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Irish Soccer Records, Facts & Statistics
The following are some interesting statistics, facts and information about the Republic of Ireland soccer team and Irish football in general.
Beginning with a 5-0 Lansdowne Road victory over Turkey on 17 October 1990 Ireland went unbeaten for 16 football matches. The unbeaten sequence for the Irish ended on 13 October 1993 when Spain beat Ireland 1-3, also at Lansdowne Road (now the Aviva Stadium).
The record sequence without loss included the following matches: Turkey (H-Win); England (H-Draw); England (A-Draw); Poland (H-Draw); Poland (A-Draw); Turkey (A-Win); Albania (H-Win); Latvia (H-Win); Denmark (A-Draw); Spain (A-Draw); Northern Ireland (H-Win); Denmark (H-Draw); Albania (A-Win); Latvia (A-Win); Lithuania (A-Win); Lithuania (H-Win).
During the late 1960's and early 1970's the Republic of Ireland created another less welcome football record by going almost exactly five years without a victory in a competitive soccer match. Following a victory on 22 November 1967 over Czechoslovakia it would not be until 15 November 1972 before the Irish would register another competitive victory - a win 2-1 over France at Dalymount Park. The sequence covered 14 competitive matches and during this period the Irish team was managed by three different regimes.
For the first four football matches in this winless sequence the Ireland team was managed by a five man committee. Mick Meagan was Irish soccer manager for the next eight matches. Following two more losses Liam Tuohy brought the unhappy sequence of losses to an end. The fourteen Irish soccer matches without a win included 11 losses and just three draws.
The sequence without a win was as follows: Denmark (H-Draw); Czechoslovakia (H-Loss); Denmark (A-Loss); Hungary (H-Loss); Czechoslovakia (A-Loss); Denmark (H-Draw); Hungary (A-Loss); Sweden (H-Draw); Sweden (A-Loss); Italy (A-Loss); Italy (H-Loss); Austria (H-Loss); Austria (A-Loss); Soviet Union (H-Loss).
The biggest loss by a Republic of Ireland football team was a 7-0 defeat to the mighty Brazilians. This worst defeat ever experienced by an Irish international soccer team was on 27 May 1982 at Uberlandia in Brazil. Although the team did include Liam Brady it was far from the strongest team that the Republic could have fielded. It is somewhat ironic that the Irish manager at the time, Eoin Hand, has the distinction of managing the Republic of Ireland to both the record defeat and the record margin of victory - 8-0 win over Malta (see below).
The biggest margin of victory by the Republic of Ireland soccer team was an 8-0 home win over Malta. Clearly it is also the greatest number of goals ever scored by an Irish team in a match. It was the final match in the 1984 European Championships qualification campaign, played at Dalymount Park.
In this record victory the goals were scored by Mark Lawrenson (2), Liam Brady (2), Frank Stapleton (pen), Kevin O'Callaghan, Kevin Sheedy, and Gerry Daly. An interesting contrast to this result is that Ireland only managed to score a total of eight goals in the next 16 Irish international soccer matches. Lawrenson, O'Callaghan, and Sheedy all qualified to play for Ireland through the Granny Rule.
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.
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