Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Ireland stuns Italy to keep EURO dreams alive

Italy v Republic of Ireland - Group E: UEFA Euro 2016

LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 22: Robbie Brady of Republic of Ireland celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Italy and Republic of Ireland at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 22, 2016 in Lille, France. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Already ensured a place in the Round of 16, Italy made nine changes to their starting XI ahead of their Group E finale against the Republic of Ireland.

It was the Irish that stole the show in dramatic fashion, though.

[ MORE: Hungary tops Group F following slugfest vs. Portugal ]

Robbie Brady stunned the Italians with five minutes to play, as Ireland defeated the Azzurri 1-0 on Wednesday.

[ WATCH: Ronaldo tosses reporter’s microphone into a lake ]

With the Green Army needing a win to keep its EURO hopes alive, Ireland sought a finish that would send them through to the last 16, and Brady’s goal did just that.

Martin O’Neill’s side were prepared to suffer a similar fate that had been bestowed upon them in their two previous European Championship appearances, but the team never quit and earned their first knockout round berth in the process.

The Italians, who had the benefit of resting the majority of its starting team on Wednesday afternoon, will prepare for a slugfest against Spain in Monday’s Round of 16 clash.