Euro 2016 day 17 last-16 review and preview
The first game of the day saw France defeat ten man Republic of Ireland 2-1 in Lyon to make it through to the quarter-finals of the competition. Ireland headed into this contest as major underdogs, but were handed an early boost, as they were awarded a penalty kick after just two minutes.
Shane Long was brought down by Paul Pogba and Robbie Brady’s low penalty found the net off the post and gave Martin O’Neill’s side the perfect start. Ireland held on to the lead until 57th minute. Bacary Sagna swung in a cross from the right and Antoine Griezmann powered a header past Darren Randolph.
The Atletico Madrid striker scored his brace four minutes later. Olivier Giroud won an aerial challenge with the two Irish centre-backs and Griezmann latched onto the ball and slotted past Randolph.
Ireland’s chances of getting back into the game diminished on 66 minutes as defender Shane Duffy brought Griezmann down when the striker was in on-goal for his hat-trick.
Ireland never really threatened Les Bleus goal and France substitute Andre Pierre-Gignac smashed an effort against the bar. France will now play the winner of the England v Iceland game next Sunday in the quarter-finals.
World champions Germany made light work of Slovakia in their last-16 clash, winning 3-0 in Lille.
Die Mannschaft took the lead after just eight minutes. The ball fell to defender Jerome Boateng on the edge of area and the Bayern Munich star volleyed powerfully into the bottom corner of the net via a deflection.
Germany had a chance to double their lead on 13 minutes from the penalty spot, but Mesut Ozil stepped-up and saw Slovakian ‘keeper Kozacik produce a very good save. Joachim Low’s team doubled their lead two minutes before the break.
Julian Draxler did well down the wing and found Mario Gomez at the near post who flicked the ball home from a few yards out. Germany made it three on 63 minutes. Mats Hummels header a set-piece to back post and Draxler produced a superb volley from close-range.
Die Mannschaft will now face the winner of Spain v Italy in Bordeaux in the quarter-finals on 2nd July.
Belgium produced a commanding 4-0 win over Hungary in a highly entertaining last-16 clash in Toulouse. The Red Devils took the lead on ten minutes, as centre-back Toby Alderweireld headed home from a pinpoint free-kick from Manchester City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.
Belgium continued to dominate the game, but only doubled their lead on 78 minutes. Young Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi scored within seconds of replacing Romelu Lukaku. Eden Hazard produced a superb cross for the youngster to slot home from a few yards out.
It took just another minute for Marc Wilmots’ team to make it three. Hazard cut in from the left took on two defenders and from the edge of the area and curled home a fantastic effort past Gabor Kiraly in the Hungary goal.
The Red Devils scored a fourth in stoppage-time, hitting Hungary on the counter-attack. Radja Nainggolan played Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco in on goal, he advanced on goal and fired past Kiraly at the near post.
It was a highly-impressive display Wilmots’ side, who now face Wales in the quarter-finals on Friday in Lille.