‘Crazy as hell’: Ireland striker scores twice as Ireland reach Euro 2020 finals
Ireland are going for another European Cup title, after defeating Poland 4-0 in Poland on Wednesday to complete their qualifying campaign for next year’s finals in France.
The result puts the country into the knockout stages of Euro 2020, with England set to host the semi-finals in Paris in September.
With the tournament to be played over two days, Ireland will face Italy in the first round on Saturday and Germany in the second on Sunday.
They will meet again in the final on Thursday night.
Ireland, who finished fourth in the 2015 tournament, were in a tricky position.
On the one hand, they are not the only Irish team in the tournament having qualified in the group stage but they have not played a game.
On a side-by-side comparison, France are seeded 1-4, with Italy and Spain, which finished fourth, as the other two teams in the qualifying group.
The Irish were a strong qualifier for the tournament and they have a good chance of qualifying, especially with the support of the European Football Union.
In fact, Ireland were even able to qualify in the last two tournaments, in 2015 and 2019, with France beating them in the semi and Poland losing in the championship.
The only team to have qualified in every Euro since Euro 2000 was Portugal in the 2011 tournament.
They qualified in each of their four matches in Paris.
“We just want to be in the knockout stage, that’s the goal for us, so we just need to work hard,” said striker Michael O’Halloran.
“It was a crazy game to play in, but I felt good at the end and we deserved to win.”
The victory saw Ireland become the first country to win back-to-back Euro championships in France since Italy beat them in 2004 and 2005.
The first game was played in the city of Paris in April 2010 and the second in Nice in June 2015.
Ireland’s victory is the second time in two years that they have beaten Poland.
Ireland had beaten Poland 2-0 at Euro 2004, which was the last time they qualified for the finals in Paris before Euro 2016.
They beat Poland 1-0 to win the Euro in 2004, but that was against a team from a weaker tournament, with Spain and Italy.
Poland are ranked second in the world and they are expected to be favourites to win Euro 2020.
“That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to do is get a result in the next two games, we can’t wait,” said O’Neill.
The final was played on Tuesday in Paris with France playing in a neutral venue. “
At the moment we’re in a position to go to the last 16 and hopefully that’s going to happen.”
The final was played on Tuesday in Paris with France playing in a neutral venue.
O’Connor said the Irish squad were aware of the atmosphere in the stadium.
“Obviously the stadium is packed, it’s been the most important match of the tournament,” he said.
“As far as the players, I think we’ve been doing really well in training and we’re starting to gel as a team. “
“The players want to play the game as hard as they possibly can, and that’s why we’re playing as hard in the games.” “
Ireland’s squad will travel to France for the final two games of the qualifying campaign. “
The players want to play the game as hard as they possibly can, and that’s why we’re playing as hard in the games.”
Ireland’s squad will travel to France for the final two games of the qualifying campaign.
They then travel to Germany for the second leg of the semi finals on Saturday, before travelling to Italy to face the reigning European champions.
“This is one of the biggest tournaments we’ve ever played,” said Ireland boss Joe Schmidt.
“To have the confidence in ourselves to come out and play the games and play with the intensity we’ve done in the past is a big thing for us.”
Ireland head coach Stephen Kenny added: “It’s been an incredibly tough couple of years.
“But this year we’ve had to go out with a whimper. “
“Every game is important for the country and we’ve gone into it with that mentality. “
“Our players are going to be there to give everything, that mentality is going to go a long way.” “
Irish captain Jamie Heaslip added: “(The win) is fantastic, especially coming on the back of last week where we were in very difficult circumstances. “
Our players are going to be there to give everything, that mentality is going to go a long way.”
“After two very difficult games we’ve learned from it and now we’re looking forward to a fantastic game against Germany. “
“They are a great side and it’s great to get another game under our belt in the Champions League.””
They are a great side and it’s great to get another game under our belt in the Champions League.”