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Euro 2016: Northern Ireland join England and Wales in last 16

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Highlights: Northern Ireland 0-1 Germany

Northern Ireland joined England and Wales in the last 16 of the European Championship after finishing as one of the best third-placed teams.

Northern Ireland – in their first appearance at a Euros and first major tournament since 1986 – will now meet either Wales or France for a place in the quarter-finals.

Michael O’Neill’s side lost 1-0 to Germany on Tuesday but finished third in Group C, with their tally of three points enough to see them advance on goal difference.

Turkey’s 2-0 victory against Czech Republic ensured that NI will be one of the four best third-placed teams who will go on to join the group winners and runners-up in the knockout stages.

The tie against the Welsh would take place on Saturday (kick-off 17:00 BST) in Paris, or they will play France in Lyon on Sunday (14:00 BST).

‘It’s surreal – a fantastic achievement’

“It’s surreal,” said NI boss O’Neill. “We were just on the coach so have been following on the BBC website. I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet but it’s a fantastic achievement.

“We knew the group would be difficult. What we saw tonight was a team that refused to be beaten by a big margin and did everything possible to stay in the game.

“Over the three games we deserve to be in the last 16. What we went through tonight will prepare us for anything in the next round and our players will be ready for whoever.”

Asked whether he would rather face Wales or France, O’Neill added: “If I was picking a team I thought we had a better chance against I would say Wales, but we’ll see who comes out after the final group games on Wednesday.”

Wales now know that they will either play Northern Ireland, Turkey or Albania.

Roy Hodgson’s England side play their last 16 match on Monday at 20:00 BST against the side that finishes second in Group F.

Who else has qualified?

Group A: France and Switzerland

Group B: Wales and England

Group C: Germany and Poland

Group D: Croatia and Spain

Group E: Italy

Group F: Hungary

Best third-placed teams: Slovakia and Northern Ireland

Who else can still go through?

A further two best third-placed spots are still available for the last 16 stage, with Albania clinging on having gained three points in Group A.

Two further places are still up for grabs in Groups E and F who play their final group matches on Wednesday.

Who is out?

Romania, Russia and the Czech Republic managed just one point each and Ukraine failed to collect a goal or a point.

Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Euro 2016: Northern Ireland join England and Wales in last 16

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