Euro 2016: Wales vs Northern Ireland… Live

by | Jun 25, 2016

So here we are, then. The first all-British meeting at the European Championships arrives at a time of flux back home for the supporters of both Wales and Northern Ireland, and it may be instructive this afternoon to keep half an eye on the atmosphere at the end of the most fractious week in the living memory of politics in this country. And all of this is a shame in its own way, because anything that masks this most unexpected and welcome of second matches is detracting from a unique event in the history of both Welsh and Northern Irish sport.

Wales, of course, were the deserved surprise winners of their group with two wins from three matches and probably the best team performance of the competition so far in their systematic dismantling of Russia in their final group match. They’ve only been behind for ninety seconds in the entire tournament, and with their team seemingly hitting peak form at exactly the right time, hopes are high that they might be able to get considerably further in this competition yet.

Northern Ireland’s progress to this stage of the competition has been a little more convoluted. Defeats against Poland and Germany were interrupted by a truly excellent performance and win against Ukraine, and this result alone was enough to see them through in the last of the best positioned third place positions on goal difference above Turkey and Albania. Can they cause a surprise this afternoon at Parc des Princes? Let’s find out.

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