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Irish International Soccer Goal Facts and Information
The following are some interesting statistics, facts and information about the Republic of Ireland soccer team and Irish football in general.
As detailed elsewhere on this site the first person to score a goal for Ireland at the senior international soccer level was Paddy Duncan. At the 1924 Paris Olympics Duncan scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Bulgaria on Wednesday 28th May 1924. From the St James Gate Football Club in Dublin, Duncan played for the Irish Free State on four occasions and scored a total of two goals.
The current record goal scorer for the Republic of Ireland is Robbie Keane who has score more goals than the combined toal of the next three highest goal scorers (Niall Quinn, Tony Cascarino & Don Givens). In the last of the 2002 World Cup qualification matches the previous record had been set at 21 goals by Niall Quinn when he stooped to head the second goal against Cyprus on 6th October 2001 at Lansdowne Road. Robbie Keane equalled Quinn's total on the September 4th 2004 also against Cyprus. Keane became the outright Irish record goal scorer just over a month later when he scored two goals against the Faroe Islands during the 2006 World Cup Qualifying Campaign. Robbie Keane scored his first international hat trick for Ireland against San Marino at Lansdowne Road (now the Aviva Stadium) in a 5-0 win during Ireland's Euro 2008 Qualifying Group. He scored a second hat trick against the Faroe Islands during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
While Robbie Keane is the Irish international record goal scorer, and has an impressive goal scoring ratio, he will surely never emulate the ratio achieved by former Irish international Jimmy Dunne. From Dublin, Dunne had a playing career that lasted almost twenty years, from 1923 to 1942.
His Irish international career began and finished during the 1930's making his debut in May 1930 and his final appearance for Ireland was in May 1939. In 15 appearances Dunne scored 13 goals - that is an international goals per match ratio or strike rate of 86.66% - impressive by any standards. He spent eight seasons with Sheffield United and scored 143 goals in 173 matches - a scoring ratio of 82.66%.
Admittedly it is difficult to make comparisons amongst players across the football eras but by any standards Jimmy Dunne must rank as one of the greatest Irish soccer players ever.
The most goals scored by an Irish international player in one match is four. The first player to achieve this feat was Paddy Moore in a qualifier match for the 1934 World Cup Finals against Belgium on 25th February 1934.
It was the first ever World Cup qualifier played by the then Irish Free State team. 35,000 fans crammed into Dalymount Park to witness Moore, of Aberdeen in the Scottish league, single handedly keep the Irish in the match. It was a remarkable achievement as Moore's career and life were already being blighted by his alcoholism which eventually led to his premature death at the age of 41. Don Givens also scored four goals for Ireland in one match in 1975.
There are plenty more such soccer facts and statistics but if you have any gems that you think should be included or if you have any corrections please contact Soccer Ireland today.
Republic of Ireland Goal Facts - Irish Goal Information - Ireland Goal Statistics - Irish Goal Scorers