Patrice Evra: "Irish people should be proud of their team"

France left-back credits Ireland team for pushing them close in Lyon clash

Patrice Evra, France, Ireland

Picture by: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/Press Association Images

France left-back Patrice Evra has credited Ireland for pushing the host nation close in their Euro 2016 last-16 clash.

Ireland held a 1-0 half-time lead in Lyon until two goals from Antoine Griezmann saw the French through into a quarter-final against England or Iceland.

After the game, Juventus full-back, Evra acknowledged the pride the Boys in Green should have in their performance when he spoke to ITV Sport.

"It was difficult. That's why I want to congratulate the Irish team because they were tough and it was a great game. They played a good tournament and all the fans and the Irish people should be proud of their team," said the former Manchester United player.

"We knew it would be difficult. No one game is easy in this tournament and I knew it would be difficult today. And with the win I am really happy with my team-mates but as I say I congratulate all of the Irish players."

It was a point echoed by France and Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud, who admitted Ireland "played well in the first minutes".