France 2-1 Ireland: Griezmann spoils upset bid with quick-fire double

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The Republic of Ireland put forth a valiant effort, protecting a surprising 1-goal lead for an hour against a sputtering French side, but ultimately the hosts advanced thanks to a pair of goals from Antoine Griezmann in a three-minute span

The game got off to a stunning start when Paul Pogba tripped Shane Long in the box despite attempts to pull back from the challenge, and the referee pointed to the spot just 62 seconds into the game. Robbie Brady, the hero of the Italy win, buried the penalty in off the post.

With an early deficit, France flooded forward. Pogba looked to atone immediately, with an eighth-minute cross to the head of Antoine Griezmann, who headed just over with a good chance. Griezmann had another opportunity in the 18th minute, flicking on a Payet free-kick with his head, but it was right at Darren Randolph.

As France pressed forward, Ireland began a physical approach, turning the game into a midfield slugfest. Seamus Coleman and Jeff Hendrick found themselves with first-half bookings, along with N'Golo Kante and Adil Rami for France.

Following halftime, there were plenty of changes for Didier Deschamps to consider, and he settled on a swap of Kingsley Coman for Kante at the break. It was Ireland with the first chance of the second half, with James McClain sending in a low cross that forced Hugo Lloris into a full-stretch dive to push it away with Long lurking.

France would finally break through with the inevitable goal on 58 minutes, with a heavy push leading to Griezmann heading in from a Bacary Sagna cross. The winner came just three minutes later, as Olivier Giroud headed to a wide-open Griezmann, who passed it into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

The wheels came off minutes later, as a French break saw Giroud feed Griezmann clear 0n goal. Shane Duffy brought the French star down, and was shown a red card for the last-man foul. The contact was minimal and probably oversold by Griezman, but there was enough for the referee to send off Duffy. The foul was just outside the top of the box, meaning the French were not awarded a penalty.

The French controlled the game from that point on, cruising to the finish line. The hosts advance to the quarterfinals, where they will take on the winner between England and Iceland.