Result: France 2 - 1 Ireland
A brilliant game of football packed with incident and entertainment was played out in Lyon as France were made to work for their passage through to the quarter-finals by a bristling, bustling Republic of ireland side that gave no quarter.
Ireland failed to read the script with them as underdogs and the French set to maul their tiny-island rivals with a performance that would see them break through to the finals on a wave of momentum. Ireland were ahead before the game even started. Pogba clumsily collided into Shane Long and the penalty was awarded. 1 - 0 Ireland after cult-hero Robbie Brady converted off the post.
France piled forward but Ireland held firm, frustration growing on the pitch and in the stands, at half-time Ireland were the team heading to the quater finals of Euro 2016. Deschamps took off Kante and put on Coman for the second-half and that really was the decisive change with Griezmann coming central and dictating the play. It was the Atleti man who eventually did for the boys in green, heading in Sagna's cross expertly and placing Giroud's knock-down unerringly.
He might have had his hat-trick had Shane Duffy not taken him out en-route to Randolph's goal, earning the Irishman a red card, and as Duffy marched off, so did Ireland's chances of setting up a possible quarter-final tie with England (or Iceland).
The difference between France and ireland was Griezmann, but France have a number of players who can make the difference, Payet steps up one day, Pogba another, that's the real difference.
Ireland can be proud of how they played, they attacked, played some lovely football at times and fought for each other the way irish teams always do. Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill's men can exit the tournament with their heads held high, a smaller nation once again doomed to the fate of glorious failure, but they made their mark, as did their fans on Euro 2016.
How it happened
Min 94: That's it! France are through, Irish hearts are broken, it's the hope that hurts the most.. France go through to the quarter-finals as worthy winners after a thoroughly engrossing game of football.
Min 93: France do a bit of olé, olé, as they pass it around, then suddenly Griezmann is through on goal, Randolph stays big and keeps it at 2-1.. Sissoko is on for Coman, France closing up shop.
Min 91: Hendrick takes out Coman, he rolls around a bit then gets up. Ireland in possession, Coleman to Hoolahan who loses it again. 2 mins left to play..
Min 90: Ward pumps a long throw into the box to no avail, before that Brady went down in the box, but nothing doing..
Min 88: So much space in the Irish half now, Wes Hoolahan misplaces a pass and france get to Payet immediately, his shot from distance is tame.
Min 86: Matuidi puts it on a plate for Gignac and he can't take the easy side-foot finish. A poor-man's Giroud. Jon Walters cracks one from distance, just wide..
Min 85: Pogba makes the space to shoot, and again, and again, then the irish defence swallows him up, Coman wins a corner from the rebound..
Min 83: 'The Fields' sounds out again in the ground, the 4,500 Irish fans outsinging the 45,000+ French voices.. It's les bleus leading on the scoreboard however, still France 2 - 1 Ireland.
Min 81: Randolph to the rescue again, clawing one away from Matuidi that flew across the line, then Griezmann so close to connecting eye-to-eye with Randolph.
Min 80: More pressure from France, Randolph has to swat one clear, another corner flies in, Shane Ward heads clear this time.
Min 78: Shane Long with another good solid GAA shoulder on Rami as he chased a lost cause, Gignac wins a corner at the other end.
Min 77: Uffff... Gignac rattles the crossbar from just outside the box..
Min 75: Ireland will have to take whatever half-chance they get in the last fifteen here, France are dominating. We just saw a replay of the 2nd Griezmann goal, looked like Niall Quinn knocking it down for Robbie Keane in Korea 2002.
Min 72: Andre Pierre Gignac is on for Giroud, they're practically the same player so no tactical change there..
Min 71: James McCarthy makes way for 'the Irish Messi' Wes Hoolahan.
Min 70: John O'Shea is on for James McClean, Jon Walters strode on purposefully earlier to join Shane Long up front, replacing Murphy.
Min 63: Ireland can have no complaints the replay shows he got nowhere near the ball.. Griezmann takes the free, on a hat-trick, with all the pushing and shoving in the wall, it cannons off Giroud's back and goes high and wide..
Min 63: Disaster!! Shane Duffy has been sent off for a last-man challenge on Griezmann as he raced through.. It's a free-kick outside the box..
Min 62: The hard-working irish unit has forced the french into agricultural long-ball tactics, and they've paid rich dividends. Rami hoofed a hopeful ball forward, Giroud nodded it down, Griezmann slotted it left-footed into the corner beyond the sprawling Randolph.
Min 62: France 2 - 0 Ireland ... Griezmann again.
Min 62: Oh dear.
Min 60: Ireland immediately on the attack trying to regain their advantage, Ward has a shot deflected wide and somehow the ref doesn't see the clear change in the trajectory of the ball and fails to award a corner.
Min 58: Goal for France. Griezmann finally breaks through--- 1-1.. Sagna's cross, Griezmann finished clinically with his head, France in raptures..
Min 55: Ireland fall backlike they're protecting a 12th-century ring-fort, Matuidi smashes one from distance, Randolph saves again. Again!
Min 53: Chances at both ends, this has really turned into a cracking match, which is good after yesterday's disappointments.. Brilliant move from ireland with a lovely flick from Long and then James McLean's cross has Lloris groping for the ball.. Payet has a shot at the other end, nojoy for les bleus..
Min 50: Kingsley Coman is on for Kante, and his first contribution is to run it straight out of play. Long may it continue. That change will give Ireland more space to work in in front of the French defence..
Min 48: Coleman bundles over Payet in a dangerous position, he whips in a free that Pogba flicks on and Koscielny comes within kissing distance of equalizing..
Min 47: Good interchange between Pogba, Griezmann and Sagna, but the Citeh man balloons his cross and Ireland clear.
Min 46: Just missed kick-off with all the Whatsapps flying from Ireland, France kick off, go straight on the attack..
Half-Time Celtic Triumphalism
It couldn't have gone any better for Ireland, could it? An early penalty conceded by France's star man Pogba is put away by Brady who doubles his cult-status at home having scored the winner against Italy, and then France fail to drag themselves back into the game, threatening mostly through crosses and set-pieces that have been dealt with ably by Darren Randolph and the Irish defence..
Brave People's Heroes Ireland 1 - 0 Overpaid Underperforming French Showponies
Half-Time!! Half-Time!! IRELAND ARE WINNING !!
Min 48: Ireland looking comfortable again, they really are playing without fear.. Pogba works a low dribbling cross into the centre, it's smashed clear to cheers of travelling Irish faithful.
Min 46: Pogba and Griezmann get a grip in the midfield, Pogba nearly slides Giroud in, then Griezmann plays in Payet, Ward stops his shot, then Duffy flings himself at the follow-up... Brave Ireland hold on again... 4 minutes added on.. FOUR!
Min 45: Rami booked for a challenge on Shane Long. And rightly so..
Min 43: Ireland's best move of the match involving eight or nine passes ends with a cross that Lloris again has to work to claim, excellent play from the boys in green and white..
Min 42: Ufffffff... Duffy nearly puts Ireland two up connecting with a Brady free-kick, just wide..
Min 40: The calmest man on the pitch Darren Randolph again positions himself perfectly and plucks a Sagna cross out of the sky like someone picking up a Sunday newspaper. Effortless.
Min 38: McCarthy bursts Griezmann, free comes to nothing, Ireland break through McLean, Shane Long with a glorious piece of control, Lloris grabs imperiously from the corner.
Min 37: Hendrick comes back on, the french boo louder, this couldn't be going any better for Ireland.
Min 35: Hendrick down again, Pogba connected with that kick to his right thigh, Hendrick's on his feet, and will limp off, hopefully he's ok to come back on, he's been excellent, making Ireland tick in that midfield... The Franch boo again.. Sour grapes..
Min 33: Hendrick down this time after Pogba swung a roundhouse kick at him.. The French boo again..
Min 29: 'The Fields of Athenry' rings around Lyon, the longer the Irish can frustrate the French, the better for them, Shane Long getting some attention here, he's been like Ireland's crash-test dummy this tournament.. Roy Keane and Martin O'Neill must patch him together with spare parts from other players after every match..
Min 27: Ireland have found their best midfield combination of McCarthy (stopper), Hendrick (revelation) and Brady (Double-hero), looks like Glenn Whelan's time in green has come to an end.. Ireland win a free in midfield, the French boo..
Min 23: The ref gives another free to France, Pogba fancies it and puts it right into the top corner, Randolph skips across his line, pads it down and plucks it up like a fallen grape in crushing season.
Min 20: Uyyy... Ireland with another chance, Lloris down to save after a good old-fashioned throw-in flick-on routine that never goes out of style, Murphy's half-volley and Hendrick's follow-up.. At the other end Griezmann takes an apology of a shot that has Randolph collecting comfortably..
Min 19: Bit of head tennis, but it's happening in the France half which Ireland will be happy with..
Min 18: Pogba does an elegant left-foot right-foot move in midfield and Shane Long shoulder charges him right in the ribs.. Ouch.. Bit of a Gaelic football challenge from the Wexford man.. Maybe a free.. Just..
Min 16: Another moment of panic between Koscielny and Lloris who punches it away with the terrifying figure of Shane Long bearing down on him..
Min 12: Payet threatens again, a vicious ball is whipped in from the right this time, with Giroud ready to pounce, but Duffy crucially flicks it away. Giroud probably would have missed anyway.. Arsenal etc.. The corner is cleared again by the uncompromising Irish horde.
Min 8: France applying the pressure and Ireland falling back already, could be dangerous, Seamus Coleman concedes the corner, Payet whips it in, cleared with no trouble..
Min 7: France are shell-shocked, Ireland can't quite believe it, have they scored too soon? have they pissed on a hornets nest? Payet has a dangerous free-kick, straight into the hands of the heroic figure of Darren Randolph..
Min 2: The French defence made a complete coque-up, Shane Long was bundled over, ref had no choice, Brady buried it off the post.. Incredible start to this match!!
Min 3: GOOOOOoooooooooooooooooll!!! Ireland ONE UP!!! Hahaaaaaaaaa
Min 2: PENALTY to IRELAND!!!
Min 1: Ireland kick off in white and green playing from left to right, France in blue and red, Ireland try to give as many players an early touch as possible, Randolph boots it long..
Anthem-off: Amhrán na bhFiann vs. La Marseillaise - just one of the many advantages France have today is that Irish fans were given 4,500 tickets in a 50K+ stadium, that and they're hosts, and they have the better players, and it's sunny, and...
Here we go! The official AS prediction for this France vs. Ireland second round match is:
Ireland to win 1-0 in the 119th minute with a handball goal from substitute Robbie Keane. Today justice will be served.
(**Disclaimer** You MBMer today is Irish)
Welcome to the live online coverage, minute-by-minute updates and pre-match build up to France vs Rep. Ireland, the second-round Euro 2016 encounter that kicks off today at 15.00 at the Parc de Olympique Lyonnais, Lyon.
France vs Republic of Ireland Preview
France arrive in the last 16 of Euro 2016 as undisputed favourites, albeit off the back of a rather wobbly group stages in which they struggled past weaker opposition and scored just four goals. Ireland – who came through as one of best third place finishers – will not be hiding any cards as they take on the hosts. They’re expected to bring their traditional long-ball, hearts-on-the-sleeve, backs-to-wall style of football. The boys in green will be in uber-confident mood however after their historic win and sterling performance over Italy.
Didier Deschamps has a full squad to choose from, including the excellent Dimitri Payet – one of the players of the tournament do far –, Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, who should return to the starting line-up.
Martin O'Neill can also call on a full regiment with Jonathan Walters fit again after missing out against Italy. The hosts will have to special attention to the special talents of Robbie Brady, who headed home the winner against the Azzuri.