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Irish Football > 2016 Euro Finals

Ireland at Euro 2016 Finals

Euro 2016 logo

The Republic of Ireland qualified for consecutive Euro finals when they beat Bosnia Herzegovina 3-1 in the Euro 2016 play-off matches. During the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign Ireland had some poor results and some very good results - particularly a draw and a win over World Champions Germany. The final rounds of matches saw Ireland edge Scotland out of third place to qualify for the play-offs.

Although the Bosnians were ranked ahead of Ireland in the FIFA rankings at the time, the Irish had a relatively smooth passage through the play-off matches. Robbie Brady's goal in the fog-bound stadium in Zenica gave the Irish the advantage of a precious away goal as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

A brace of goals from Jonathan Walters in the return leg at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin a few days later ensured that the Republic of Ireland qualified for a second Euro championsip finals in succession.

It had been generally accepted that Ireland had been been relatively lucky to draw Bosnia and Herzegovina in the play-offs but that luck deserted the Irish when the draw for the Euro 2016 finals was made in at the Palais des Congrès de la Porte Maillot in Paris on Saturday 12 December 2015. Ireland was in Pot 4 of four in the draw.

Euro 2016 Final Draw

The draw was made amid great fanfare in the French capital. The Irish were drawn in Group E. Unfortunately for Ireland the top seed in Group E was Belgium. For the second tournament in a row Ireland had drawn the No.1 ranked team in the World (at the time of the draw). To compound matters Italy was added to the group to be folowed by Sweden.

As the Irish football manager, Martin O'Neill commented, "The draw couldn't have been any tougher.". The sequence of matches was also determined by the draw process and Ireland's group matches were as follows:

Date
KO
Opponent
Venue
13 June 16
5:00pm
Sweden
St-Denis
18 June 16
2:00pm
Belgium
Bordeaux
22 June 16
8:00pm
Italy
Lille
Map of France

For many football pundits and Irish fans the opening match against Sweden in Paris would determine whether Ireland could progress to the knockout stages of Euro 2016. A win in this match would set the Irish up for a heroic campaign but a loss would make it very difficult to make it out of the group.

However with an expanded number of teams, 24, and just eight teams being eliminated at the group stages it could be possible to progress to the next round with just three points. Therefore one win or even three draws could be enough to send the Irish through to the next round.

At the time of the Euro 2016 Finals draw the following were the vital statistics of Ireland's (FIFA World Ranking 31) opponents in Group E:

Sweden
FIFA World Ranking: 35
Manager: Erik Hamrén
Qualified: Group G third
P10 W5 D3 L2 Pts 18 - Beat Denmark 4-3 Agg Play-Offs.
Republic of Ireland record v Sweden: P10 W3 D2 L5
Belgium
FIFA World Ranking: 1
Manager: Marc Wilmots
Qualified: Group B winners -
P10 W7 D2 L1 Pts 23
Previous Euro Cup honours: Third in 1972
Republic of Ireland record v Belgium: P14 W4 D5 L5
Italy
FIFA World Ranking: 15
Manager: Antonio Conte
Qualified: Group H winners -
P10 W7 D3 L0 Pts 24
Previous Euro Cup honours: Won in 1968, Runners-up in 2000 & 2012
Republic of Ireland record v Italy: P14 W2 D3 L9

As the Euro 2016 finals kicked off the FIFA World rankings for the teams in Group E were as follows:

Team
Rank
Belgium
2
Italy
12
Ireland
33
Sweden
35

Ireland's Performance at Euro 2016

Ireland's participation at the the Euro 2016 finals began with a very encouraging performance against the lowest ranked team in Group E, Sweden. The Irish began very brightly and could have held a three goal lead at half time. Despite this the break-through goal came in the second half as Wes Hoolahan's sumptuous half volley found the back of the Swedish net.

Unfortunately for the Irish they couldn't hold out and a Zlatan Ibrahimovich cross was turned into his own net by centre-half Ciaran Clark. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and therefore the Irish avoided defeat however based upon the performance the general consensus was that it was two points dropped. With the number two and 12 FIFA World ranked teams yet to be played in the group the odds were stacked against the Irish.

Euro 2016 Group E Irish Match Statistics

 
Ireland
Sweden
Goals Scored
1
1
Possession (%)
47%
53%
Goal Attempts
9
7
Attempts on Target
4
0
Corners
5
5
Fouls committed
12
18
Caught Offside
3
4
Woodwork
1
0
Yellow Cards
2
1
Red Cards
0
0
Ireland
Belgium
0
3
43%
57%
10
17
0
7
6
8
10
8
1
3
0
0
1
1
0
0
Ireland
Italy
1
0
46%
54%
12
5
4
1
4
4
19
21
1
0
0
2
2
4
0
0

 

Euro 2016 Group E Final Table

Euro 2016 - Group E - Final Standings
  Nation
Played
Won
Drew
Lost
Goals F
Goals A
Points
Itaian flag
Italy
3
2
0
1
3
1
6
Belgian flag
Belgium
3
2
0
1
4
2
6
Irish flag
Republic of Ireland
3
1
1
1
2
4
4
Swedish flag
Sweden
3
0
1
2
1
3
1

Player Stats at Euro 2016

No. Name Position
Starts
Sub
Goals
Yellow
Red
1
Keiren Westwood Goalkeeper
0
0
0
0
0
16
Shay Given Goalkeeper
0
0
0
0
0
23
Darren Randolph Goalkeeper
4
0
0
0
0
4
John O'Shea Defender
2
1
0
0
0
5
Richard Keogh Defender
2
0
0
0
0
3
Ciaran Clark* Defender
2
0
0
0
0
17
Stephen Ward Defender
3
0
0
1
0
12
Shane Duffy Defender
2
0
0
0
1
15
Cyrus Christie Defender
0
0
0
0
0
2
Seamus Coleman Defender
4
0
0
1
0
19
Robbie Brady Midfielder
4
0
2
0
0
6
Glenn Whelan Midfielder
2
0
0
1
0
13
Jeff Hendrick Midfielder
4
0
0
2
0
8
James McCarthy Midfielder
4
0
0
1
0
7
Aiden McGeady Midfielder
0
3
0
0
0
18
David Meyler Midfielder
0
0
0
0
0
22
Stephen Quinn Midfielder
0
1
0
0
0
11
Jame McClean Midfielder
2
2
0
0
0
20
Wes Hoolahan Forward
2
2
1
0
0
10
Robbie Keane Forward
0
2
0
0
0
21
Daryl Murphy Forward
2
0
0
0
0
14
Jon Walters Forward
1
1
0
0
0
9
Shane Long Forward
4
0
0
2
0

* Ciaran Clarke scored an own goal in the match against Sweden.



Ireland & 1990 World Cup Finals - Irish Squad World Cup 1990
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