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Wales vs Northern Ireland. European Championships Round of 16.

Parc des PrincesAttendance44,342.

Wales 1

  • G McAuley (75th minute own goal)

Northern Ireland 0

    Wales 1-0 Northern Ireland: Gareth McAuley own goal sends Chris Coleman's side through

    Patrick Surlis

    Sunday 26 June 2016 01:00, UK

    Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley (front) can only divert a cross from Wales' Gareth Bale into his own net
    Image: Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley (front) can only divert a cross from Wales' Gareth Bale into his own net

    A late own goal by Gareth McAuley sent Wales through to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 with a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

    Wales 1-0 N Ireland player ratings

    Wales 1-0 N Ireland player ratings

    Nathan Blake and Steve Lomas give their player ratings following Wales' 1-0 win

    Gareth Bale produced the cross from the left, and with Wales substitute Hal Robson-Kanu anticipating a tap-in, McAuley turned past his own goalkeeper from close range on 75 minutes.

    In the first match between two British teams in the knockout stages of a major tournament, Aaron Ramsey had a goal correctly ruled out for offside for Wales, who largely restricted Northern Ireland to shots from distance.

    Wales celebrate Gareth McAuley's own goal
    Image: Wales celebrate Gareth McAuley's own goal

    Jamie Ward and Stuart Dallas each tested Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey in the first half, but Michael O'Neill's side struggled to carve out another clear-cut opportunity as the match progressed.

    Wales, who will play in the quarter-final of a major competition for the second time in their history, march on in France and will face the winner of Hungary against Belgium on Friday night in Lille.

    An own-goal from Northern Ireland put Wales in the lead
    Image: Michael McGovern was left helpless as Gareth McAuley turned the ball past his team-mate

    Kyle Lafferty replaced Conor Washington in attack for Northern Ireland in their only alteration from their 1-0 defeat by Germany, and they started the brighter team against an unchanged Wales side.

    The first chance of the match arrived when a swift counter-attacking move picked out Dallas on the edge of the box, his first-time shot drawing a smart save from Hennessey.

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    Aaron Ramsey has the ball in the net, but it's rightly ruled out for offside
    Image: Aaron Ramsey had the ball in the net in the first half but was ruled out for offside

    Northern Ireland's pressing continued to cause Wales problems as Coleman's side struggled to find their fluency in the first half, but they did have the ball in the net after 19 minutes through Ramsey.

    The Arsenal midfielder, who opened his tournament account in the 3-0 victory over Russia, reacted first to turn home Sam Vokes' knock-down but was correctly adjudged offside.

    In a half of few chances Hennessey then turned a firm strike from Ward over the crossbar, while the period ended for Wales without a shot on target and with top scorer Bale restricted to a single effort from 25 yards.

    Stuart Dallas and Jonny Evans keep a close eye on Gareth Bale
    Image: Stuart Dallas and Jonny Evans kept a close eye on Gareth Bale in the first half

    But they improved after the break and went close to breaking the deadlock when Vokes headed Ramsey's curling cross wide of Michael McGovern's goal.

    The Northern Ireland goalkeeper, who turned in an inspired performance against Germany to help his side reach the knockout stage, was finally called into action after 58 minutes, palming clear a dipping free-kick by Bale.

    Jonny Evans of Northern Ireland and Gareth Bale of Wales compete for the ball during the Euro 2016 last-16 tie
    Image: Gareth Bale was frustrated in the first half by a dogged Northern Ireland defence

    The Real Madrid superstar had been expertly shackled by a tenacious Northern Ireland defence up to that point, but with extra time looming, he stepped up with a moment of quality to send his side through.

    Ramsey slipped Bale in down the left and the forward whipped in a fizzing low cross that McAuley could only turn goalward with Robson-Kanu waiting to pounce.

    Wales' forward Hal Robson-Kanu (R) celebrates after an own goal by Northern Ireland's defender Gareth McAuley (C) during the Euro 2016 round of sixteen foo
    Image: Hal Robson-Kanu was waiting to pounce behind Gareth McAuley when the Northern Ireland man turned home

    O'Neill threw on Niall McGinn and Josh Magennis as Northern Ireland went in search of a dramatic equaliser but they failed to test Hennessey again as their impressive tournament run came to an end in Paris.

    The only concern for Wales may be an injury suffered by captain Ashley Williams, who played the final ten minutes with his left arm motionless after a heavy collision with team-mate Jonathan Williams.

    The defender has six days before Wales are in action again, with their quarter-final opponent set to be confirmed on Sunday night when Hungary play Belgium in Toulouse.

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