Shane Duffy produced a heroic performance as the Republic of Ireland defeated Italy 1-0 to progress through to the knockout stage of Euro 2016.
In just his fourth cap for his country, the Rovers defender was a rock at the back and a threat from set-plays at the opposite end, as Martin O’Neill’s men booked a last 16 showdown with hosts France on Sunday.
Having been an unused substitute in Ireland’s opening two group games, Duffy was one of four changes made by O’Neill and the towering 24-year-old turned in an immense defensive display to repay his manager’s faith.
The Rovers star, who won the club’s Goal of the Season award last season, went close to opening the scoring with a first-half header and disrupted the Italian defenders on several other occasions.
However, it was Norwich winger Robbie Brady who stole the headlines, as he headed home a last-gasp cross from Wes Hoolahan, who had missed a golden opportunity to win it moments earlier.
The goal ensured that Ireland finished as one of the four best third-placed teams and extended their stay in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Corry Evans’ Northern Ireland will face Wales in Paris on Saturday for a place in the quarter-finals.