Monday, 13th June
Wales won, England drew, and Northern Ireland lost. Now the Republic of Ireland needed to show what they could do.
Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic really 'over-rated', as Martin O'Neil once said?
The next ninety-four minutes should help us make up our own minds about the player who uttered the words it's 'his city', 'his stadium' and 'his tournament'; from the mouth of his own big head.
The first forty-five minutes belonged to Ireland. They created plenty of chances and subdued the over-rated one, but went in to the break with no goals to show; although Jeff Hendrick did hit the bar.
Half-time: Republic of Ireland 0 - Sweden 0
Three minutes into the second-half, Ireland were deservedly in front; thanks to a Wes Hoolahan half-volley after a little jink and cross from Seamus Coleman on the right. Even the big Zlat clapped.
Ireland should have continued to press Sweden instead of sitting back and trying to hold on to a narrow lead.
With twenty minutes to go, Sweden equalised; thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's powerful stride and cross into the goalmouth, from the left touchline. With Sebastian Larsson behind him, Ciaran Clark dived to intercept the ball, but steered it in his own net.
The game promised so much for so long for Ireland, but in the end they proved (worth) a point; and so did Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Sweden never even had a shot on target.
Group E in St-Denis.
Final Score: Republic of Ireland 1 - Sweden 1
1:0 (Wes Hoolahan, 48)
1:1 (Ciaran Clark, own goal, 71)
Republic of Ireland:
2-Seamus Coleman, 4-John O'Shea, 3-Ciaran Clark, 19-Robbie Brady;
8-James McCarthy, 6-Glenn Whelan, 13-Jeff Hendrick, 20-Wes Hoolahan;
14-Jon Walters, 9-Shane Long.
2-Mikael Lustig, 14-Victor Lindelof, 4-Andreas Granqvist, 5-Martin Olsson;
7-Sebastian Larsson, 18-Oscar Lewicki, 9-Kim Kallstrom, 6-Emil Forsberg;
11-Marcus Berg, 10-Zlatan Ibrahimovic.