Football > 1990 World Cup Finals > Ireland
Ireland V England at World Cup 1990 - Match Report
Irish players celebrate Kevin Sheedy's
goal against England at Italia 90
Gary Lineker Scores Early Goal for England
After a number of near-misses Ireland finished runners-up to Spain in the 1990 World Cup qualifiers to qualify for the finals for the first time ever. As with Euro 88 the Republic of Ireland was drawn to play England in the first group match at Italia 90. The date was 11th June 1990 and the venue was the Stadio Sant'Elia in Cagliari in Sardinia, off the west coast of Italy.
Once again the English team was favourite to win the encounter and this time around it was the English who grabbed an early lead. Following some early jousting English winger Chris Waddle floated a beautiful cross that landed in the 18 yard box between the Irish central defensive partnership of Kevin Moran and Mick McCarthy. England's leading marksman Gary Lineker read the flight of the ball and raced between Moran and McCarthy. Lineker used his chest to steer the ball past the on-rushing Packie Bonner in the Irish goal. The English striker chased after the ball but the single touch from his chest was enough to see the ball over the line and into the net. One nil to England.
This was a reversal of the early lead that Ireland took in Stuttgart two years earlier - almost exactly to the day - at Euro 88. This time it would be up to Ireland to chase the game and that would be no easy task as the English had some very talented players throughout their team. If the Irish lost their shape England had the players to punish them but this was unlikely with Jack Charlton in charge.
Kevin Sheedy Equalises for Ireland
For the rest of the first half and most of the second the Irish players, employing the typical Jack Charlton style of football, pressed in search of an equaliser. With the Dutch, the European champions, also in Group F it was imperative to Ireland's chances of qualifying for the knockout stages not to lose their opening match. Just when it looked like the English might be able to hold out for a victory Ireland received a big slice of luck.
When combative midfielder Steve McMahon failed to control the ball on the edge of the English 18 yard box Kevin Sheedy pounced and drove a left foot shot beyond Peter Shilton in the English goal. It was unfortunate for McMahon who had just come on to the pitch as a substitute for Peter Beardsley but the goal had been coming as the English retreated deeper and deeper inviting the Irish players on to them.
The matched finished up in a 1-1 draw as did the other Group F match between the Netherlands and Egypt. After the opening set of matches there was absolutely nothing to separate the four teams in the group.
Team Line Ups
Republic of Ireland: Packie Bonner,
Chris Morris, Steve
Staunton, Mick McCarthy, Kevin Moran, Paul
Houghton, Andy Townsend, John
Aldridge (Alan McLoughlin 64'), Tony Cascarino, Kevin Sheedy.
England: Peter Shilton, Gary Stevens,
Stuart Pearce, Des Walker, Terry Butcher, Bryan Robson, Chris Waddle,
Paul Gascoigne, Peter Barnes, Gary Lineker (Steve Bull 83'), Peter Beardsley
(Steve McMahon 69').
Venue: Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari Date: 11th June 1990 Attendance: 35,238 Referee: Aron Schmidhuber from West Germany
Result: Ireland 1 - 1 England
Other Group F Result: Holland 1 - 1 Egypt
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