It was nervous but they did it!
As the clock ticked into the final five minutes, we were steeling ourselves for frustration.
But up stepped St Robbie Brady to head us into our first ever knockout stage at a European Championship.
After that, Brady and co should just get 10 out of 10 but here are the more honest ratings for a night of celebration.
Darren Randolph 7
A reasonable display, although a little bit of skill in his own box to avoid an Italian attacker did cause a small twinge of nerves.
Seamus Coleman 7
Italy got little joy down his side. Going forward he had a chance to slot in a goal on 56 minutes when he got into the box to rebound a Sirigu save from a Murphy shot but his effort lacked power.
Richard Keogh 7
One of the leaders, he marshalled the back-line well.
Ireland's Shane Duffy reacts to a chance ©INPHO/James Crombie
Shane Duffy 7
One errant back-pass for Randolph aside, Duffy held his own at the heart of defence, having impressed in the pre-tournament friendlies.
Stephen Ward 7
A bustling display from the left-back and was solid defensively.
James McCarthy 6
A quiet but solid game but at least was in his favourite role right in front of the defence - one normally occupied by Glenn Whelan which often makes McCarthy redundant. He was not redundant here in his role mopping up in front of the defence.
Jeff Hendrick 8
An impressive display from a player who has grown in stature as Euro 2016 has unfolded. He was unlucky not to score with an excellent long range effort which just - and I mean just - flew past Sirigu's right-hand post.
Worked his socks off in the centre of the park and took responsibility.
He was much quieter in the second half however but continued to put in a shift.
Robbie Brady 9
Tasked with set-piece deliveries as has been the norm, although his balls into the box were unable to trouble Italy too often. Often drifted centrally.
And as luck would have it, his central positioning was key in him heading the winner with five minutes to go and he was the beneficiary of a ball in.
He gets a 9 for making our nights. Hero!
Ireland's Shane Long confronts Salvatore Sirigu of Italy ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
James McClean 8
Bold and direct as always down the left-wing but lacked end product with his delivery. Should have had a penalty when he was bundled over in the box just before half-time.
He put in one great cross on 72 minutes which no player got to but caused Sirigu to flap at it.
Daryl Murphy 6
Worked hard but did not get many opportunities. He did force one good save with a header that Sirigu tipped over.
Shane Long 6
Ran the lines and channels as we have come to expect but had few chances to grab a goal. Got himself a silly booking for an altercation with Sirigu on 38 minutes. But put a shift in as always.
Aiden McGeady (for Murphy '69)
Got the last 20 minutes or so. Flashed a shot over on 73 minutes.
Wes Hoolahan (for McCarthy '76)
The goalscorer against Sweden was left out but as Ireland chased a goal, the Norwich man was thrown on. Missed a glorious chance just before Brady's goal. Redeemed himself with that magic ball in.
Stephen Quinn (for Long '89)
Came in for stoppage time.