Speaking to BBC Sport, broadcast June 13th, Danny Murphy and Alan Shearer have moved to defender Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark after his own goal for the Republic or Ireland.

The defender started in the centre of defence for Ireland on Monday as they opened their Euro 2016 campaign against Sweden.

Sweden's Zlatan IbrahimovicSweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic

For the most part he put in a fine defensive display, keeping Zlatan Ibrahimovic and co at arms length for much of the game.

However, his one big mistake proved to be a costly one as he turned Ibrahimovic cross into his own net, handing Sweden an equaliser and resulting in the two sides sharing the points.

Sweden's Sebastian Larsson celebrates after Republic of Ireland's Ciaran Clark scores an own goal and Sweden's firstSweden's Sebastian Larsson celebrates after Republic of Ireland's Ciaran Clark scores an own goal and Sweden's first

Naturally he received some criticism for it, but Murphy and Shearer moved to absolve him of blame.

“He had to try and get something on it, it wasn’t a horrendous own goal. The centre halves shouldn’t be to disappointed,” Murphy told BBC Sport.

“As a defender, Clark couldn’t gamble and let the ball go across goal. He has to get something on it,” added Shearer.

Republic of Ireland's Shane Long dejected after the gameRepublic of Ireland's Shane Long dejected after the game

It will now be interesting to see if Ireland can bounce back from this disappointing draw and secure positive results against Italy and Belgium.

Their performance demonstrated that they have enough to compete with those two sides, but they will know they face a tough fight to get the points they need against them.

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