Take a trip down memory lane with us as we relive some of the Republic of Ireland’s greatest ever games! Oh, the nostalgia!
1. Ireland 1-0 England – Euro 88
Stuttgart 88, Irelands first display at a major international tournament. The opposition the old enemy of England and Ireland came into this one as massive underdog. A rare Ray Haughton header secures a miraculous win for the boys in green as Packie Bonner puts on a heroic performance in goal to deny the likes of Gary Linekar uncountable times as Ireland hold on for a famous victory. Jack Charlton is hailed as an Irish sporting legend forevermore as the country truly falls in love with soccer for the first time.
2. Ireland 3-2 France – 82 WC qualifiers
This one may not have led to any significant gains for the National team, but it is certainly one of those iconic Lansdowne Road performances. This Ireland side an ability to put on a show as they started the group with a 3-2 victory over. A 55 thousand strong crowd witness an unbelievable game of footballs as greats such as Michel Platini were humbled by goals from Stapleton and Robertson along with a stroke of luck early on with an own goal allowed the boys in green to snatch all three points as this side would go on to be hailed the best that never qualified.
3. Ireland 1-0 Holland – WC qualifiers 02
A crucial win along the way to qualification to the 2002 World cup as Mick McCarthy’s men stunned a star-studded Dutch side in a result which would pip them to 2nd in the group and secure a playoff berth. Roy Keane had one of his Greatest performances in a Green shirt as he marshalled the midfield battle and bossed it throughout. Jason McAteer forever cemented his name into the minds of Soccer fans up and down the country as it was his goal which sealed another famous Lansdowne Road victory.
4. Ireland 1-0 Italy – USA 94
Giants Stadium, a crowd of 75 thousand most of which were Irish Americans packed out the iconic old NFL ground to witness another Jack Charlton managerial masterclass. This Italy team would go on to reach the final and lose only on penalties to one of the best Brazil teams of all time. It was again Ray Haughton this time with a screamer from a volley who got the only goal of the game as the crowd spurred the team on and Paul McGraths defensive showing sealed the 3 points which would carry Ireland eventually to the 2nd round. Italy did not lose another game in normal time in the tournament.
5. Ireland 1-0 Italy – Euro 2016
Martin O’Neill’s finest moment at the helm as Ireland needed a win against all odds to go through into the knockout rounds. Ireland dominated throughout the game in Lille but couldn’t not find an opening. Wes Hoolahan had missed a golden opportunity late on and it looked like it would end in tears in France. Italy had just came close hitting the woodwork and forcing Randolph into some saves before that man Hoolahan put in one of the assists of the tournament for Robbie Brady to head home. Ireland went on to put in another heroic performance against the hosts in the next round but fell just short as the squad rekindled the spirit of teams that had went before them.
6. Ireland 1-0 Germany – Euro 2016 Qualifiers
The World champions had arrived in Dublin for a crucial qualification match up with the Boys in Green. Ireland effectively had to win to keep any real hopes of the Euros in France alive. The players were greeted with an incredible atmosphere at a packed-out Aviva stadium. Irelands defence held firm against the constant pressure from the German attack. Then in the 70th minute the ball came to Darren Randolph who opted for a long punt up the field which incredibly found Shane Long who connected with the shot as sweetly as possible and found the net past Manuel Neur. Ireland held out to close the game out and pick up the Aviva stadiums greatest footballing victory.
7. Ireland 0-0 Romania (5-4) – Italia 90 Round of 16
Genoa 1990 Irelands greatest moment on a football pitch. A world cup round of 16 game against a strong Romanian side. The Romanians dominated for most of the match but just couldn’t break through a resolute defence which held out for all 120 minutes before the incredible drama a penalty shootout. The first four penalty’s whilst there were some nervy moments were all put away by both teams. Then up stepped Timofte for Romania. His penalty was brilliantly saved by Packie Bonner. Ireland now needed to convert, and it was all over. To everyone watching’s surprise it was David O’Leary how took on the almighty pressure. He tapped home as Ireland secured qualification to the World Cup quarter finals in the country’s finest ever performance at a major tournament.