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France vs Republic Ireland a few quick thoughts

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  • Now while 62,000 people were watching this game at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais I was watching this game at Lyon Airport
  • The reason for that can be explained here – http://realfootballman.com/football/weekend-lyon-euro-2016-adventure/
  • What an ideal start for the Republic Of Ireland though as they went ahead after just 2 minutes
  • Shane Long was felled in the box and after a moments deliberation he was awarded a Penalty
  • Robbie Brady duly stepped up and slotted home in off a post to give the boys in green a dream start
  • But had they scored almost too early
  • That goal was then going to mean 88 minutes of French pressure
  • The Irish did well to keep them at bay though and looked lively throughout the first half
  • It was at times seat of your pants defending but they came through that first 45 minutes in was absolutely sweltering heat unscathed
  • Ireland did have a few half chances to make it 2-0 and you almost felt that trying to protect a slender lead for so long that if they could have doubled and really caused France some trouble then it would have been a different scenario altogether
  • Again Didier Deschamps made changes and this time they were very attacking
  • N’Golo Kante was bought off for Kingsley Coman
  • France were now really going to go for it
  • And they were much quicker out of the blocks in the second half
  • For Ireland it was a repeat of the Sweden game, starting brightly but a different side after the break
  • Laurent Koscielny had a guilt edge chance to level but he put his header wide
  • Then it was the Antoine Griezmann show
  • A cross from wide right from Bacary Sagna saw Griezmann once again ghost in with a header for his second of the tournament and an all important leveler for France
  • That took the wind out of Martin O’Neill’s side
  • And they were to be really hurt just three minutes later
  • Antoine Griezmann breaking Irish hearts on the hour
  • Oliver Giroud won a knockdown for Griezmann and the Atletico forward was clean through
  • He then powered a finish past the helpless Darren Randolph to turn the game on it’s head and put the hosts ahead
  • It would go from bad to worse just moments later as Griezmann was put through again
  • With a hat-trick looking likely he was hauled down by Shane Duffy
  • His desperate lunge stopped France going 3-1 ahead but he was shown a Red Card and with Ireland down to 10 men it was game over
  • With the heat being a telling factor the extra man for France was a huge advantage
  • For those last 25 minutes or so the tempo was set by the French as the Republic failed to get near the ball
  • Pierre-Alan Gignac was inches away from making it three as his curling effort came back off the bar
  • Jonathan Walters had a late half chance flash past Hugo Lloris’ goal and was the last roll of the dice for the Irish
  • France saw out the game and once they had numerical advantage both on the pitch and in terms of the score they never really looked back
  • The Irish gave it there all but they couldn’t get the desired win for the traveling army of fans
  • Although they would no doubt be drinking throughout the night regardless
  • France now will await the winners of the tie between England and Iceland Tonight
  • Just like the weather the tournament is starting to heat up

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