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Watch: ‘Storming’ Northern Ireland fans in Paris as progress is confirmed

Northern Ireland were in full voice in Paris this afternoon and they’ve even more reason to cheer this evening after their progress through to the knockout stages was confirmed.

Despite a 1-0 defeat to reigning world champions earlier today, Michael O’Neill’s side, who finished their group with three points, will go through as one of the best third place sides following Czech Republic’s failure to beat Turkey in Group D.

Even though all group games have yet to conclude, the Green and White Army already have a better record than the other third placed teams Albania and Czech Republic/Turkey.

Northern Ireland will now play either hosts France or more than likely *Wales in the Round of 16. Their fate is expected to be confirmed tomorrow night.

*Should either Republic of Ireland or Sweden win tomorrow night, Northern Ireland will play Wales. If both fail to win, it will be France.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Paul Givan has praised the Northern Ireland football team for putting in such a good performance against the world champions, Germany, in this evening’s European Championship final group game.

Speaking from Paris after the game, the Minister said: “Despite the result the team can be justly proud of the display they put in against the World Champions. Germany have without doubt one of the strongest most experienced squads in the tournament, yet Northern Ireland gave them a very tough game. Particular praise must go to Michael McGovern who had one of the best goalkeeping performances of the tournament so far.”

The Minister added: “Again the Green and White Army cheered the team on from the first to the last minute – they have been fantastic ambassadors for our country. I hope now that the team and our fans, both at home and in France, will be rewarded with a place in the last 16 of the tournament as one of the best 3rd place finishers.”

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