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Published: 19:16 | 21/6/16

Northern Ireland progress despite loss

McGovern prevents big defeat

Northern Ireland are through to the knockout stages of Euro 2016 despite a 1-0 defeat to Germany in Paris.

However, despite having a series of opportunities to ensure the margin of victory, a combination of poor finishing from the world champions and excellence from Michael McGovern in goal means Michael O’Neill’s side may not be going home just yet.

Thomas Muller’s disappointing tournament continued as he spurned a number of opportunities, the Bayern Munich forward hitting the post and bar as well as being denied by McGovern on a number of occasions.

However, it was intelligent play from Muller which created the only goal of the game, his surging run and selfless cutback allowing the recalled Mario Gomez to drive home from 12 yards.

In truth, Northern Ireland were outclassed but their commitment and defensive shape prevented Joachim Loew’s side from converting just one of their 28 attempts on goal.

Despite the loss, they are through to the last 16 thanks to Turkey's 2-0 win over Czech Republic on Tuesday evening.

The Germans top the group ahead of Poland who defeated Ukraine in the other Group C fixture to ensured they finished in second place, behind Germany on goal difference.

Although the Poles missed two first half chances, Jakub Blaszczykowski curled in a left-foot shot for the winner after 54 minutes and Poland will now play Switzerland in the last 16 on Saturday.

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