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Irish Football > 1994 World Cup Finals > Ireland v Mexico

Ireland V Mexico at World Cup 1994 - Match Report

John Aldridge arguing with the fourth official during the match against Mexico at the 1994 World Cup

The Republic of Ireland took to the field in their second group match at World Cup 1994 with exactly the same team that had beaten Italy six days earlier in New Jersey. The opponents were Mexico and the venue was the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. The midday match was marked by soaring and scorching temperatures on the pitch as well as a major flare-up on the sidelines.

The Irish were buoyed by their inspired victory over the Italians and the Mexican team were under pressure to get a result following their 1-0 loss to Norway in their opening match. In the course to the 90 minutes of the match in the Citrus Bowl went from last place in the Group to top place in an extremely tight group.

Irish Football Team Struggles in the Heat of Orlando

As had been predicted before the match an ageing Irish team struggled under the noon heat in Orlando. Age, heat and a skilful speedy Mexican team presented the Republic of Ireland with an insurmountable challenge. Goals by the talented Luis Garcia in either half defeated the Irish although a late goal from John Aldridge proved to be far more than a mere consolation.

Aldridge had come on as a 67 minute substitute amid a welter of controversy. An overzealous FIFA intervened in the substitution process which caused much confusion an angst amongst the Irish management. For a couple of minutes Ireland played with ten men as Tommy Coyne had come off the pitch but the fourth official refused permission for Aldridge to enter the fray.

This enraged Aldridge and Irish football team manager, Jack Charlton. The latter's involvement in the incident ultimately led to a touchline ban for the Englishman for the last group match against Norway at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

Charlton decided to make an immediate substitution after Garcia's second goal in an attempt to secure something from the game. Aldridge's introduction proved to be inspired despite all of the controversy surround it.

With about seven minutes left in the match fellow substitute Jason McAteer latched on to a pass from John Sheridan. His accurate cross from the right of the Mexican box found Aldridge on the penalty spot. The Tranmere Rovers forward rose to power the ball past the despairing dive of Campos in the Mexican goal.

Ultimately this goal proved to be decisive to Ireland's progress in the 1994 World Cup finals. As Niall Quinn, who was co-commentator on RTE Television with George Hamilton, said prophetically at the time "...that could prove to be one of the most important goals ever scored in defeat."

Republic of Ireland Substitute John Aldridge Trying to come on against Mexico


1994 World Cup Group E Standings After Second Round of Matches

Following the second round of matches in Group E all four teams had won one, lost one, and had identical goal differences. Mexico topped the group due to the number of goals scored and because of the victory over the Irish.

1994 World Cup Finals - Group E
Nation
Played
Won
Drew
Lost
Goals F
Goals A
Points
Mexico
2
1
0
1
2
2
3
Republic of Ireland
2
1
0
1
2
2
3
Norway
2
1
0
1
1
1
3
Italy
2
1
0
1
1
1
3

Teams Line Up

Republic of Ireland: 1 Pat Bonner (Glasgow Celtic), 2 Denis Irwin (Manchester United), 3 Terry Phelan (Manchester City), 5 Paul McGrath (Aston Villa), 11 Steve Staunton (Aston Villa), 14 Phil Babb (Coventry City),
6 Roy Keane (Manchester United), 7 Andy Townsend (capt) (Aston Villa), 8 Ray Houghton (Aston Villa), 10 John Sheridan (Sheffield Wednesday) 15 Tommy Coyne (Motherwell)
Irish Football Manager: Jack Charlton Goals: Aldridge 84' Booked: Irwin 26', Phelan 70' Subs: 21 Jason McAteer 66' (Bolton Wanderers) for Staunton, 9 John Aldridge 67' (Tranmere Rovers) for Coyne

Mexico: Jorge Campos, Claudio Suarez, Juan Ramirez Perales, Ignacio Ambriz (capt), Marcelino Bernal, Alberto Garcia Aspe, Joaquin Del Olmo, Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Garcia, Luis Alves ZAGUE, Jorge Rodriguez.
Mexican Football Manager: Miguel Mejia Baron Goals: Luis Garcia 43' 66' Booked: Joaquin Del Olmo 45', Jorge Campos 57' Subs: Raul Gutierrez 80' for Hermosillo, Luis Salvador 80' for Rodriguez

Venue: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida, Date: 24th June 1994 Attendance: 60,790 Referee: Kurt Röthlisberger from Switzerland.

Result: Mexico 2-1 Ireland


Ireland & 1990 World Cup Finals - Irish Squad World Cup 1990
Ireland V England 1990 - Ireland V Egypt 1990 - Ireland V Holland 1990
Ireland V Romania 1990 - Ireland V Italy 1990
Ireland & 1994 World Cup Finals - Irish Squad World Cup 1994
Ireland V Italy 1994 - Ireland V Mexico 1994 - Ireland V Norway 1994 - Ireland V Netherlands 1994
Ireland & 2002 World Cup Finals - 2002 World Cup Irish Squad - 2002 World Cup Irish Group Matches
Ireland V Cameroon 2002 - Ireland V Germany 2002 - Ireland V Saudi Arabia 2002 - Ireland V Spain 2002

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