Seamus Coleman captained Ireland to a famous victory over the Italians and said he was almost in tears when Robbie Brady struck for the winning goal.
Ireland got the win they needed to qualify from the group on a memorable night in Lille.
Coleman was captain in the absence of John O'Shea whose place in defence went to Shane Duffy. The big defender, whose father Brian is from Letterkenny, had a wonderful game alongside Richard Keogh.
Brady headed home an 86th minute winner from a Wes Hoolahan delivery to send the Irish fans wild.
"It's incredible, the emotion I felt when that goal went in,” Coleman said.
“I fully felt like we deserved it. You don't know if it is going to come and then it came. My god, it is going to be a night we remember. You were nearly in tears as it happened,.”
Coleman also had special praise for Hoolahan after his miss that looked like being so costly.
"I'll tell you what. You have to give Wes a hell of a lot of credit because a lot of players would have put their heads down after that, or sulked, or thought 'I'm gonna be the one who missed the chance' but not Wes.
"He got on with it, and what a delivery and what a run from Robbie Brady. What a night for us all."