jeudi 23 juin 2016

Ireland remarkable XI in history

The XI of Eire that made some memorable runs into the main international competitions which are the World and Euro tournaments.

So that's about the Republic of Ireland, and the first time that the Boys in Green played in a major tournament finals was in 1988, at the Euro held in West Germany.

They finished 3rd in the group 1 behind the two eventual finalists Soviet Union and Nertherlands not without honour as they started by beating England (1-0, Houghton), making a draw-game with the Soviets (1-1, Whelan) before to loose in a decisive match with the Oranje (0-1, Kieft).

Here's the 1988 Euro tournament Irish typical XI :

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 1988
+ Sheedy (winger) as the twelth man. And Cascarino (striker) as the thirteenth man. Niall Quinn had appeared only once, in the first game against England.

Always with Jack Charlton as the headcoach, Ireland qualifies to the 1990 World Cup finals.
Here's the XI that is defeated only in the quarter-finals against the hosting team Italy (0-1), after three draw games in the First Round (England, Holland, Egypt) and had gone throught the Round of 16 by beating Romania in a penalty shootout :

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 1990
Jack Charlton's era ends with a new participation to the World Cup, in 1994, in the United States and here's the Green Army XI that participated in the event (victory over Italy, loss to Mexico, draw game with Norway and elimination in the round of 16 by The Netherlands) :

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 1994
+ McAteer, ALdridge and Cascarino for the last 15 minutes in the tournament.

8 years later, this time under the former centre-half of the National team Mick McCarthy, Ireland once again features amongst the last 16. Second in the Group B behind Germany (draw games with Cameroon and Germany then a victory against Saudi Arabia in the third game) they lost then to Spain after a 1-1 (Keane) and a penalty shootout (only).

Here's the XI that reached the round of 16 in Japan and South Korea (Ireland played in Japan during the group stage and in South Korea, in Suwon i nthe round of 16) : 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 2002
+ McAteer and N. Quinn.
This is the third and last participation of Ireland in a World Cup up to now.

However, Ireland failed to qualify to the 2010 World Cup by an inch as (maybe most of all) the supporters, and of course the journalists remember.

That was against France. And here's the XI :

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 2009

Trapattoni was the coach and he finally succeeded in qualifying the Green Boys for a final tournament in 2012. That was the Euro held in Ukraine and Poland.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 2012
But it's an early exit this time with 3 defeats in the Group stage in front of Italy, Croatia and a Spanish team that will keep the trophy. The important was to be there. The supporters were and well, in any case.
+ Long and Cox.

After Ireland failed to qualify to the Brazilian World Cup, they did not missed the opportunity to participate in a second Euro championship in a row.

Qualified as one of the best third (a first at the Euro as the competiton welcomes 24 teams for the first time),  after the have beaten Italy (second best third exactly), the National Team coach Martin O'Neill (Northern Ireland former player, seconded by Roy Keane) and his boys are now waiting for a rendez-vous with the hosting Nation, France, in the round of 16. The match will be played on June the 26th, i.e in three days.

Naturally, the Irish XI of this 2016 Euro tournament will be added here. Soon or later.

...a promise is a promise and here is the Irish XI at the Euro 2016, as they lined against France in the Round of 16 :

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND 2016
Finally with the right colour of jersey (well they played in white against France but the idea is understood).
As the second best third of this first tournament with 24 teams, Ireland inherated of the hosting nation, France, in the round of 16. Ireland quickly opened the score on penalty but finally lost on the score of 2-1.
They had qualified after a 1-0 win over Italy in the last group stage day match (1-1 with Sweden in their first match then a 3-0 loss against Belgium before this).
In the game against France, Hoolahan, who had started in the two first Euro games of Ireland, entered in attack for the last 15-20 minutes, like previously against Italy. The winger Jon Walters entered for Daryl Murphy. Veteran defender John O'Shea entered for McClean. The initial central defense O'Shea-Clark had been changed for Duffy-Keogh after the loss to Belgium.
The two players who very probably stood out individually from this team were Brady and the keeper, Randolph.


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