Republic of Ireland are the Champ-ions on the Euros menu - The Irish News
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Republic of Ireland are the Champ-ions on the Euros menu

Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady scores the winner against Italy during the Euro 2016, Group E match at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
Kevin Farrell

'Pasta 0 Potatoes 1' gloated one Twitter meme shortly after an impatient Martin O'Neill had blown up a bit too early.

It was that sort of dizzy night where, in the end, a lazy stereotype about Italy and Ireland's national dishes was probably fair enough in the banter stakes.

'La Republique' had just 'vived' their way into the last 16 of Euro '16 on a Wednesday night in Lille that will live long in the memory of anyone who was there... and of anyone who had just hit the TV with a toddler's water boot prior to composing a premature tweet about Wes Hoolahan's complete lack of b... yeeeeeeooooooo, sure we'll say no more about it Wes ye wee feckin' legend!

When it came to the crunch in this 'Battle of Starchy Carbohydrates', Robbie Brady's soaring head - via a pinpoint pass from good oul' Wes's left tin opener - proved beyond doubt that Irish footballers nurtured on mammies' spuds have the edge on Italian secundo strings nurtured on mama mias' spaghetti. Dolmio or no Dolmio, amico.

Meanwhile, a post-match/pre-match image of the world-beating Jeff 'I'm all yours, Leicester' Hendrick mauling an ironic slice of pizza sandwiched by two bigger slices of pizza while clasping a beer went viral.

The importance of mixing up late night carb intake ahead of Sunday's chance to settle a sore score with 'Les Cheats' is key if Martin's men are serious about getting their hands on this Henry Delaney Cup. Inter-county GAA players, though, died inside and wept to a man.

Triumph didn't come easy, mind. The boys in [white with] green [piping] were forced to shoulder the nation's dreams on a virtual paddy field that would have scundered a famished herd of Dexters falling out of their bovine Fanzone in search a good oul' feed of half-decent grass.

To make matters worse, the Stade Pierre Mauroy had been converted to a greenhouse.

The closure of the roof might have had the dehydratable Tommy Coyne turning in his urn if he were dead and cremated - which thankfully he's not albeit no thanks to the cruel New Jersey cauldron the last time we squeezed pasta Italy in a very important game.

The total football on show in the, er, pre-match warm-up to the Belgium game last Saturday would have to be ditched by the look of her and we'd probably have to start sticking it long to Long and big Murf on the occasional occasion, we all nodded. C'est la vie, eh?

The Romanian referee was some boyo too.

Obviously still raw from the night big Packie left Timoftei ripping his Carpathian mullet clean out of its socket in Genoa 26 years ago, Ovideu Hategan would deny James McClean a stonewall penalty in between closing his [Gheorge Hag] eyes every time an Italian defender attempted to strip search any Irishman within 18 yards of their posts.

Antonio Conte's reserves, mind you, weren't totally reliant on 'flymannery'. Atomic sub Lorenzo Insigne, at just five pizzas and four slices tall the shortest Italian international since Subbuteo was a boy, cracked the post with 13 minutes left. It's still not clear who flicked him.

The hoor of a fright proved the perfect jolt. Moments after Wes fluffed his lines, the Norwich City relegatee then supplied that 85th minute ammo for fellow Canary Robbie [Keane Liam] Brady to spark scenes unseen since, well, wee Ray left a flapping Pagliuca with uovo on his face in Giants Stadium 22 summers ago.

MIchael D danced like a leprechaunic emoji, Clonard Novena brothers hailed a miracle and Chapel of Adoration sisters hit the Falls Road to celebrate. 

It was safe to presume that those noise-cancelling headphones attached to Irish newborns inside the stadium had by now been plugged into an iPod blasting out Joxer and Dearg Doom at full blast.

Sure there was no excuse for anything less.

Any idea how this Brexit thing affects last minute Credit Union loans?
 

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