Brady: Winner an ‘out of body experience’

Republic of Ireland goal hero Robbie Brady said hitting the winner against Italy that sent his team into the last 16 was like an “out of body experience”.

Norwich winger Brady headed the winner five minutes from time as Ireland beat a much-changed Italian side to qualify for the knockout stages for the first ever time.

After the match, man of the match winner Brady said: “I lost myself a little but couldn’t help it, it’s what dreams are made of.

“It’s a proud night for myself and fantastic for the team. People talk of an out-of-body experience with these goals and I was lucky to experience it. I’m stuck for words, still.”

Brady said that he thought Ireland had blown it when Wes Hoolahan missed a glorious one-on-one chance just seconds before his strike.

“The chance Wes Hoolahan had was a massive moment but it shows the character and playmaker he is to pick the ball up two minutes later and put it where I ran, right on my head. I’d have done well to miss.

“It was our last chance, I said we had players to hurt them and it shows the team spirit. We had it all, we rode our luck at times but stuck at it and put in a great performance. Roll on France.”

Looking forward to the last 16 tie with France, Brady said his team have nothing to fear.

“We’ve shown some fantastic results to get here. It was hard against a relentless Italian side but I don’t think we’ve got anything to fear, we know they’re a top-class team but if we click we can hurt anybody. We can go as far as we allow ourselves in this tournament.”