27 Jun 2016

France, Germany, Belgium advance to EURO quarters

1:22 pm on 27 June 2016

Hosts France came from behind to beat 10-man Ireland 2-1 and reach football's Euro 2016 quarter-finals after two second-half goals from forward Antoine Griezmann in Lyon.

German footballer Mario Gomez.

German footballer Mario Gomez. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

France will play either England or Iceland at the Stade de France in Paris next Monday.

In this morning's second game Germany crushed Slovakia 3-0 to set up a quarter-final showdown with either holders Spain or Italy.

Goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Julian Draxler confirmed Germany's status as tournament favourites during the sparkling performance.

Central defender Boateng connected perfectly with a clearance in the eighth minute to volley in from 25 metres for his first international goal as the world champions took control from the start.

The Germans saw Mesut Ozil's weak 13th minute penalty saved but Gomez made no mistake two minutes from half-time when he tapped home a perfect cut back from the marauding Julian Draxler.

Draxler, slipping into the starting lineup for the lacklustre Mario Goetze, was then left with far too much space at the far post to volley in their third just past the hour as the Germans kept a fourth straight clean sheet at the finals.

In the final match of the day Belgium captain Eden Hazard scored a fine solo goal to help his side to a 4-0 victory over Hungary to clinch a last eight tie against Wales.