#OTD in 1990 – The Republic of Ireland plays their first ever match in the finals of the World Cup, drawing 1-1 with England in Cagliari, Sardinia.

Ireland plays England in its first ever match in the World Cup Finals. England took an early lead courtesy of master poacher Gary Lineker. Ireland, under the managership of “Big Jack” Charlton (who had won a World Cup medal with England 1966) fought back to equalise with a goal by Welsh-born Kevin Sheedy. Irish football authorities took advantage of FIFA rules which allowed anyone with an Irish-born parent / grandparent to play for Ireland. A football mad Irish nation didn’t care as Ireland came to a complete stop during Italia 90.

In an amazing journey, Ireland managed to qualify for the quarter finals without winning a game! Draws against England, Egypt 0-0, Netherland 1-1 and finally a penalty kick victory 5-4 against Romania after another 0-0 draw saw Ireland matched against hosts Italy in Rome. The dream ended after a 1-0 defeat.

Ireland team vs. England:

Pat (Packy) Bonner, Chris Morris, Steve Staunton, Mick McCarthy, Kevin Moran, Paul McGrath, Ray Houghton, Kevin Sheedy, Andy Townsend, John Aldridge, Tony Cascarino.

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