On this day four years ago, Robbie Brady's header fired Ireland into the knockout phase of Euro 2016 in France

Mon, Jun 22 2020

None Credit: Al Robinson (ETPhotos)

On this day in 2016, Lille was turned green when Robbie Brady’s second-half header earned Ireland their first-ever place in the knockout stages of the European Championships.

The clock was ticking precariously towards 90 minutes when substitute Wes Hoolahan produced the cross for then-Norwich City winger Brady to nod home.

Read Dave Donnelly's report live in the stadium here.

Almost 45,000 packed in to Stade Pierre-Mauroy in the northern French city for a re-run of Ireland’s famous one-goal victory in the opening game of USA ’94.

They witnessed an Irish performance of rare poise, the best of Martin O’Neill’s reign, against an Italian side no less dangerous for the fact they had already sealed top spot in the group.

James McClean, one of four brought into the starting line-up following the 3-0 defeat to Belgium, was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty after falling under Federico Bernardeschi’s challenge.

The Italians saw Ciro Immobile drive marginally wide and Simone Zaza volleyed inches over, while Jeff Hendrick drove narrowly wide for the underdogs.

Quiz: How well do you remember Euro 2016?

Ireland’s last chance looked to have gone when Hoolohan showed unusual hesitation when played in on goal following an Andrea Barzagli slip.

The Portland Row magician redeemed himself minutes later, however, as he curled in a perfect cross for the arriving Brady to nod past a stranded Salvatore Sirigu.


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