Euro 2016: Wes Hoolahan’s round after Norwich City team mate Robbie Brady saves the day for his Republic of Ireland pal
- Credit: PA
Wes Hoolahan has promised to get the drinks in for Norwich City team mate Robbie Brady after the Dubliner spared his blushes with a last-gasp winner in Wednesday's Euro 2016 1-0 victory over Italy.
Hoolahan looked to have spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to fire the Irish through to the last-16 when he tamely struck a shot at Italy keeper Salvatore Sirigu, but the City midfielder made amends in dramatic fashion with the ball for Brady to glance the winner that earned Martin O'Neill's squad a last-16 date against hosts France in Lyon on Sunday.
'For Robbie to get his head on that was great,' said Hoolahan. 'He has run from the inside of his own half and to show that determination to get on the end of it. I was thinking when it happened 'Oh no, what's going to happen at the end'. I just kept my concentration and thought another chance might come or I might be able to create something.
'You need to stay focused and in control to the last minute. Luckily enough, Robbie has got on the end of it and I probably owe him a few drinks.'
O'Neill joked in his post-match press conference that he would have taken Hoolahan's head off if Ireland had not won the game, but the Republic boss praised the 34-year-old's mental strength to keep his focus after squandering the opportunity.
'I am delighted for him because he might have rued that miss,' he said. 'It was a great chance for us and I must admit while I am incredibly positive, I was concerned that we might not create as good a chance again.
'But we did. It came up and he did keep his head and put in a lovely ball. Brady still had to go and head it and with the goalkeeper coming at him. Brady has gone as bravely as anything.'
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