France broke many Irish hearts to win their 16 match 2-1 to advance to the quarter-finals. It was as close as the score suggests but the French had enough quality to not get into any doubt at any point of the game.
But it wasn’t the case when the game started and for the first hour. Ireland were so quick off the blocks that the entire stadium looked dazed. An innocuous challenge by Paul Pogba gave away a penalty which was duly converted by Robbie Brady and suddenly it looked like the entire stadium is green. The prospect of a miracle looked highly likely and a just result for the hard work and determination put by the Republic players. But two goals in three minutes from Antoine Griezmann sniffed the fight out of Ireland and won the match for the French.
After the brace, it was all France as they could have won by a bigger margin had the finishing been more clinical. A red card to Shane Duffy didn’t help matters as Ireland fought bravely but lacked the quality to go beyond the French.
France v RO Ireland - EURO 2016 Player of the game
Griezmann had a quiet Euros by his lofty standards. After a successful season with Atletico Madrid where he managed to take them to Champions League finals, there was so much expected of the forward in the Euros. But Ireland bore the brunt and the two goals showed the class of the Frenchman. A truly stunning performance!