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Irish Football > Republic of Ireland Qualifying Campaigns > 1996 European Football Championship

Euro 1996 Football Championship - Irish Qualifiers

In qualifier Group 6 for the 1996 European Football Championship the Republic of Ireland were drawn with Portugal, Northern Ireland, Austria, Latvia, and Liechtenstein, with only one team to qualify automatically. Second placed teams would also qualify except the two worst runners-up who would meet each other in a play off match. The 1996 qualifying campaign saw the introduction of three points for a win for the first time in Euro qualifiers.

Great Start to the 1996 Irish European Championships Qualifiers

As with the Euro 92 qualifiers Ireland got off to a promising start by beating Latvia 0-3 in Riga. Group 6 favourites Portugal also got off to a good start by beating Northern Ireland 1-2 in Belfast. Ireland followed this first victory up with two four-nil wins at Lansdowne Road (now Aviva Stadium) over Liechtenstein and in Windsor Park, Belfast, over near neighbours Northern Ireland. After three soccer matches Ireland had a maximum nine points had scored eleven goals and conceded none.

Liechtenstein Cause Upset

The first disappointing qualifier result of the Irish Euro 96 campaign came at the end of March 1995 when the Republic stumbled to a 1-1 draw in Dublin against Northern Ireland. This was recovered in the next match when Ireland inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Portugal at Lansdowne Road. This was the first, and as it turned out, the only defeat that the Portuguese suffered in Group 6. Unfortunately this excellent result was completely undone by a hugely frustrating 0-0 draw away to soccer minnows Liechtenstein. To put this result in to context; Liechtenstein conceded 40 goals in their ten matches in the group; Portugal scored seven goals without reply in Liechtenstein; and the only point that Liechtenstein gained was from the draw with Ireland.

Ireland's Euro 96 Automatic Qualification Derailed

This was followed up by three defeats out of the four remaining football matches in the group. A home win over Latvia was sandwiched between two 3-1 defeats at the hands of Austria and 3-0 loss away to Portugal. After a very promising start to Euro 96 Group 6 the Irish performances on the pitch tailed off really badly from June 1995. Ireland finished level with Northern Ireland on 17 points at the completion of the group but ahead in the table based upon the results achieved against the team from the North.

Euro 96 Play Off Match Against the Netherlands

By finishing in second place in Group 6 Ireland qualified for a play off match against the Netherlands who were second in Group 5.

At Anfield in Liverpool in front of 40,000 fans, evenly split between Irish and Dutch, the Netherlands soundly beat Ireland with two goals from Patrick Kluivert.

In an emotionally charged evening the Irish fans bid farewell Jack Charlton, Ireland's football manager, who had reached the end of his adventure with the Irish football team.

 

Euro 96 Qualifiers - Group Table

1996 European Football Championship - Qualifying Group 6
Nation
Played
Won
Drew
Lost
Goals F
Goals A
Points
Portugal
10
7
2
1
29
7
23
Ireland
10
5
2
3
17
11
17
Northern Ireland
10
5
2
3
20
15
17
Austria
10
5
1
4
29
14
16
Latvia
10
4
0
6
11
20
12
Liechtenstein
10
0
1
9
1
40
1

Republic of Ireland Euro 1996 Qualifiers - Match Results

20/09/94: Windsor Park, Belfast: Northern Ireland 4 - 1 Liechtenstein

07/09/94: Riga: Latvia 0 - 3 Ireland
John Aldridge 16, 75 Pen, John Sheridan 29
07/09/94: 1994, Liechtenstein 0 - 4 Austria
07/09/94: Windsor Park, Belfast: Northern Ireland 1 - 2 Portugal

09/10/94: Riga: Latvia 1 - 3 Portugal

12/10/94: Austria 1 - 2 Northern Ireland
12/10/94: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 4 - 0 Liechtenstein
Tommy Coyne 2, 4, Niall Quinn 30, 82

13.11/94: Portugal 1 - 0 Austria

15/11/94: Liechtenstein 0 - 1 Latvia

16/11/94: Windsor Park, Belfast: Northern Ireland 0 - 4 Ireland
John Aldridge 6, Roy Keane 11, John Sheridan 38, Andy Townsend 54

18/12/94: Portugal 8 - 0 Liechtenstein

29/03/95: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 1 - 1 Northern Ireland

29/03/95: Austria 5 - 0 Latvia

26/04/95: Riga: Latvia 0 - 1 Northern Ireland
26/04/95: Austria 7 - 0 Liechtenstein
26/04/95: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 1 - 0 Portugal
Baia 44 og

03/06/95: Portugal 3 - 2 Latvia
03/06/95: Liechtenstein 0 - 0 Ireland

07/06/95: Windsor Park, Belfast: Northern Ireland 1 - 2 Latvia

11/06/95: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 1 - 3 Austria
Ray Houghton 65 / Polster 69, 78, Ogris 72

15/08/95: Liechtenstein 0 - 7 Portugal

16/08/95: Riga: Latvia 3 - 2 Austria

03/09/95: Portugal 1 - 1 Northern Ireland

06/09/95: Austria 3 - 1 Ireland
Stöger 3, 64, 77 / Paul McGrath 74

06/09/95: Riga: Latvia 1 - 0 Liechtenstein

11/10/95: Austria 1 - 1 Portugal
11/10/95: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 2 - 1 Latvia
John Aldridge 61 Pen, 64 / Rimkus 78

11/10/95: Liechtenstein 0 - 4 Northern Ireland

15/11/95: Portugal 3 - 0 Ireland
Rui Costa 60, Postiga 74, Cadete 89

15/11/95: Windsor Park, Belfast: Northern Ireland 5 - 3 Austria

Euro 96 Qualifier Play Off Match
13/12/1995: Anfield, Liverpool, England: Netherlands 2-0 Ireland



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