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18 June 2016

A tough afternoon for City's Irish duo

REPUBLIC of Ireland need a win from their final group stage game at Euro 2016 to keep their hopes of progressing to the last 16 alive after a 3-0 defeat to Belgium on Saturday.

Martin O'Neill's side went into the break level after Wes Hoolahan headed Toby Alderweireld's effort off the line, but found themselves undone in the second half by some ruthless Belgian attacking.

The first goal, emphatically finished by Romelu Lukaku at the end of a swift counter on 48 minutes, came just moments after Ireland had what they believed were firm calls for a penalty waved away.

There were no complaints about the second however, which saw Axel Witsel rise highest on the hour-mark to firmly plant a header into the corner and double the Red Devils' lead.

Lukaku struck again to add a third with 20 minutes remaining, effectively completing what was eventually a comfortable victory.

City's Robbie Brady played the entirety of the Group E clash, with Hoolahan withdrawn shortly after Lukaku's second goal.

Ireland round off the group stage against Italy on Wednesday; the Azzuri having already booked their place in the next round courtesy of back-to-back wins from their opening two fixtures.

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