Antoine Griezmann double seals France win against Rep of Ireland
A quick-fire second-half double from Antoine Griezmann gave France a 2-1 Euro 2016 round-of-16 win against Republic of Ireland in Lyon.
Ireland made the perfect start when Robbie Brady put them ahead from the penalty spot in the second minute after Paul Pogba and Shane Long collided in the area.
France responded well to the early setback though with Dimitri Payet and Pogba both drawing saves from Darren Randolph with free kicks and Griezmann heading over from a Pogba cross. However, there was bad news in the 26th minute when N'Golo Kante was booked for a trip on James McClean, with the caution meaning the midfielder will miss their quarterfinal clash with England or Iceland.
In the first minute of added time France enjoyed their best spell of sustained pressure, Payet and Griezmann both having shots blocked as Ireland frantically threw bodies in front of the ball, but they were unable to find a breakthrough.
Things changed after half-time when Kingsley Coman was introduced in place of Kante and France stepped up their pursuit of an equaliser. Laurent Koscielny headed narrowly wide from a Payet free kick and Blaise Matuidi drew a save from Randolph with a powerful drive as Les Bleus tried to make something happen.
And it did in the 57th minute as Griezmann headed France level from 12 yards out to bring the home crowd to life.
Four minutes later, a smart finish from Griezmann put France in front as Olivier Giroud dragged two defenders out of position and nodded a long ball into the path of the Atletico Madrid man.
Ireland's problems were compounded in the 66th minute when Shane Duffy was sent off for a late challenge on Griezmann as the Frenchman raced through on goal but the resulting free kick was sent over the bar.
With France in control, Andre Pierre-Gignac, on as a substitute for Giroud, hit the bar with a curling effort from outside the box in the 77th minute and shot just wide after Matuidi flashed a ball into the box in the closing stages.