Despite blowing a late lead, Mayo manager James Horan hailed his team’s resilience after fighting back from five points down with 14 men to claim an All-Ireland semi-final draw against Kerry.
The sides are due to replay next Saturday in Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds after today’s 1-16 to 1-16 stalemate at Croke Park.
“We’re delighted to get through it,” Horan told RTÉ Sport after the game.
“We’ll take a huge amount from it – a man down, five points down a couple of minutes into the second half so we’ll take a huge amount from that and we’re looking forward to next weekend."
Mayo defender Lee Keegan was sent off just before the break but that seemed to inspire the Connacht champions, who produced a stunning second-half showing and burst into a four-point lead with time running out.
Horan added: “We were excellent in the second half, there’s no doubt about it, we were aggressive, we ran with the ball, we were positive in everything that we did, and when we do that we’re a serious, serious team.
He went on to add that the third quarter, when Mayo stormed back into this game, was as good as he has seen his team played.
“It’s up there,” he said.
“Probably as good as any team has played. Fellas just stood up. It was exhilarating to watch to be honest. We had guys who weren’t just going to lose.”
“First half was probably the complete opposite.We were tentative, holding off a little and didn’t really go for it so that cost us a little bit but we’re delighted to have another crack at it.
“We probably should have won the game but equally could have lost it when I saw Bryan Sheehan lining up for that [free].
“There are serious leaders in that dressing room and every game we play they are taking over more and more. We just committed to leave everything we have out there with all the work and preparation and we’ve done that."
However, Horan, who is looking to lead Mayo to their third consecutive final against either Dublin or Donegal, was not overly impressed with the replay venue, with Croke Park being used for an American Football college game.
“I’d rather be up here, obviously. Limerick wouldn’t your preferred choice of venue but we’ll do what we have to do,” he said