EURO 2016

Republic of Ireland's complete tournament record

EURO 2016By Kevin Palmer
Ray Houghton's famous winner against Italy at USA'94
Ray Houghton's famous winner against Italy at USA'94

Any Irishman appearing in a major championship finals joins a select band of Irish heroes whose glorious legacies have been cemented for eternity.

While the players who represented Ireland at Euro 2012 may prefer to forget what was a miserable tournament, they still find their way into a select band of players who have pulled on a green shirt in a major tournament.

A few more will follow in these illustrious footsteps when Ireland play Sweden at Stade de France on Monday evening.

Ireland: 1 England: 0, European Championships, June 8th 1988
Jack Charlton’s success in qualifying Ireland for Euro’88 was thrilling in itself, but drawing England in our first game sent the country into hysteria. Ray Houghton’s winning goal turned so many fantasies into reality, and not just the fabled Joxter.
Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Hughton, Houghton, McGrath, Whelan, Galvin, Stapleton, Aldridge. Subs: Quinn for Stapleton (63), Sheedy for Galvin (76).


 
Ireland: 1 USSR: 1, European Championships, June 15th 1988
It was always going to be hard to top the England success, but Big Jack’s boys came close with another heroic performance against the eventual finalists. Ronnie Whelan’s stunning long-range strike earned us a point.
Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Hughton, Houghton, Whelan, Sheedy, Galvin, Stapleton, Aldridge. Subs: Cascarino for Stapleton (80).
 
Ireland: 0 Holland: 1, European Championships, June 18th 1988
A powerful Dutch side featuring Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten has blown England away in their previous match, but they were eight minutes from being dumped out by Ireland. Wim Kieft’s late winner save the day for eventual champions.

Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Hughton, Houghton, McGrath, Whelan, Galvin, Stapleton, Aldridge. Subs: Sheedy for Morris (45), Cascarino for Stapleton (82).

Ireland: 1 England: 1, World Cup finals, June 11th 1990

Just like Stuttgart two years before, the England were served up on a plate for Big Jack’s boys as they made their World Cup debuts. Gary Lineker’s early strike was cancelled out by Kevin Sheedy’s 73rd minute leveller.

Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Staunton, Houghton, McGrath, Townsend, Sheedy, Aldridge, Cascarino. Subs: McLoughlin for Aldridge (64).

Ireland: 0 Egypt: 0, World Cup finals, June 17th 1990

The tag of favourites did not sit too well with Big Jack’s boys, with their failure to break down a dogged Egyptian defence leaving their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages in the balance.

Line-up: Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Staunton, Houghton, McGrath, Townsend, Sheedy, Aldridge, Cascarino. Subs: McLoughlin for Aldridge (64), Quinn for Cascarino (84).

Ireland: 1 Holland: 1, World Cup finals, June 21st 1990

A late Niall Quinn goal cancelled out an early Ruud Gullit strike as Ireland’s three draws sent them through to the knock-out stages, with the Dutch also qualifying for the last 16.

Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Staunton, Houghton, McGrath, Townsend, Sheedy, Aldridge, Quinn. Subs: Cascarino for Aldridge (62), Whelan for Sheedy (62).

Ireland: 0 Romania: 0 – (Ireland win on penalties), World Cup finals, June 25th 1990

David O’Leary’s iconic penalty in the shoot-out sent the nation into a state of ecstasy as Big Jack’s team of heroes somehow managed to find a route to the World Cup quarter-finals.

Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Staunton, Houghton, McGrath, Townsend, Sheedy, Aldridge, Quinn. Subs: Cascarino for Aldridge (22), O’Leary for Staunton (94).

Ireland: 0 Italy: 1, World Cup finals, June 30th 1990

On a remarkable night in Rome, Ireland pushed the host nation all the way and had the fleeting chances to extend their remarkable journey in Italia’90. In the end, they came up just short.

Line-up: Bonner, Morris, McCarthy, Moran, Staunton, Houghton, McGrath, Townsend, Sheedy, Aldridge, Quinn. Subs: Cascarino for Quinn (53), Sheridan for Aldridge (78).

Ireland: 1 Italy: 0, World Cup finals, June 18th 1994

Ray Houghton’s place among the Irish soccer Gods was secured thanks to his goal against England in Stuttgart, but he cemented his legacy with a stunning winner against the Azzurri in Giants Stadium.

Line-up: Bonner, Irwin, Phelan, Babb, Staunton, McGrath, Keane, Townsend, Houghton, Sheridan, Coyne. Subs: McAteer for Houghton (68), Aldridge for Coyne (90).

Mexico: 2 Ireland: 1, World Cup finals, June 24th 1994

Amid the sweltering heat of Orlando, Ireland’s World Cup dreams stumbled in a game more famous for John Aldridge’s touchline rant at the match officials than any events than took place on the field.

Line-up: Bonner, Irwin, Phelan, Babb, Staunton, McGrath, Keane, Townsend, Houghton, Sheridan, Coyne. Subs: McAteer for Staunton (66), Aldridge for Coyne (67).

Ireland: 0 Norway: 0, World Cup finals, June 28th 1994

Ireland secured the point they needed to make it through to the knock-out stages with a battling performance back in New York. It may not have been pretty, but it got the job done.

Line-up: Bonner, Kelly, Babb, McGrath, Staunton, Keane, Townsend, Sheridan, McAteer, Houghton, Aldridge. Subs: Kelly for Aldridge (65), Whelan for Townsend (75).

Ireland: 0 Holland: 2, World Cup finals, July 4th 1994

Back under the searing sun in Orlando, our World Cup dream died at the last 16 stage. Packie Bonner’s mistake handed the Dutch a goal, but Ireland were never close to causing the upset.

Line-up: Bonner, Phelan, McGrath, Babb, Kelly, Staunton, Keane, Houghton, Townsend, Sheridan, Coyne. Subs: McAteer for Staunton: (63), Cascarino for Coyne (74).

Ireland: 1 Cameroon: 1, World Cup finals, June 1st 2002

The national had been plunged into turmoil by Roy Keane’s exit from the Ireland squad before this World Cup opener in Niigata, but Matt Holland filled the void left behind with his valuable goal.

Line-up: Given, Harte, Staunton, Breen, Kelly, McAteer, Holland, Kinsella, Duff, Kilbane, Keane. Subs: Finnan for McAteer (46), Reid for Harte (77)

Ireland: 1 Germany: 1, World Cup finals, June 5th 2002

The roars of delight that erupted as Robbie Keane snatched his last gasp leveller could be heard from Galway to Kashima Stadium in Ibaraki. It was all that Ireland deserved for a thrilling performance:

Line up: Given, Finnan, Breen, Staunton, Kelly, Harte, Holland, Kinsella, Kilbane, Duff, Keane: Subs: Quinn for Kelly (73), Reid for Harte (73), Cunningham for Staunton (87)

Ireland: 3 Saudi Arabia: 0, World Cup finals, June 11th 2002

The task of seeing off a poor Saudi side was completed thanks to goals from Robbie Keane, Gary Breen and the impressive Damien Duff. Despite all the furore over Roy Keane’s departure, Mick McCarthy’s men had come through their group.

Line up: Given, Finnan, Staunton, Breen, Harte (Niall Quinn 46), Gary Kelly (McAteer 80), Kinsella (Lee Carsley 89), Holland, Kilbane, Robbie Keane, Duff. 

Ireland: 1 Spain: 1 (Spain win on penalties), June 16th 2002

After a thrilling game in Suwon, Irish hearts were shattered in a penalty shoot-out that saw Matt Holland, David Connolly and Kevin Kilbane miss their kicks. Heroic failure was little consolation for McCarthy’s boys on a night when Spain were there for the taking.

Line-up: Given, Finnan, Breen, Staunton, Kelly, Harte, Holland, Kinsella, Kilbane, Duff, Keane. Subs: Cunningham for Staunton (50), Quinn for Kelly (55), Connolly for Harte (82)

Ireland: 1 Croatia: 3, European Championships, June 12th 2012

Hopes were high that Giovanni Trapattoni’s men could defy the odds and emerge from a tough opening group, but a first half Sean St Ledger goal was only a consolation in a heavy defeat.

Line up: Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff, Doyle, Keane, Subs: Walters for Doyle (53), Cox for McGeady (54), Long for Keane 75)

Ireland: 0 Spain: 4, European Championships, June 14th 2012

The air had been taken out of Irish ambition by the time we reached the second group game in Poland, with Spain far too good for Trapattoni’s side as they were blown away in Gdansk.

Line up: Given, St Ledger, Ward, O'Shea, Dunne, Whelan, McGeady, Andrews, Duff, Keane, Cox. Subs: Walters for Cox (46), McClean for Duff (76), Green for Whelan (80)

Ireland: 0 Italy: 2, European Championships, June 18th 2012

Ireland’s bedraggled players were ready to come home before they kicked off against Italy, with goals from Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli firing a nail into Trapattoni’s miserable tournament.

Line up: Given, St Ledger, Ward, O'Shea, Dunne, Whelan, McGeady, Andrews (sent off), Duff, Doyle. Subs: Long for McGeady (65), Walters for Doyle (76), Cox for Keane (86).