Lille (France): Robbie Brady struck with just five minutes remaining as the Republic of Ireland claimed a dramatic 1-0 win over Italy in Lille on Wednesday to reach the knockout phase of Euro 2016.
A jubilant Robert Brady celebrates after scoring a late winner for Republic of Ireland during their Euro 2016 Group E encounter against Italy in Lille, France on Wednesday. Ireland won 1-0. Pic/AFP
Brady's goal arrived just when it looked as if Ireland were heading out due to a combination of Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu and Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan.
Ireland had to win the match at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy against an Italian side already assured of first place in Group E and got the win they needed to set up a last-16 tie against hosts France.
Before Brady struck, Sirigu, standing in for Gianluigi Buffon in the Italian goal, made a superb save to deny Daryl Murphy while Hategan twice waved away Irish penalty appeals in the first half.
"It's what dreams are made of. We have done the job for everyone who came to see us and all the Irish fans around the world," said Brady. "It is a proud night for myself and fantastic for the team."