Wales striker Sam Vokes offered sympathy to Gareth McAuley after the veteran Northern Ireland defender’s own goal settled a tense Euro 2016 last-16 tie in Paris.
The all-British encounter threw up an attritional and largely forgettable contest but, 15 minutes from time, man-of-the-match Gareth Bale fizzed in a superb left-wing cross that forced McAuley to divert the ball past goalkeeper Michael McGovern.
“He’s a great player and he’s had a good tournament. It’s unfortunate that it’s an own goal that does it for him,” said Burnley forward Vokes
“It was a tough afternoon and being a British derby probably contributed to it. I thought Northern Ireland were brilliant in the way they went about it.
“For us it was tough to break them down but it just took that one moment, I suppose, when Gareth put it across the box and that was the difference.
“Every game is different. It’s tough to go into every game with the same mentality. We keep grinding out results, whether we’re playing 100 per cent as we were against Russia or against Northern Ireland when we were off it a bit. We still got the result.
“It’s massive. It’s amazing, it’s been a great journey so far and for it to continue with another game is a great feeling.”
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