Paris, June 26: Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley scored a same-side goal at the 75th minute of the pre-quarter final match against Wales which saw his side crashing out of the Euro this year. [Wales beat Northern Ireland 1-0 to make Euro quarters]
Till that point of time, Michael O'Neill's side succeeded in restricting the opponent's superstar Gareth Bale who, however, produced the wicked cross which led to North Ireland's ouster through its own player. [Euro: Round of 16 line-up, fixtures, game timings in IST]
The victory took Wales to the last eight, first time since the 1958 World Cup which was also their last appearance in a major tournament before the start of Euro this year.
This intra-UK contest generated interest for it came just a day after the UK voted to go out of the European Union (EU) in a historic referendum by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
In EU referendum, Northern Ireland wanted to remain while Wales wanted to leave
The contest was also significant from the point of view that in the just-held referendum, while Northern Ireland voted in favour of remaining in the EU just like Scotland---another constituent of the UK---Wales backed the Brexit. [Post Brexit, will Northern Ireland now focus on a united Ireland?]
While 55.7 per cent on Northern Ireland wanted to stay back in the EU, 51.7 per cent in Wales decided it the other way round.
Voices in Wales said the Brexit will help the country save billions as the responsibility of paying a huge money to the EU will not exist anymore. The Northern Ireland, on the other hand, was ruing the fact that the Brexit will see the EU's funding its peace process getting hit.
As in politics, football also proved to be a disappointment for Northern Ireland as they lost the match tragically and were left out of the tournament. The Welsh, however, unlike in the referendum, wanted to remain in the Euro and they succeeded.
England, the other country from the UK playing in the Euro, will play Iceland in their pre-quarter final match and will hope to remain in the tournament unlike what they had dimed for in the referendum.