Euro 2016: Here's what Republic of Ireland now need to do to progress from Group E


After Italy's late win over Sweden on Friday followed by the Republic of Ireland's heavy defeat to Belgium on Saturday afternoon, all four of the teams in Group E now have just one remaining match to play.

We've looked at how every possible combination of results influences the ongoing participation of Martin O'Neill's side in the tournament.

Graphic showing possible outcomes of Group E

If Ireland beat Italy

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 Group E soccer match between Ireland and Sweden at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, France
(Francois Mori/AP)

Beginning with the most optimistic scenario, if Ireland beat Italy then they can still qualify for the knockout phases. However, unless they can defeat the Italians by a heavy margin while Sweden scrape a narrow win over Belgium, it would only as one of the four best third-placed teams.

Should Belgium beat the Swedes then their six points would keep Ireland third, while a draw for the Belgians would leave both them and the Irish on four points. With teams' results against each other used as a tie-breaker before their overall records, Ireland would be pushed into third due to their loss to the Belgians.

If Sweden were to beat Belgium then they would join Ireland on four points instead and, as they drew with the Irish in their opening match, overall records would be used as a tie-breaker. Martin O'Neill's men currently have an inferior goal difference after their recent 3-0 defeat and hence would need a big win in their final game to overtake the Swedes, who only lost 1-0 in their second fixture.

If Ireland draw with Italy

Republic of Ireland fans in the stands during the UEFA Euro 2016, Group E match at the Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo
(Chris Radburn/PA)

A draw in their final game, while a creditable result in its own right, is unlikely to be of much use to the Irish. If Belgium were to beat Sweden then it would move Ireland up to third in the table but, with just two points and a goal difference of -3 to their name, it seems likely that at least four other third-placed teams would finish with a superior record.

If Ireland lose to Italy

A Republic of Ireland fan appears dejected after the UEFA Euro 2016, Group E match at the Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux.
(Chris Radburn/PA)

If Ireland were to be defeated in their final match then only a heavy defeat for Sweden against Belgium would keep them off the bottom of the Group E table. However with just a single point to their name their participation in the tournament would surely be over regardless.

Likely knock-out opponents

Spain's Alvaro Morata, left, celebrates after scoring his sideÂ's third goal during the Euro 2016 Group D soccer match between Spain and Turkey at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France
(Manu Fernandez/AP)

Assuming that Ireland win against Italy in their last match and finish third in Group E, they would be drawn against the winner of either Group A, B, C or D in the last 16. The current leaders of those four groups are a daunting quartet indeed: hosts France, rivals England, reigning world champions Germany or defending European champions Spain.