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Jun 21, 2016 at 5pm UK at ​Parc des Princes
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Michael O'Neill: 'Northern Ireland deserve to be in last 16 of Euro 2016'

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill describes his side's qualification to the last 16 of Euro 2016 as "surreal", but also well-deserved.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has described his side's qualification to the last 16 of Euro 2016 as "surreal", but insists that they deserve to be in the hat for the knockout stages of the competition.

The Green and Whites 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 following Turkey's 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.

O'Neill told BBC Sport: "It's surreal, 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 you for anything in the next round, our players will be ready for whoever."

Northern Ireland will meet fellow British nation Wales or tournament hosts France in the next round.


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Gareth McAuley scores during the Euro 2016 Group C match between Ukraine and Northern Ireland on July 16, 2016
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