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Irish Football > Republic of Ireland Qualifying Campaigns > 1982 World Cup

Irish 1982 World Cup Qualifying Campaign

For the 1982 qualification campaign the Republic of Ireland soccer team was drawn in World Cup Group 2 that also included Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Cyprus. The group winner and runner-up would automatically qualify for the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain. This was Eoin Hand's first qualification campaign as manager of the Irish soccer team.

Positive Start to Ireland's 1982 World Cup Qualifiers

The Irish soccer team got off to a very positive start to the 1982 World Cup qualification campaign with two victories. On 26 March 1980 Ireland beat Cyprus 2-3 in Nicosia. QPR player Paul McGee scored two of his four goals during his international career for Ireland. Mark Lawrenson of Liverpool FC scored the other goal for the Republic. Following this result John Giles resigned as Irish manager and Eoin Hand took up the reins.

In their opening home match the Irish hosted the Netherlands at Lansdowne Road (now the Aviva Stadium) in September. The Dutch took the lead in the 57th minute through Tahamata but the Irish struck back through Gerry Daly, of Derby County, and Mark Lawrenson (who qualified for Ireland under the Granny Rule). After two matches Ireland had maximum points. Eoin Hand's reign as manager of the Republic of Ireland football team was off to a perfect start.

Ireland's Attempts to Qualify for the 1982 World Cup Wobble

Next up was a home match with the Belgians in October 1980. Ireland got off to a poor start by conceding a 13th minute goal by Albert Cluytens. Although the Irish equalised through, Tony Grealish just before half time, they could not deliver another goal to secure victory.

This home draw with Belgium was followed up with a defeat to France in Paris. In a comprehensive performance the French comfortably beat the Irish team by two goals to nil. The great French soccer star, Michel Platini, scored the second goal in the 77th minute to kill off any hopes that the Republic might snatch a draw.

Disappointing finish to Irish World Cup Qualifying Campaign

With an emphatic 6-0 victory over Cyprus at Lansdowne Road the Irish enhanced their goal difference tally. Goals from Daly (2), Grealish, Robinson, Stapleton, and Hughton gave Ireland a comfortable two points.

Two away matches with Belgium and the Netherlands yielded just a single point (from a 2-2 draw in Rotterdam) thereby effectively ending any hopes that Ireland would qualify for the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Even though the Irish beat France at Lansdowne Road, through a Mahut own goal and one each from Frank Stapleton and Michael Robinson, it was not enough for qualification.

Despite finishing level with France in the group on points the superior French goal difference saw them through to the World Cup Finals. The Irish had lost out on qualification by the narrowest margin possible.

Irish World Cup 1982 Qualifying Campaign - Group Table

World Cup 1982 - Qualifying Group 2

Nation
Played
Won
Drew
Lost
Goals F
Goals A
Points
Belgium
8
5
1
2
12
9
11
France
8
5
0
3
20
8
10
Ireland
8
4
2
2
17
11
10
Netherlands
8
4
1
3
11
7
9
Cyprus
8
0
0
8
4
29
0


Republic of Ireland World Cup 1982 Qualifying Campaign - Match Results

26/03/80: Nicosia: Cyprus 2-3 Ireland
Pantziaras 29, Kaiafas 74 Pen / Paul McGee 8, 38, Mark Lawrenson 23

10/09/80: Lansdowne Rd, Dublin: Ireland 2-1 Netherlands
Gerry Daly 78, Mark Lawrenson 85 / Tahamata 57

11/10/80: Limassol: Cyprus 0-7 France

15/10/80: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 1-1 Belgium
Grealish 42
/ Cluytens 13

28/10/80: Paris: France 2-0 Ireland

Platini 11, Zimako 77'

19/11/80: Brussels: Belgium 1-0 Netherlands
19/11/80: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 6-0 Cyprus
Gerry Daly 10 Pen, 23, Tony Grealish 24, Michael Robinson 28, Frank Stapleton 46, Chris Hughton 65

21/12/80: Nicosia: Cyprus 0-2 Belgium

18/02/81: Brussels: Belgium 3-2 Cyprus

22/02/81: Groningen: Netherlands 3-0 Cyprus

25/03/81: Rotterdam: Netherlands 1-0 France
25/03/81: Brussels: Belgium 1-0 Ireland
Ceulemans 88

29/04/81: Paris: France 3-2 Belgium
29/04/81: Nicosia: Cyprus 0-1 Netherlands

09/09/81: Rotterdam: Netherlands 2-2 Ireland
Thijssen 11, Mühren 64 Pen / Michael Robinson 40, Frank Stapleton 71

09/09/81: Brussels: Belgium 2-0 France

14/10/81: Rotterdam: Netherlands 3-0 Belgium
14/10/81: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 3-2 France
Mahut 3 og, Frank Stapleton 23, Michael Robinson 39 / Bellone 9, Platini 83

18/11/81: Paris: France 2-0 Netherlands

05/12/81: Paris: France 4-0 Cyprus


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