AH, FOOTBALL. Only from the depths of despair can a victory feel so good – and make no mistake, after Wes Hoolahan missed Ireland’s chance of the game late on it looked very much like Martin O’Neill’s team would be exiting the tournament. Despair.
THE hero did arrive and right on time. Robbie Brady scored an unforgettable late goal as the Republic of Ireland beat Italy and made it through to a last 16 meeting with hosts France in a nerve-jangling, nail-biting thriller in Lille last night.
WHATEVER opposition Northern Ireland face from now on, it’s unlikely that they’ll face a tougher test than they endured against Germany. Another 1-0 defeat won’t be celebrated, of course, as that will mean an exit from Euro 2016, but surviving by that scoreline on Tuesday night in the Parc des Princes understandably felt like quite an achievement.
The Republic of Ireland's goalscoring hero Robbie Brady couldn't hide his emotions after his 85th minute winner sealed a 1-0 win over Italy in Lille last night and set up a mouthwatering last 16 clash with hosts France in Lyon on Sunday.