Saturday 21 April 2018

Video: Watch the mayhem in the stadium after Robbie Brady scored winner

Ireland supporters celebrate following the win over Italy
Ireland supporters celebrate following the win over Italy
Karl Nolan and Neil Emerson
Michael O'Connell
Reno Ambrosio

Cathal McMahon in Lille

Irish fans have reacted with a mixture of shock and euphoria at our incredible win in Lille tonight.

For 85 minutes supporters had chalked it down as yet another brave march to defeat.

Memories of Spain in the 2002 World Cup, not to mention that notorious Thierry Henry Handball in '09 came flooding back.

That was until Robbie Brady's flick catapulted this team into the annals of Irish footballing history.

Karl Nolan (32) from Clontarf could barely speak after the final whistle.

"The Italians were there for the taking and we took them. It was a performance of spirit, passion and belief.

"It was as good as 1994 and to be at it was just beautiful.

"I'm supposed to be going home to my wife Karen Nolan but I'm staying out til Sunday."

His friend Neil Emerson from Donaghmede added: "It was magic, absolute magic. I was in Poland and that was devastating. It is incredible to be able to relive some of the memories of the 90s. I'm gobsmacked."

70-year-old Michael O'Connell from Rathgar explained that he is old enough to remember all the great Irish performances.

Laura Treacy and Darach Connolly
Laura Treacy and Darach Connolly

Asked how it compares he responded: "Right up there."

"I'm shattered, to be here at 70 is just amazing."

Darach Connolly (31) and his fiancée Laura Treacy (32) got tickets at the last minute for the game after their friend Eddie and Marie Tierney had a baby.

Darach said: "It was my first Irish away game. Our friends had a baby, it's a boy, they're going to have to call it Robbie now, after Robbie Brady."

The Italians outside the stadium were magnanimous in defeat.

They accepted that Ireland were the better team.

Reno Ambrosio (56) said: "Italy were shit. That's the worst Italian team in a long time, but we still won the group.

"Ireland deserved to win tonight and I will be cheering them on in their next game."

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