SI Staff
Sunday June 26th, 2016

Host France is through to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals after a nervy, come-from-behind 2-1 win over Ireland in Lyon. Antoine Griezmann scored twice in quick succession in the second half to rescue Les Bleus, who will face either England or Iceland in the next round after surviving a valiant effort from the Irish.

The perception that France wouldn't have a problem with Ireland changed 60 seconds into their matchup.

Paul Pogba fouled Shane Long in the box a minute in, and Robbie Brady converted for the fastest penalty goal in European Championship history, giving the Irish a stunning 1-0 lead. There didn't appear to be too much controversy in the penalty call, as Pogba clearly made contact with Long, and no Irish fans will have sympathy for the call, especially given the controversial no-handball call on Thierry Henry in a World Cup qualifying playoff in 2009.

France was held by Ireland's resolute defense for the next 56 minutes, but Les Bleus finally got their breakthrough from Griezmann. Bacary Sagna whipped in a cross from the right, and the Atletico Madrid forward expertly headed home. 

Moments later, he scored his second, as Olivier Giroud fought off two defenders to head down a lay-off to Griezmann, and he buried his chance to give France its first lead of the day in the 61st minute, while giving a nod to Drake with his "Hotline Bling" celebration.

Needless to say, the French supporters watching in the fan zone at the Eiffel Tower were quite thrilled with the turnaround.

It got worse for Ireland in the 66th minute, when Griezmann was through on goal to complete his hat trick only to be tripped by Shane Duffy just outside the box. Duffy was sent off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, and Ireland was reduced to 10 men while need to fight for an equalizer.

For more on Euro 2016, including a full schedule and live gamecasts, check out our tournament home.

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