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Irish Football > Football Statistics > Score Direct from Corner

Irish Players that have Scored Direct from a Corner Kick

Scoring a goal direct from a corner kick is one of the more difficult techniques in soccer and is a rare event. Yet, surprisingly, this unusual feat has been achieved by more than one Irish international footballer for the Republic of Ireland. Even more surprisingly it has been achieved twice by the same Irish player.

Johnny Gavin
The First Irish Player to Score Direct from a Corner for the Republic of Ireland

John Thomas Gavin, born in 1928 and from Limerick, became the first Irish player to score direct from a corner kick in an international match when he scored against Finland in 1949. It was on the occasion of a 1950 World Cup qualifier in Dalymount Park. Ireland beat the Finns 3-0 on 08 September 1949 and Johnny Gavin scored the opening goal after 35 minutes direct from a corner kick. Con Martin, father of Mick Martin, added two further goals either side of the half time break.

Johnny Gavin was a winger who played for Jamesborough United and Limerick in Ireland and played for Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford and Crystal Palace in England. During his English career he scored 173 goals in 478 senior appearances. It's not know if any of these goals were scored direct from corner kicks. Gavin won seven international caps for the Irish Free State / Republic of Ireland and he was the first player from Spurs to play for Ireland. Johnny Gavin passed away in September 1979 at the age of 79.

Steve Staunton
Only Irish Player to Score Direct from a Corner for the Republic of Ireland - Twice !

Steve Staunton is both a former Irish international footballer and a former manager of the Republic of Ireland senior team. As an Irish intentional player he was hugely successful and at 102 caps he was once the outright record holder. Staunton represented Ireland at three World Cup finals - in 1990, 1994 and the 2002 World Cup. He assumed the captaincy in the latter tournament after Roy Keane was sent home following the infamous Saipan affair. During his playing career with Ireland he scored eight goals.

Remarkably, and uniquely, two of these goals were scored direct from corner kicks. During a friendly match against Portugal in Boston, USA, in June 1992, Steve Staunton scored directly from a corner kick. The Irish won the match 2-0. Amazingly Staunton repeated this feat in another competitive match against Northern Ireland less than a year later. On 31 March 1993 at Lansdowne Road (now Aviva Stadium) the Republic of Ireland beat near neighbour 3-0 in a 1994 World Cup Qualifier. Staunton scored the Irish third goal in the 29th minute direct from a corner kick.

Stephen Staunton went on to manage the Irish national team for the 2008 Euro Championship qualification campaign. Following a number of very poor performances and results, including a humiliating 5-2 loss away to Cyprus, he was replaced by Giovanni Trapattoni for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

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.

Stephen McPhail Scores Direct from a Corner in 2000

Stephen McPhail scored directly from a corner during the 2000 US Nike Cup against South Africa. The goal helped beat the Africans 2-1 and to earn Ireland second place in the annual US Cup exhibition tournament and followed draws with Mexico (2-2) and the United States (1-1). McPhail scored his 'olimpico' from the right corner to the far post, where a backpedalling Andre Arendse was able to get his right hand to it. But the South African goalkeeper could only push it into the underside of the top of the net as he fell backwards into the goal along with the ball.

However there was some suggestion that Niall Quinn might have given the hapless keeper a slight 'nudge' as he attempted to make the save.

[Thanks to Fiach Moriary for providing information on McPhail's goal]

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