*Originally published on 13th June 2016
Not since we were beguiled by the searing genius of Damien Duff (and admittedly, the stodgy Saudi keeper) had Ireland led a game in a major tournament game. Wes Hoolahan promptly went about changing that, scoring an utterly sublime goal a couple of minutes into the second half. Here is the goal. Zlatan was spotted applauding afterwards, perhaps to offer encouragement to his teammates, but there may have been a hint of recognition for Wes in there too.
Here is the goal:
That final angle caused us to feel some tingly sensations, and we are not afraid to say that. It was an utterly bewitching performance by Hoolahan. Have a look at this swish of his wand:
Also, prepare to coo over this first touch:
Trust us, you're not the only one impressed:
What a fabulous goal for The Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan. Much more preferable to talk of Hoolahan's strikes than hooligan's strikes.
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) June 13, 2016
Wes Hoolahan now has as many Euros goals as Ruud Gullit and Raul.
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) June 13, 2016
Reliably informed that Hoolahan was referred to by German TV commentator as the "Irish Messi"in the first half #IRE
— Mark Rodden (@MRodden) June 13, 2016
SIT DOWN ZLATAN - YOU'RE SHARING A PITCH WITH WESSI
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) June 13, 2016
What a finish Wes Hoolahan 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
— Matt Le Tissier🌸 (@mattletiss7) June 13, 2016
It feels pretty good to have a magician playing in green.
By the way, those German TV commentators were being a bit overly-complimentary to Messi.