Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Euro 2016

Griezmann double sends France to quarters

 France forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring during the Euro 2016 round of 16 match against Ireland in Décines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on June 26, 2016. PHOTO/AFP

France forward Antoine Griezmann celebrates scoring during the Euro 2016 round of 16 match against Ireland in Décines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on June 26, 2016. PHOTO/AFP

LYON, France, June 26 – Antoine Griezmann scored twice in four minutes as Euro 2016 hosts France came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over ten-man Republic of Ireland on Sunday.

Victory in the last 16 clash in Lyon means France face either England or Iceland in the Stade de France quarter-final next Sunday.

Paul Pogba brought Shane Long down within seconds of kickoff and Robbie Brady, who netted the Republic’s winner against Italy, converted a penalty with just two minutes gone to give the Irish a shock lead.

But Griezmann underlined a superb performance as the main strike threat with two knockout goals in the second-half as the hosts floored the Irish.

“At this stage of the tournament you don’t have the right not to qualify,” French coach Didier Deschamps said, expressing relief at the fightback as French fans celebrated.

Ireland’s problems were compounded by playing the last 25 minutes with ten men.

Centre-back Shane Duffy was sent off on 66 minutes for bringing down Griezmann, who was through on goal.

France’s win came at a cost as both midfielder N’Golo Kante and defender Adil Rami are suspended for the quarter-final after picking up bookings.

Defeat means more heartache for the Irish in their first meeting with France since a controversial World Cup play-off in November 2009.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Thierry Henry’s infamous handball, dubbed ‘Le Hand of God’, helped seal a 2-1 aggregate victory to send France to South Africa 2010 at Ireland’s expense.

The Irish came flying out of the traps in Lyon.

A long ball caused the French all manner of problems and when Southampton striker Long tried to turn and shoot, Pogba made contact.

– Brady boy –

 Ireland midfielder Robert Brady scores a penalty during the Euro 2016 round of 16 match against France at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Décines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on June 26, 2016.PHOTO/AFP

Ireland midfielder Robert Brady scores a penalty during the Euro 2016 round of 16 match against France at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Décines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on June 26, 2016.PHOTO/AFP

With just 70 seconds played, referee Nicola Rizzoli pointed straight to the spot.

Brady was again the darling of the travelling ‘Green Army’ as the Norwich City winger put the Irish ahead with a shot that rebounded off a post.

It was the fastest goal at a Euro finals since Russia’s Dimitri Kirichenko scored after 67 seconds against Greece in 2004.

Celebrations erupted amongst the small band lucky enough to get one of the paltry 4,500 tickets allocated to Irish fans at the 59,000-capacity stadium.

The hosts responded by laying seige to the Irish goal.

Griezmann, twice, and Olivier Giroud both tested Irish goalkeeper Darren Randolph, as did Pogba with a long-range free-kick.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

No quarter was asked or given as things got heated on the pitch with four yellow cards dished out in the first-half.

France coach Didier Deschamps injected some pace after the break by bringing on fleet-footed winger Kingsley Coman for N’Golo Kante.

The French played at a much higher tempo and Randolph was thoroughly tested by Blaise Matuidi’s shot from just outside the box on 55 minutes.

France drew level when Griezmann rose highest to meet Sagna’s pin-point cross on 58 minutes.

Randolph got a glove on the bullet header, but it was destined only for the back of the net.

Griezmann struck again three minutes later when Giroud headed down into the Atletico Madrid winger’s path to slam his shot past Randolph.

With France in top gear, Duffy’s desperate lunge clipped Griezmann’s ankle on the edge of the area and Rizzoli had to show the Irishman the red card on 66 minutes.

Only Irish determination, and a lack of a final touch, prevented Griezmann finishing with a hat-trick.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

More on Capital Sports

Football

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – There is light at the end of the tunnel. After failed promises over the last three years since its...

Athletics

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 8 – Olympic Champion Caster Semenya and wife Violet Raseboya have hinted that they might be expecting a baby in a...

NFL

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Kenya’s history making Daniel Adongo, the first Kenyan to play in America’s National Football League (NFL), is now living...

Features

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 17 – The Kakamega High School ‘Green Commandos’ have produced a plethora of talent over the past decades in Kenyan football...

© 2020 Capital Digital Media. Capital Group Limited. All Rights Reserved