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Late Brady goal sends Ireland through

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan in action with Italy's Thiago Motta REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan in action with Italy's Thiago MottaREUTERS/Benoit Tessier

LILLE, France (Reuters) - Ireland reached the knockout phase at a European Championship for the firs time when Robbie Brady's late goal earned them a 1-0 victory against Group E winners Italy on Wednesday.

Brady made a brilliant run into the box and headed home Wes Hoolahan's right-wing cross to make sure Ireland qualified as one of the four best third-placed teams with four points. They will face hosts France in the last 16.

Italy made eight changes and it showed at the Stade Pierre Mauroy as the Azzurri looked a touch disjointed, although they had a huge opportunity 12 minutes from time when substitute Lorenzo Insigne's perfectly curled shot hit the post.

(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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