At half-time Republic of Ireland fans dared to dream.
After beating Italy to reach the last-16, Robbie Brady's early penalty had given them a 1-0 lead over hosts France at the break - and the possibility of the biggest upset of Euro 2016 was very much on the cards.
Confidence was high. The France fans were booing their players off. Irish fans sensed something big.
-- Vinny Foran (@Vinny19671) June 26, 2016
No-one was naive enough to suspect it would be all plain sailing after the break, and even as the half-time analysis was being delivered the nerves remained.
But the analysts agreed, Ireland deserved their lead. The pressure was weighing heavily on the hosts.
Ireland been physically strong. Also mentally as they've never taken a backward step. France have to dig deep. Have they got it #FRAIRL
-- Neil Lennon (@neil_lennon44) June 26, 2016
France dug deep. Most significantly, Antoine Griezmann - who broke Irish hearts in a stunning 10-minute burst.
He struck twice in the space of four minutes and then forced Shane Duffy into a foul that the defender made knowing that he would probably see red, but also stop a near-certain goal.
I think Duffy played well he had no other choice but too bring greizmen down
-- JAMES (@James2oconnell) June 26, 2016
Fair play to Shane Duffy, took one for the team. No doubt about it he had to take Griezmann out.
-- John Deane (@jdeano14) June 26, 2016
From that moment, Ireland's race was run.
The expectation of half-time pricked. Expectation gone. It was a tough pill to swallow but, with 25 minutes to stew over a campaign that saw the Republic qualify for Euro 2016 from a group that included Poland and Germany and then beat Italy to reach the knockout phase, there was nothing but love from the fans.
-- paulmclean (@polmac7) June 26, 2016
Absolutely gutted. But they done themselves proud, and the same goes for Northern Ireland, both teams will be back at upcoming tournaments
-- Barry Whyte (@BarryWhyte85) June 26, 2016
-- Laura Byrne (@LolsyByrne) June 26, 2016
My ?is sore for Ireland! ? What an outstanding performance by all the team, played out their skins! Fans fantastic aswell. Well done x
-- That's Plenty ? (@littlemisscelt1) June 26, 2016
-- Stephen McDonnell (@Stephen_EDS) June 26, 2016
The Irish fans endeared themselves off the pitch too.
They will be missed.