Paris: France coach Didier Deschamps said his team get better when they "go a bit crazy" after they came from a goal down to beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1 yesterday to move into the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.
The host nation got the worst possible start when Irish striker Shane Long was fouled by Paul Pogba to give Ireland a penalty after just 90 seconds that was converted by Robbie Brady.
But two goals from Antoine Griezmann in a vastly improved second-half performance proved divisive at the Stade de Lyon. "Sometimes it's difficult. When you concede a penalty at the start of a match it made us tense and the Irish can play a bit," Deschamps told TF1.
France's Antoine Griezmann celebrates his goal during the Euro 2016 Round-of-16 match against Ireland in Lyon yesterday. Pic/AFP
Deschamps said the three tight last-16 matches on Saturday, two of which went to extra-time, showed there are no easy games in the tournament.
"It was hard for us too, but mission accomplished," he said. "You shouldn't be too calculated. The players need discipline but sometimes we're better when we go a bit crazy. We really speeded things up and that's when we are most dangerous."
Ireland player Shane Long wears a dejected looks. Pic/AFP
France will play the winner of today's match between England and Iceland in a quarter-final in Paris next Sunday.