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Griezmann Double Sends France To Q/Finals Over Ireland

Hosts France bounced back from a goal down to beat Republic of Ireland 2-1 on Sunday to book a place in the quarter-finals of the 2016 European Championship.
Martin O’Neill’s side who made it through to the knock-out stages after Robby Brady’s header gave them a dramatic victory over Italy also had the Norwich City winger to thank when he converted a second minute penalty after Paul Pogba was punished for tangling with Shane Long in the box.
The goal was the fastest penalty goal in the history of the competition.
But France came back through Antoine Griezmann’s second-half brace in three minutes to help the Les Bleu advance to the next round of the competition.
Ireland had a glorious chance to double their advantage as Daryl Murphy’s shot was spilled by Hugo Loris but Jeff Hendrick’s follow-up from a tight angle didn’t worry Hugo Lloris.
France reacted six minutes later when Paul Pogba’s 30 yard free-kick forced a save from Darren Randolph.
Antoine Griezmann also called Randolph into action with a header, although a comfortable one.
At the start of the second half, coach Didier Deschamp hauled off Ngolo Kante for Kingsley Coman in search for more space in attack.
And in the 61st minute, a good build-up from the right flank saw Bacary Sagna’s cross powered home by the head of the Atletico Madrid forward for the equaliser.
Griezmann pounced on Giroud’s knock-down before drilling a fierce shot past Randolph for the winner.
Gignac who came on for Giroud could have made it 3-1 for the hosts but his effort rattled the crossbar as France remain unbeaten in their last 15 major tournament matches on home soil.
France will face either England or Iceland in the quarter-finals in Paris next Sunday.

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