Before Wales take on N Ireland, here are 5 classic all-British clashes
Wales and Northern Ireland face off in an all-British showdown at Parc des Princes in Paris on Saturday with a place in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals at stake.euro 2016 Updated: Jun 24, 2016 20:18 IST
Wales and Northern Ireland face off in an all-British showdown at Parc des Princes in Paris on Saturday with a place in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals at stake.
It is only the fourth time that two teams from the British Isles -- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus the Republic of Ireland -- will meet at a major tournament.
Here are five memorable encounters involving the countries.
Wales 0 Scotland 2 (1978 World Cup qualifying)
A bitter evening for Welsh football fans saw their team miss out on a place at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina amid contentious circumstances at Anfield. In the 78th minute, and with the score goalless, a hand went up in the Wales box and French referee Robert Wurtz pointed to the spot. Replays showed that it was Scotland striker Joe Jordan, rather than Wales defender David Jones, who had handled the ball. But the decision stood and after Jordan had further enraged Welsh fans by bunching his fist in celebration, Don Masson tucked away the penalty. Kenny Dalglish scored a second goal 10 minutes later, leaving Wales’s World Cup dreams in tatters.
England 0 Republic of Ireland 1 (1988 European Championship)
Neither England nor Ireland would emerge victorious from Group 2 at the 1988 European Championship in West Germany, but it was the Irish who claimed the bragging rights in their opening tussle in Stuttgart. Appearing at their first major tournament, Ireland took a sixth-minute lead when England left-back Kenny Sansom’s attempted clearance ballooned into the air and John Aldridge helped the ball on for Liverpool teammate Ray Houghton to loop a header over Peter Shilton. England dominated the second half, but Irish goalkeeper Packie Bonner produced a stunning display to give Ireland manager Jack Charlton victory over the country he had helped win the World Cup in 1966.
England 1 Republic of Ireland 1 (1990 World Cup)
England and Ireland faced off again in another opening game two years later, this time in the Italian city of Cagliari, but English hopes of revenge were thwarted. Gary Lineker put Bobby Robson’s side ahead in the eighth minute, chesting down Chris Waddle’s floated pass and stumbling past the advancing Bonner before sliding the ball over the line. But Kevin Sheedy equalised 17 minutes from time, pouncing on a loose touch by England midfielder Steve McMahon and drilling home with his left foot from the edge of the box.
England 2 Scotland 0 (1996 European Championship)
A memorable group stage encounter at a sun-kissed Wembley turned on a dramatic two minute spell in the second half. With England leading 1-0 from Alan Shearer’s 53rd-minute header, Scotland were awarded a penalty when Tony Adams brought down Gordon Durie. But Gary McAllister, spooked by the ball moving slightly during his run-up, elected to blast his penalty and England goalkeeper David Seaman flew to his right to save. Moments later, Darren Anderton hooked a pass forward to Paul Gascoigne, who audaciously lifted the ball over Colin Hendry before slamming a volley into the bottom-left corner.
Northern Ireland 1 England 0 (2006 World Cup qualifying)
Northern Ireland claimed a famous win at a delirious Windsor Park in Belfast to dent England’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup. On a raucous night in the Northern Irish capital, David Healy scored the only goal in the 73rd minute, latching onto Steven Davis’s pass and crashing an angled shot past Paul Robinson. The home defence held firm, despite Michael Owen going close with a late header, to claim a first win over England since 1972. Nevertheless, England still qualified for the World Cup in Germany, where they reached the quarterfinals.
First Published: Jun 24, 2016 20:16 IST