Republic of Ireland v Scotland Match History
Since the establishment of two separate Irish teams, the Republic Ireland have met Scotland just eight times, with the first match coming in 1961. Before that however, Ireland and Scotland faced off many times, particularly in the British Home Championship, the first match of which saw Scotland beat Ireland 5-0 at the Ulster Ground in Belfast. A team called “Ireland” competed in this event every year until 1950, when they were succeeded by Northern Ireland. This article will look back at the eight matches since then between the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.
Scotland 4-1 Republic of Ireland – 3rd May 1961
Although Northern Ireland had been competing annually against Scotland, a match between the Republic and the Scots did not take place until 1961, when the two sides were drawn together in World Cup Qualifiers for the 1962 tournament in Chile. At the time, there was ten qualifying groups from UEFA, with either 2 or 3 teams in each. The Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Czechoslovakia made up Group 9. The opening group game took place in Hamden Park, Glasgow. A first half double from Ralph Brand saw Scotland comfortably lead at the break, and although Arsenal’s Joe Haverty scored to get Ireland back into the match (his only competitive goal), David Herd scored twice for the Scots to give them an easy victory.
Rep. of Ireland: Noel Dwyer (Swansea Town), Brendan McNally (Luton Town), Noel Cantwell (Manchester Utd) capt, Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Charlie Hurley (Sunderland), Pat Saward (Huddersfield Town), Johnny Giles (Manchester Utd), Amby Fogarty (Sunderland), Dermot Curtis (Ipswich Town), George Cummins (Luton Town), Joe Haverty (Arsenal)
Scotland: Leslie (Airdrie), Shearer (Rangers), Caldow (Rangers), Crerand (Celtic), McNeil (Celtic), Baxter (Rangers), McLeod (Hibernians), Quinn (Motherwell), Herd (Arsenal), Brand (Rangers), Wilson
Republic of Ireland 0-3 Scotland – 7th May 1961
Four days later, the Scots came to Dalymount Park in the group’s second fixture. A convincing win for Ian McColl’s side saw them take command of the group with 4 points before Czechoslovakia had even kicked a ball, essentially knocking Ireland out after just two matches. Alexander Young scored a controversial offside goal to take control of the match in the 4th minute, and after that Ireland never looked like getting anything from the match. Irish Times reporter Seamus Devlin even claimed that the match was “one of the worst displays ever by an Irish team.” Young got a second after 16 minutes, and Ralph Brand, who had scored twice in the previous fixture, popped up to convert in the second half. Scotland won the game, and went on to beat the Czechs in Glasgow. But an away loss, as well as Ireland’s dour performances against Czechoslovakia, saw Scotland joint top of the group with 6 points come November, and forced to take part in a playoff in Brussels. The Czechs won 4-2 and qualified for Chile.
Rep. of Ireland: Noel Dwyer (Swansea Town), Phil Kelly (Wolverhampton), Noel Cantwell (Manchester United) capt, Andy McEvoy (Blackburn), Charlie Hurley (Sunderland), Mick Meagan (Everton), Fionan Fagan (Derby County), Johnny Giles (Manchester Utd), Peter Fitzgerald (Leeds Utd), George Cummins (Luton Town), Joe Haverty (Arsenal)
Scotland: Leslie (Airdrie), Shearer (Rangers), Crerand (Celtic), Caldow (Rangers), McNeil (Celtic), Baxter (Rangers), McLeod (Hibernian), Quinn (Motherwell), Young (Everton), Brand (Rangers), Wilson (Rangers)
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Scotland – 9th June 1963
In the 1960s, qualification for the European Championships was done through a knockout competition rather than round-robin groups like it is today. After beating Iceland in the preliminary round over two legs in 1962, Ireland used the summer break as preparation for the forthcoming first round ties with Austria by playing a friendly against the Scots. A 1-0 win thanks to an early Noel Cantwell goal gave the Republic of Ireland their first win over Scotland, and that combined with a masterful display in defence to keep a clean sheet gave Ireland much needed confidence, going on to beat Austria 3-2 on aggregate. We lost to Spain in the second and final round, but that side eventually went on to win the tournament.
Rep. of Ireland: Alan Kelly (Preston North End), Tony Dunne (Manchester Utd), Tommy Traynor (Southampton), Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Charlie Hurley (Sunderland), Mick McGrath (Blackburn Rovers), Johnny Giles (Manchester Utd), Paddy Turner (Glasgow Celtic), Noel Cantwell (Manchester Utd) capt, Noel Peyton (Leeds Utd), Joe Haverty (Blackburn Rovers)
Subs: Amby Fogarty (Sunderland) for Peyton 44 mins
Scotland: Lawrence, Hamilton, Holt, McLintock, McNeill, Baxter, Henderson, Gibson, Millar, Law, Wilson
Subs: St. John for Millar 44 mins
Republic of Ireland 1-1 Scotland – 21st September 1969
1969 saw the two sides meet again at Dalymount Park for another friendly international, in a match Scotland were strongly favoured to win. New Irish boss (and captain) Mick Meagan, the first manager to be allowed to pick his own starting eleven, instilled confidence in his young team, and they were unlucky not to win the game. Colin Stein scored early, but this did not dishearten Meagan’s side, who fought valiantly, and scored through Don Givens just before the half hour mark after pouncing on a rebound after sub-keeper Jim Herriott (an early replacement for Ernie McGarr, who was injured in the 24th minute) spilled Givens’ initial shot. Jimmy Conway and Johnny Giles were instrumental in midfield for Ireland, and both were unlucky not to find the scoresheet themselves. Late in the match, the Scots themselves went in search for a winner, but were easily kept out by goalkeeper Alan Kelly.
Rep. of Ireland: Alan Kelly (Preston North End), Shay Brennan (Manchester United), Al Finucane (Limerick), Paddy Mulligan (Shamrock Rovers), Mick Meagan (Drogheda) capt, Jimmy Conway (Fulham), Johnny Giles (Leeds United), Eamonn Rogers (Blackburn Rovers), Don Givens (Manchester United), Alfie Hale (Waterford United), Ray Treacy (Charlton Athletic)
Scotland: McGarr, Greig, McKinnon, Stanton, Gemmell, Bremner, Cormack, Moncur, Henderson, Stein, Hughes
Subs: Herriot for McGarr 24 mins, Callaghan for Gemmell 45 mins
Republic of Ireland 0-0 Scotland – 15th October 1986
The two sides played no friendlies in the 70s, and were not drawn together again until qualification for Euro 1988, with Jack Charlton in charge of the Irishmen. After winning the Iceland Triangular Tournament, belief in the Irish camp was high, and the players believed that they could qualify for their first major international tournament. Belgium, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Ireland, and Scotland made up a very tough Group 7, with the opening games seeing both Ireland and Scotland draw with Belgium and Bulgaria respectively. Nearly 50,000 people packed in to Lansdowne Road to see Ireland take on Scotland, but the match itself proved to be a drab affair, despite Ireland having the majority of possession. Frank Stapleton had a great chance to score but couldn’t get his shot on target, and late in the match, Alan Hansen cleared Kevin Sheedy’s shot off the line.
Rep. of Ireland: Packie Bonner (Glasgow Celtic), David Langan (Oxford United), Mick McCarthy (Manchester City), Kevin Moran (Manchester United), Jim Beglin (Liverpool), Ray Houghton (Oxford Utd), Paul McGrath (Manchester Utd), Liam Brady (Ascoli), Kevin Sheedy (Everton), Frank Stapleton (Manchester United) capt, John Aldridge (Oxford United)
Subs: Gerry Daly (Shrewsbury) for Moran 71 mins
Scotland: Leighton, Stewart, Gough, Hansen, Narey, Strachan, McStay, Aitken, MacLeod, Sharp, Johnston
Scotland 0-1 Republic of Ireland – 18th February 1987
Four points had Belgium and Scotland at the top of the group before Ireland got back into the running to take the two points on offer in Hampden Park in February, reigniting the qualification campaign. Competitively, Ireland had been poor on their travels, and fans were forced to think back to 1947 for a significant away win (against England at Goodison Park). Injuries in the Irish squad meant that Paul McGrath and Ronnie Whelan were forced to play at full-back, but both had excellent games, and a quick free quick from John Aldridge to find Mark Lawrenson led to a very early Ireland goal. Scotland were impotent up front for the most part, and it was an easy evening for Packie Bonner, as Ireland moved to joint top in the group, eventually going on to pip Bulgaria by a point and qualify for Euro 88.
Ireland: Packie Bonner (Glasgow Celtic), Paul McGrath (Manchester Utd), Mick McCarthy (Manchester City), Kevin Moran (Manchester United), Ronnie Whelan (Liverpool), Ray Houghton (Oxford Utd), Mark Lawrenson (Liverpool), Liam Brady (Ascoli), Tony Galvin (Tottenham), Frank Stapleton (Manchester United) capt, John Aldridge (Liverpool)
Subs: Gerry Daly (Shrewsbury) for Moran 71 mins
Scotland: Leighton, Stewart, Gough, Hansen, Malpas, Strachan, Aitken, Nevin, McClair, Johnston, Cooper
Subs: McStay for Cooper 45 mins, McCoist for Malpas 68 mins
Republic of Ireland 1-2 Scotland – 30th May 2000
Although both sides had successful qualifying campaigns in the 1990s, it was a decade where there was no fixture between the two. Neither had made it to Euro 2000, and used the summer friendlies to experiment and introduce new players ahead of World Cup 2002 qualifying. Mark Kennedy scored after two minutes, but Scotland led at half-time thanks to goals from Craig Burley and Barry Ferguson. The second half, however, was very disjointed with nine players in total being introduced as substitutes.
Ireland: Alan Kelly (Blackburn), Stephen Carr (Tottenham), Kevin Kilbane (Sunderland), Gary Breen (Coventry), Phil Babb (Liverpool), Stephen McPhail (Leeds Utd), Jason McAteer (Blackburn), Steve Finnan (Fulham), Mark Kennedy (Manchester City), Robbie Keane (Coventry), Niall Quinn (Sunderland)
Subs: Damien Duff (Blackburn) for Kennedy 61 mins, Terry Phelan (Fulham) for McPhail 61 mins, Richard Dunne (Everton) for Breen 77 mins, Dominic Foley (Watford) for Quinn 77 mins
Scotland: Neil Sullivan (Tottenham), Christian Dailly (Blackburn), Matt Elliott (Leicester City), Brian O’Neill (Wolfsburg), Gary Naysmith (Hearts), Craig Burley (Derby), Paul Lambert (Celtic), Barry Ferguson (Rangers), Neil McCann (Rangers), Don Hutchison (Everton), Billy Dodds (Rangers)
Subs: Kevin Gallacher (Newcastle Utd) for Dodds 46 mins, Allan Johnston (Sunderland) for Lambert 75, Colin Cameron (Hearts) for Ferguson 84, Ian Durrant (Kilmarnock) for Naysmith 89, Stephen Pressley (Hearts) for McCann 90
Scotland 0-2 Republic of Ireland – 12th February 2003
The last time the two sides met was in 2003 to mark the very first match under Brian Kerr. Kerr’s new look side controlled the match from start to finish, giving the home side little opportunity to get back into the game after Kevin Kilbane and Clinton Morrison’s early goals. Kilbane scored a fine header from Steven Reid’s free kick, while Morrison scored from a wonderful volley after Neil Sullivan punched to try clear Mark Kinsella’s cross. John O’Shea and Stephen Carr looked extremely solid in defence, while Dean Kiely had little to do in goal. Both sides brought on six substitutes each as the match wound down, with Ireland comfortable 2-0 winners.
Rep. of Ireland: Dean Kiely; Carr, Breen, O’Shea, Harte; Reid, Holland, Kinsella, Kilbane; Doherty, Morrison.
Subs: David Connolly for Doherty 73, Lee Carsley for Reid 77, Colin Healy for Mark Kinsella 78, Nick Colgan for Kiely 80, Richard Dunne for John O’Shea 80, Andy O’Brien for Breen 89
Scotland: Sullivan (Gallacher 46); Anderson, Caldwell, Dailly; Alexander, Lambert (Gemmill 46), Ferguson (Thompson 65), McCann (Smith 65), Naysmith; Crawford (Cameron 65), Hutchison (Devlin 46).