Fran Reilly joined Extratime.ie in February 2015 having previously written for the Drogheda/Fingal Independents, loi19.com and the Cork City matchday programme. Though only part of the ET family for a relatively short time, the Donaghmede native has already had the opportunity to cover League of Ireland clubs both domestically and in Europe, as well as Republic of Ireland internationals. He can count Martin O'Neill, Roy Keane and Dutch footballing legend Ruud Gullit amongst those he has come face-to-face with during his line of ET work. He still hopes to someday meet Henrik Larsson. <br /><br /> Fran was once sent to watch Lionel Messi play in the Aviva Stadium for Barcelona but left feeling underwhelmed as his performance fell some way short of replicating Wes Hoolahan's against Deportivo la Coruna in August 2004. That famous night was enough to make Fran a Shels fan and he even pulled on the red shirt himself once for Owen Heary's tribute match in November 2013. Hilariously, he saw a penalty saved by unforgiving goalkeeper Lee Murphy, then at Bohemians. <br /><br /> His one day spell as a member of the Extratime media six-a-side panel fared no better, his status as a reporter coming under threat following a string of less than inspirational performances. However, he convinced the ET hierarchy to persevere with him so he lingers on, covering whatever clubs he can reach by public transport. You can follow Fran on Twitter (@FranTomReilly) where he spends most of his time retweeting other people's LOI views and news and claiming them as his own. <br /><br />
|Competition: Euro 2016 Group A Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy - Lille Métropole Attendance: 45,616 Referee: Pavel Kralovec (CZE)|
Sun 19 Jun 2016
0 - 0
Laurent Koscielny - Yellow Card (83')
Euro 2016 Report: Switzerland 0 - 0 France
Published: June 20, 2016
Paul Pogba rattled the crossbar twice but couldn't get his first goal of Euro 2016. (Credit: Al Robinson)
A 0-0 draw in Lille was enough to see both France and Switzerland progress from Group A, with the Euro 2016 hosts topping the group.
A fine goalkeeping display from 'keeper Yann Sommer, coupled with efforts from Paul Pogba and substitute Dimitri Payet hitting the bar, ensured the Swiss kept France goalless to earn the point they believed they needed to secure second place – though Albania's victory over Romania meant Switzerland would finish second regardless of defeat here.
The most exciting moment of this game was perhaps the introduction of former Lille favourite Dimitri Payet in the 63rd minute. French fans in the stadium chanted his name throughout the game and cheered whenever he left the dugout to warm up.
The adulation he received when he did come on was deafening and one can only imagine what would have happened had his volley 15 minutes from time found the net instead of the crossbar.
France dominated for much of the game but were kept on their toes throughout by the Swiss, with Laurent Koscielny, Adil Rami and Yohann Cabye all called upon to make last ditch tackles in the first-half. The first 20 minutes were a breathless affair.
The Swiss almost had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth minute. Xherdan Shaqiri's corner was knocked on by Fabian Schar, but Johan Djourou can't reach it at full stretch and it comes to nothing.
Four minutes later and Sommer was called into action twice in quick succession. First, he pushed Pogba's dipping right foot shot into the air but it dropped down and hit the top of the crossbar before going over. Then, just sixty seconds later, Pogba had another go, with his left foot this time, but Sommer was equal to it again as it tipped it wide.
Switzerland were still fighting to get forward on the break at this stage. Patrice Evra needed to be sharp to get across to block a Blerim Dzemaili shot in the 15th minute after the Swiss midfielder created some space to shoot just outside the box.
Yet it was Pogba more than anybody else who threatened and he hit the crossbar again in the 17th minute after collecting possession deep in Switzerland's half. The Juventus midfielder has yet to score for France this season in what must be a frustrating mini-drought.
After the all-action opening 20 minutes, the game settled down with little of note in the way of chances before the half-time interval, bar Dzemaili and Ricardo Rodriguez missing the target with speculative efforts for Switzerland.
To maybe alleviate his frustration, Pogba opted to tee up Gignac in the 53rd minute. The 30 year old striker took the pass, cut in from the left and had a shot which flew straight at Sommer. The Tigres striker, who netted 24 goals in the season just gone, is the only player at Euro 2016 to play his club football in Mexico.
Swiss 'keeper Sommer had been equal to everything thrown at him be this stage and he had to be sharp again to deny Antoine Griezmann in the 57th minute. The Atletico Madrid forward played a one-two with Gignac but his shot was too close to Sommer who tipped it over the bar.
As the game entered it's last 25 minutes the pace of it dropped considerably, with both sides realising perhaps that a draw would do both of them. It was around now that Didier Deschamps gave the adoring Lille crowd what they wanted by bringing Payet on – and the West Ham man almost gave them the other thing they wanted in the 75th minute: a goal.
Moussa Sissoko galloped down the right flank and crossed for Payet who met it on the volley with excellent technique only to see the ball come back off the crossbar – the third time in the game France had hit the woodwork.
Payet would also have the last decent chance of note in the game in the 80th minute, but he could only slice it wide. Not that it mattered much to either side as the draw proved could enough to ensure they both progressed to the last-16.
Switzerland: Yann Sommer; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schar, Johan Djourou, Ricardo Rodriguez; Xherdan Shaqiri (Gelson Fernandes, 79), Valon Behrami, Granit Xhaka, Admir Mehmedi (Michael Lang, 86); Blerim Dzemaili; Breel Embolo (Haris Seferovic, 74).
Subs not used: Roman Burki (GK), Marwin Hitz (GK), Fabian Frei, Nico Elvedi, Eren Derdiyok, Francois Moubandje, Shani Tarashaj, Steve Von Bergen, Denis Zakaria.
France: Hugo Lloris; Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Adil Rami, Patrice Evra; Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko; Kingsley Coman (Dimitri Payet, 63), André-Pierre Gignac, Antoine Griezmann (Blaise Matuidi, 77).
Subs not used: Steve Mandanda (GK), Benoît Costil (GK), Christophe Jallet, Lucas Digne, Eliaquim Mangala, Morgan Schneiderlin, Samuel Umtiti, Olivier Giroud, Anthony Martial, N'Golo Kanté.
Bookings: A Rami (25), L Koscielny (83).
Referee: Damir Skomina (SVN).
Extratime Man of the Match: Yann Sommer (Switzerland).