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Euro 2016: Gareth McAuley 'gutted' after Northern Ireland exit

Paris: Gareth McAuley said that he was "gutted" to have ended the Northern Ireland campaign at Euro 2016 after his own goal sent Wales into the quarter-finals.

Gareth McAuley
Gareth McAuley

The West Bromwich Albion defender, 36, turned a Gareth Bale cross into his own net in the 75th minute at Parc des Princes to give Chris Coleman's men a 1-0 win in Saturday's all-British last 16 tie.

McAuley said he was sorry to have spoilt the fans fun. "I'm just gutted that everyone has to go home," McAuley told reporters.

"It's been fantastic. We've embraced it and we've enjoyed it. It's been brilliant, to be honest with you.

"It's rough and smooth. I've been in the game long enough to know that you keep it on a level keel. Never too high, never too low. It's difficult tonight, but I've enjoyed it.

Bale, the tournament's joint-top scorer with three goals, mustered just one shot on target in the game.

"It's gutting to go out to a situation like that, but Bale has put a fantastic ball across the box," McAuley said.

"I could probably have got a little less on it, but he's right behind me so I've had to try and do something.

"Im just gutted for all the lads, the effort they've put in through the tournament."

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