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Ireland v Spain Match History

13 June 2012 19,541 views No Comment Written by Ronan

Ireland have faced Spain more than any other side in the 90 or so years since the foundation of the Football Association of the Irish Free State. GreenScene looks back at those 24 encounters.

26 April 1931. Spain 1-1 Irish Free State
Ireland’s first ever meeting with Spain was also our (joint) most-watched international match. Held at the Montjuic Stadium, Barcelona, which was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. Spain hit the post early on, and then Vicente Piera had a shot come back off the bar before Paddy Moore scored against the run of play. John Joe Flood passed to Moore, who controlled it well before beating Real Madrid’s Ricardo Zamora with a high shot. The Irish lead did not last long, and Spain were level before half-time. Barcelona’s Ángel Arocha capitalised on scrappy defending by Ireland to bring Spain level. The hosts were largely on top in the second half, but could not beat Irish keeper Tom Farquharson.

Ireland: Tom Farquharson (Cardiff City), George Lennox (Dolphin), Paddy Byrne (Dolphin), Harry Chatton (Shelbourne), Sean Byrne (Bohemians), John Joe Flood (Shamrock Rovers) capt, Charlie Dowdall (Cork), Paddy Moore (Shamrock Rovers), Charlie Reid (Brideville), Peter Kavanagh (Glasgow Celtic)

Spain: Zamora, Ciriaco, Quincoces, Marti, Sole, Castillo, Piera, Goiburu, Samitier, Arocha, Gorostiza

13 December 1931. Irish Free State 0-5 Spain
Ireland’s only other international fixture in 1931 was the return match against Spain at Dalymount Park. This time however, there were no goalkeeping or defensive heroics as Spain ran out 5-0 winners. Irish fans had expected to win the game after England had thumped their opponents 7-1 a week earlier. Real Madrid’s free-scoring striker Luis Regueiro gave the Spanish the lead after just four minutes. Martí Ventolrà’s cross was punched clear by Farquharson but only as far as Regueiro who stroked the ball home. Fred Horlacher hit the bar for Ireland, and the players shouted for a goal when David Byrne’s header wasn’t kept out by Gregorio Blasco, but the Bilbao keeper got it at the second attempt and no goal was awarded. Regueiro then doubled the Spanish lead after half an hour before Angel Arocha made it 3-0 after an impressive dribble by captain José Samitier. The captain got one of his own in the second half, before Ventolra added a fifth in the last minute.

Ireland: Tom Farquharson, John Joe Flood, Larry Doyle, George Lennox, William Glen, Harry Chatton, Patsy Gallagher, Frank Mc Loughlin, Peter Kavanagh, David Byrne, Fred Horlacher

Spain: Blasco, Ciriaco, Zabalo, Leoncito, Gamborena, Vantolra, L Reguiro, Samitier, Arocha, Gorostiza


23 June 1946. Spain 0-1 Ireland
Ireland’s second game after World War II came on a trip to the Iberian Peninsula. A week earlier the FAI side, now called “Ireland” had lost 3-1 to Portugal in Lisbon. Glentoran’s utility player Con Martin started in goal for Ireland, and kept a clean sheet in our first win over Spain. Held at the Metropolitano in Madrid, Martin started strongly with a heavy challenge against namesake Mariano Martín. The Spanish forward wasn’t injured in the clash, but had to be replaced on 35 minutes. Just two minutes later, Ireland were ahead when Joshua “Paddy” Sloan got past defender Alfonso Aparicio to score. Ireland were on top in the first half, but had Martin to thank in the second, pulling off a few great saves, keeping out the youngest of the Gonzalvo brothers: Mariano Gonzalvo, or Gonzalvo III as he was known at the time.

Ireland: Con Martin (Glentoran), Billy McMillan (Belfast Celtic), Tom Aherne (Belfast Celtic), Jackie Carey (Manchester Utd), Jackie Vernon (Belfast Celtic), Peter Farrell (Shamrock Rovers) capt, Jack O’Reilly (Cork Utd), Josiah Sloan (Arsenal), Davy Walsh (West Brom), Jimmy McAlinden (Portsmouth), Tommy Englinton (Shamrock Rovers)

Spain: Eizaguirre, Jugo, Aparico, Huerte, Ipina, Gonzalvo, Gainza, Cesar, Martin, Panzio, Iriondo

2 March 1947. Ireland 3-2 Spain
Ireland’s second win over Spain is remembered not for the five goals scored at Dalymount Park, but for the fact that the Gardai were forced to come onto the pitch during the pitch to remove spectators, holding up the game for half an hour. Davy Walsh had given Ireland an early lead, and Paddy Coad added a second after 23 minutes. Spain struck back immediately through Telmo Zarraonaindia (known as “Zarra”) before the match had to be halted near the end of the first half. The fans spilled onto the pitch, and after the referee removed the players so that the fans could return to the terraces, the game was held up while the lines were repainted. The terraces were overcrowded, but heavy police presence stopped them from coming onto the pitch again. Zarra brought the game back level on the hour mark, but Walsh had the last laugh, grabbing the winner ten minutes from time.

Ireland: Tommy Breen (Shamrock Rovers), Johnny McGowan (Cork Utd), Jackie Carey (Manchester Utd) capt, Peter Farrell (Everton), Con Martin (Leeds Utd), Willie Walsh (Manchester City), Kevin O’Flanagan (Arsenal), Paddy Coad (Shamrock Rovers), Davy Walsh (West Brom), Alex Stevenson (Everton), Tommy Eglinton (Everton)

Spain: Eizaguirre, Querejata, Curta, Gonzalvo, Sans, Nando, Epi, Arsa, Zarra, Herrerita, Gainza

30 May 1948. Spain 2-1 Ireland
Ireland returned to the Montjuic Stadium in 1948, and coming away with a 2-1 loss. Ireland took the lead thanks to Davy Walsh’s 25th minute goal, which bounced over the line after hitting the crossbar. Epifanio “Epi” Fernández was Spain’s star man, and inspired their comeback, setting up Silvestre Igoa for the equaliser. A foul from Alfonso Aparicio on Walsh after the break saw Ireland awarded a penalty, but Walsh miskicked his shot and it went wide. Epi was the provider for Igoa again, with Spain taking a 71st minute lead to win 2-1.

Ireland: George Moulson (Lincoln Cty), Jackie Carey (Manchester Utd) capt, Con Martin (Leeds Utd), Willie Walsh (Manchester City), Kevin Clarke (Drumcondra ), Peter Farrell (Everton), Alex Stevenson (Everton), Paddy Coad (Shamrock Rovers), Davy Walsh (West Brom), Tommy Moroney (West Ham), Benny Henderson (Drumcondra)

Spain: Eizaguirre, Alonso, Aparicio, Gonzalvo, Alconero, Nando, Juncosa, Panizo, Cesar,Igoa, Epi

12 June 1949. Ireland 1-4 Spain
The next time the two sides met was in the middle of 1950 World Cup qualifying. Spain were in a local group with Portugal, while Ireland competed against Sweden and Finland. Jackie Carey picked up his 20th cap, the first person to do so, and captained the side. Con Martin got Ireland off to a great start from the penalty spot, but three goals in six minutes before half-time turned the tide for Spain. Zarra scored either side of Estanislau Basora to make it 3-1 at the break. Igoa added a fourth late on, but Ireland were thoroughly outplayed for large parts of the game. Spain went on to come fourth at the 1950 World Cup, but the FAI turned down the chance to compete in Brazil after Finland withdrew as the cost to travel to South America was too much.

Ireland: Tommy Godwin (Shamrock Rovers), Jackie Carey (Manchester Utd) capt, Rory Keane (Swansea City), Peter Farrell (Everton), Con Martin (Aston Villa), Tommy Moroney (West Ham), Peter Corr (Everton), Eddie Gannon (Sheffield Wednesday), Davy Walsh (West Brom), Danny McGowan (West Ham), Jimmy Hartnett (Middlesbrough)

Spain: Eizaguirre, Asensi, Antunez, Lozano, Gonzalvo, Puchades, Basora, Venancio, Zarra, Artigas, Gainza
Sub: Igoa for Artigas

1 June 1952. Spain 6-0 Ireland
After conceding six goals against Austria, the Irish selectors awarded a debut cap to Everton goalkeeper Jimmy O’Neill. Despite repeating the feat with another 6-0 loss at the Estadio Chamartín in Madrid, the goals weren’t O’Neill’s fault. In fact, Ireland were two down before O’Neill had a chance to even touch the ball, other than picking it out of the net. Gerardo Coque and Agustín Gaínza (Piru) had Spain two-up after ten minutes, with César Rodríguez Álvarez adding a third three minutes later. Estanislau Basora scored in both halves, and José Luis Panizo also got on the scoresheet to make it 6-0 to Spain. Irish captain Peter Farrell had a goal ruled out for offside in the first half, but Ireland were never in the races. Despite the 6-0 scoreline, goalkeeper O’Neill went on to play 16 more times for Ireland.

Ireland: Jimmy O’Neill (Everton), Sean Fallon (Glasgow Celtic), Tom ‘Bud’ Aherne (Luton Town), Peter Farrell (Everton) capt, Con Martin (Aston Villa), Reg Ryan (West Bromwich Albion), Alf Ringstead (Sheffield Utd), Paddy Coad (Shamrock Rovers), Davy Walsh (Aston Villa), Arthur Fitzsimons (Middlesbrough), Tommy Eglington (Everton)

Spain: Ramallets, Martin, Biosca, Sequer, Munoz, Puchades, Basora, Coque, Cesar, Panizo, Gainza

27 November 1955. Republic of Ireland 2-2 Spain
From 1954, FIFA decreed that the 26-county Irish (FAI) team would be called the Republic of Ireland. This was the sixth game under the new moniker, with impressive wins over the Netherlands and Norway coming earlier in the year. Ireland took an early lead at Dalymount Park in the last game of 1955, with Arthur Fitzsimons opening the scoring after Spain failed to clear a free-kick. Carmelo Cedrún kept out Fitzsimons and Alf Ringstead with two good saves before captain Manuel Fernández Fernández or “Pahiño” as he was known levelled the game after O’Neill spilled Miguel González’s shot. Pahiño got his second just before half-time, heading home Enrique Collar’s cross. However, Ireland battled hard in the second half, and got a deserved equaliser from Ringstead 14 minutes from the end.

Ireland: Jimmy O’Neill (Everton), Seamus Dunne (Luton Town), Noel Cantwell (West Ham United), Peter Farrell (Everton) capt, Con Martin (Aston Villa), Reg Ryan (Derby County), Alf Ringstead (Sheffield United), Arthur Fitzsimons (Middlesbrough), Shay Gibbons (St. Patrick’s Athletic), George Cummins (Luton Town), Tommy Eglington (Everton)

Spain: Carmelo, Guillamon, Campanal, Mauri, Garay, Segarra, Miguel, Maguregui, Pahino, Domenech, Collar
Subs: Arteche for Domenech 37 mins

11 March 1964. Spain 5-1 Republic of Ireland
The first competitive fixture between the two sides did not take place until 33 years after the first encounter. Spain were the hosts of Euro 1964, and met Ireland in the European Nations’ Cup qualifying quarter-finals. In those days, only the semi-finals and final were held in the host country. Ireland had beaten Iceland and Austria to reach the last eight, but faced a tricky proposition when drawn against Spain, who had narrowly missed out on the quarter-finals at the 1962 World Cup in Chile. The first leg of the quarter-final was held at the Sánchez Pizjuan, Sevilla, and a crowd of 27,200 saw the home side easily overcome Ireland. The hosts played with the wind after winning the toss, and this helped them build up an early lead. Amancio Amaro, nicknamed El Brujo (The Witch) scored twice in the first half an hour, with Josep Maria Fusté and Marcelino Martínez also on target to give Spain a 4-1 lead at the break. Ireland’s goal came from Andy McEvoy after some neat play by John Giles, but when McEvoy picked up a knock, Ireland’s hopes of a comeback were dashed. Marcelino added another with half an hour left, but by then, the match was already over.

Ireland: Alan Kelly (Preston North End), Theo Foley (Northampton Town), Tommy Traynor (Southampton), Ray Brady (QPR), Charlie Hurley (Sunderland) capt, Mick Meagan (Everton), Johnny Giles (Leeds Utd), Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Alfie Hale (Doncaster Rovers), Amby Fogarty (Sunderland), Joe Haverty (Millwall)

Spain: Iribar, Rivilla, Calleja, Zoco, Olivella, Fuste, Amancio, Pereda, Marcelino, Villa, Lepetra

8 April 1964. Republic of Ireland 0-2 Spain.
Four weeks later, Spain visited Dalymount Park for the return leg, and would have repeated the four goal margin of victory if it were not for a splendid display from goalkeeper Alan Kelly (Sr.). However, they had to settle for half that, winning 7-1 on aggregate. Ireland needed an early goal to get back into the tie, but instead saw Spain settle well and take the lead when debutant right winger Pedro Zaballa headed in Carlos Lapetra’s cross after 24 minutes. Spain could have had more goals, but Kelly held strong until the 86th minute when Zaballa got his second. Spain went on to meet Hungary in the semi-final before beating the Soviet Union in the final to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy in Madrid.

Ireland: Alan Kelly (Preston North End), Tony Dunne (Manchester Utd), Willie Browne (Bohemians), Ray Brady (QPR), Charlie Hurley (Sunderland) capt, Johnny Fullam (Shamrock Rovers), Johnny Giles (Leeds Utd), Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Noel Cantwell (Manchester Utd), Paddy Turner (Glasgow Celtic), Alfie Hale (Doncaster Rovers)

Spain: Iribar, Rivilla, Calleja, Zoco, Olivella, Fuste, Zaballa, Pereda, Marcelino, Villa, Lepetra

5 May 1965. Republic of Ireland 1-0 Spain.
Ireland were drawn against the European Champions in the next qualifying campaign – for the 1966 World Cup, to be held in England. Syria were also drawn in UEFA Group 9, but withdrew to protest that Africa had not been awarded enough qualifying spots. 42,000 fans were at Dalymount Park to watch Ireland record a historic victory over the Spanish. Charlie Hurley had the ball in the net after just eight minutes, but it was ruled out for an infringement in the area. It was a close game, and was ultimately decided by José Angel Iríbar (“El Txopo”)’s own goal on 61 minutes. Iribar looked to have claimed Frank O’Neill’s free-kick, but let the ball slip through his hands into the net after pressure from Noel Cantwell to give Ireland a 1-0 win.

Ireland: Pat Dunne (Manchester Utd), Shay Brennan (Manchester Utd), Tony Dunne (Mancheter Utd), Mick McGrath (Blackburn Rovers),Charlie Hurley (Sunderland), Jackie Hennessy (Shelbourne), Frank O’Neill (Shamrock Rovers), Johnny Giles (Leeds Utd), Noel Cantwell (Manchester Utd) capt, Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Joe Haverty (Bristol Rovers)

Spain: Iribar, Rivilla, Olivella, Zoco, Reija, Glaria, Ufarte, Guillot, Marcelino, Adelardo, Lepetra

27 October 1965. Spain 4-1 Republic of Ireland
As this was a group game rather than a two-legged affair (thanks to Syria’s initial involvement), aggregate did not come into play when deciding who progressed to the 1966 World Cup. Sánchez Pizjuan was the venue once again, and saw Andy McEvoy give Ireland a surprise early lead. However, Barcelona midfielder Jesús María Pereda had other ideas, and scored twice before half-time, and added another on the hour mark to help his side force a replay. Carlos Lapetra got Spain’s fourth, and set up a third tie in Paris.

Ireland: Pat Dunne (Manchester Utd), Theo Foley (Northampton Town), Tony Dunne (Manchester Utd), Mick McGrath (Blackburn Rovers), Noel Cantwell (Manchester Utd) capt, Mick Meagan (Huddersfield Town), Frank O’Neill (Shamrock Rovers), Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Eric Barber (Shelbourne), Johnny Giles (Leeds Utd), Joe Haverty (Shelbourne)

Spain: Betancort, Rivilla, Olivella, Zoco, Reija, Glaria, Ufarte, Pereda, Marcelino, Suarez, Lepetra

10 November 1965. Spain 1-0 Republic of Ireland
The playoff game between Spain and Ireland was due to be held in either London or Manchester, but the Spanish FA made a deal with FAI General Secretary Joe Wickham to have the match take place in neutral Paris. This made it easier for large numbers of Spanish fans to travel to the game, while the FAI’s side of the deal was sweetened by the fact that Spain agreed to give the Irish the entire gate receipts – which amounted to £25,000, or three times the FAI’s turnover for the previous year. 35,731 mostly Spanish fans attended Stade Colombes in Paris to see Eamon Dunphy make his international debut. Ireland worked hard in a tight game, but were undone 11 minutes from time when José Ufarte scored his first goal for his country. Noel Cantwell had blocked Jesús Pereda’s initial ball in, but it fell to Ufarte who broke Irish hearts to send Spain to the World Cup.

Ireland: Pat Dunne (Manchester Utd), Shay Brennan (Manchester Utd), Tony Dunne (Manchester Utd), Theo Foley (Northampton Town), Noel Cantwell (Manchester Utd) capt, Mick Meagan (Huddersfield Town), Frank O’Neill (Shamrock Rovers), Eamon Dunphy (York City), Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Johnny Giles (Leeds Utd), Joe Haverty (Shelbourne)

Spain: Betancort, Rivilla, Olivella, Zoco, Reija, Glaria, Suarez, Ufarte, Pereda, Marcelino, Lepetra

23 October 1966. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Spain
For the third competition in a row, Ireland met Spain, this time in UEFA Euro 1968 qualifying Group 1. Czechoslovakia and Turkey were also drawn in the group, with Ireland facing Spain at Dalymount Park in the opener. Jimmy Conway and Tony O’Connell made their debuts, but it was Swedish referee Hans Carlsson who had the busiest job. Spain played aggressively, and after the match were accused of being too tough and ruining what could have been a great game. Ray Treacy found it hard up front due to the tactics of the Spanish, and there was little action in either goalmouth. Goals from Frank O’Neill and Andy McEvoy helped Ireland to a 2-1 win over Turkey the following month to move to the top of Group 1.

Ireland: Alan Kelly (Preston North End), Shay Brennan (Manchester Utd), Noel Cantwell (Manchester Utd) capt, Mick Meagan (Huddersfield Town), Tony Dunne (Manchester Utd), Johnny Giles (Leeds Utd), Jimmy Conway (Fulham), Frank O’Neill (Shamrock Rovers), Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Ray Treacy (West Brom), Tony O’Connell (Dundalk)

Spain: Iribar, Sanchis, Santamaria, Reija, Glaria, Violeta, Vava, Luis, Ansola, Marcial, Paquito

7 December 1966. Spain 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Spain’s second group 1 fixture was against Ireland in the Estadio Mestalla, Valencia. Spain dominated for long periods, and took the lead after just 21 minutes through Espanyol forward José María García. Jose Maria received the ball from José Martínez Sánchez “Pirri” near the corner, but dribbled inside and scored through a deflection. Spain could have easily had more, and had numerous chances on Alan Kelly’s goal, but could only score two with Pirri grabbing the second. Losses to Turkey and Czechoslovakia (twice) ended Ireland’s hopes of reaching the 1968 European Championships, with Spain reaching the quarter-finals where they were knocked out by England.

Ireland: Alan Kelly (Preston North End), Shay Brennan (Manchester Utd), Charlie Hurley (Sunderland) capt, John Dempsey (Fulham), Tony Dunne (Manchester Utd), Eamonn Dunphy (Millwall), Mick Meagan (Huddersfield Town), Frank O’Neill (Shamrock Rovers), Jimmy Conway (Fulham), Alfie Hale (Waterford), Andy McEvoy (Blackburn Rovers), Joe Haverty (Shelbourne)

Spain: Iribar, Sanchis, Gallego, Reija, Paquito, Violeta, Pirri, Jara, Ansola, Luis, Jose Maria

9 February 1977. Republic of Ireland 0-1 Spain.
Manager Johnny Giles handed debuts to Tony Macken and Gerry Peyton as Ireland returned to Lansdowne Road for international football in 1977. Going into the match, Ireland had won seven consecutive home games, a record which stretched back to November 1972. However, this was quickly undone as Jesús María Satrústegui scored his first international goal in the tenth minute. José Luis Capón broke free of the defence to cross for Satrustegui, who netted with a diving header. Peyton had to little to do after replacing Mick Kearns at half-time, but Ireland were equally impotent at the other end of the pitch. Frank Stapleton went closest from Liam Brady’s cross but his header was well saved by Real Madrid keeper Miguel Ángel González. French manager Michel Hidalgo was in attendance in the match, but Ireland’s poor performance may have meant he underestimated Giles’s side ahead of their 1978 World Cup qualifier the following month, where Ireland ran out 1-0 winners thanks to Liam Brady’s goal.

Ireland: Mick Kearns (Walsall), Mick Martin (West Brom) capt, David O’Leary (Arsenal), Jimmy Holmes (Coventry Cty), Ray O’Brien (Notts County), Noel Campbell (Fortuna Cologne), Tony Macken (Derby County), Liam Brady (Arsenal), Steve Heighway (Livepool), Don Givens (QPR), Frank Stapleton (Arsenal)
Sub: Gerry Peyton (Fulham) for Kearns 45 mins

Spain: Miguel Angel, Capon, Migueli, Pirri, Cortabarria, Villar, Satrustegui, Asensi, Camacho, Quini, Rojo
Subs: Olmo for Cortabarria 45 mins, Idigoras for Quini 45 mins, Ramos for Pirri 76 mins


17 November 1982. Republic of Ireland 3-3 Spain.
Eoin Hand was in charge for the next meeting between the sides, a Euro 1984 qualifier. Ireland started Group 7 with a 2-1 loss to the Netherlands and a 2-0 win over Iceland before taking on Spain at Lansdowne Road. Ireland took the lead after just 95 seconds, Tony Grealish won the ball and passed to Michael Robinson whose shot was blocked. However, the ball rebounded to Ashley Grimes who struck it first time to send the ball into the corner of the net. Antonio Maceda levelled with a volley just before half-time, and the second half opened badly as Mick Martin put the ball into his own net, and then made a mistake which allowed Víctor Muñoz to extend Spain’s lead. Hand’s side fought back well, with Frank Stapleton netting twice. The first was a header from Brady’s free-kick, before a terrific run from Kevin O’Callaghan set up Stapleton for his tenth international goal.

Ireland: Seamus McDonagh (Bolton Wanderers), John Devine (Arsenal), Mick Martin (Newcastle Utd), Mark Lawrenson (Liverpool), Chris Hughton (Tottenham Hotspur), Tony Grealish (Brighton) capt, Liam Brady (Sampdoria), Ashley Grimes (Manchester United), Kevin O’Callaghan (Ipswich Town), Frank Stapleton (Manchester United), Michael Robinson (Brighton)
Sub: Mickey Walsh (FC Porto) for Grealish 60 mins

Spain: Arconada, Juan Jose, Maceda, Bonet, Camacho, Senor, Victor, Gordillo, Pedraza, Santillana, Marcos
Subs: Martin Vasquez for Pedroza 74 mins, Roberto for Santillana 76 mins

27 April 1983. Spain 2-0 Republic of Ireland
Ireland started 1983 well with a win over Malta, and were still well in contention when they travelled to La Romareda in Zaragoza. Spain had beaten Netherlands 1-0 to leave the group wide open. Eoin Hand set out his team in search of a point, and his side defended well in the first half. However a mix-up between Jim McDonagh and David O’Leary allowed Spain to take the lead through Santillana (Carlos Alonso González) just after half-time. The second half ended with Spain grabbing a late goal, this time through Hipólito “Poli” Rincón. Going into the final group game, Spain were 2 points and 11 goals adrift of the Netherlands, but an astonishing 12-1 win over Malta saw Spain pip the Dutch on goals scored. The previous month, Ireland recorded their biggest ever win, an 8-0 victory over the same opponents. Spain went on to finish runners-up at Euro 84 in France.

Ireland: Seamus McDonagh (Bolton Wanderers), Mark Lawrenson (Liverpool), David O’Leary (Arsenal), Mick Martin (Newcastle Utd), Chris Hughton (Tottenham Hotspur), Ronnie Whelan (Liverpool), Tony Grealish (Brighton) capt, Gary Waddock (Queen’s Park Rangers), Ashley Grimes (Manchester United), Frank Stapleton (Manchester United), Mickey Walsh (FC Porto)
Sub: Kevin O’Callaghan (Ipswich Town) for Gimes 57 mins, Gerry Daly (Coventry City) for Whelan 77 mins

Spain: Arconada, Juan Jose, Maceda, Bonet, Camacho, Victor, Senor, Gordillo, Marcos, Santillana, Carrasco
Subs: Gallego for Victor 45 mins, Rincon for Carrasco 74 mins

26 May 1985. Republic of Ireland 0-0 Spain
The most recent friendly between the two sides was the one and only game held at Cork’s Flower Lodge (now Páirc Uí Rinn). The game was held in Cork to celebrate the city’s 800 anniversary. 12,000 supporters saw Ireland record their third scoreless draw in four games, despite a man of the match performance from captain Liam Brady. Gerry Daly went close with a first-half free, and Brady skimmed the crossbar in the second half, but neither goalkeeper was really threatened. Ireland finally broke their streak of 7 games without a win with a 3-0 victory over Switzerland, but Hand was replaced by Jack Charlton after the World Cup qualifiers.

Ireland: Seamus McDonagh (Gillingham), David Langan (Oxford Utd), David O’Leary (Arsenal), Mick McCarthy (Manchester City), Chris Hughton (Tottenham Hotspur), Gerry Daly (Birmingham City), Gary Waddock (QPR), Liam Brady (Inter Milan) capt, Tony Galvin (Tottenham Hotspur), Alan Campbell (Santander), Michael Robinson (QPR)
Sub: Tony Grealish (West Brom) for Galvin 25 mins, Kieran O’Regan (Brighton) for Hughton 65 mins, Pat Byrne (Shamrock Rovers) for Langan 81 mins

Spain: Zubizarretta, Gerardo, Maceda, Goicoechea, Camacho, Victor, Gallego, Gordillo, Marcos, Santillana, Rincon
Subs: Caldere for Gallego 70 mins, Alberto for Gordillo 76 mins, Sarabia for Santillana 85 mins


16 November 1988. Spain 2-0 Republic of Ireland.
After lifting the spirits of the country at Euro 88, Jack Charlton’s next task was to guide Ireland to a World Cup. Ireland started Group 6 with a disappointing draw against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, and followed that with a 2-0 loss at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in Seville. Spain dominated from start to finish against an injury-hit Irish side, but Packie Bonner kept Ireland in contention for 52 minutes. Manolo (Manuel Sánchez Delgado) finally broke the deadlock after Rafael Martín Vázquez crossed from the left. Manolo had another chalked off for offside before Emilio Butragueño scored his 17th international goal to give Spain a perfect start to World Cup qualifying.

Ireland: Packie Bonner (Glasgow Celtic), Chris Morris (Glasgow Celtic), Mick McCarthy (Glasgow Celtic), David O’Leary (Arsenal), Steve Staunton (Liverpool), Ray Houghton (Liverpool), Kevin Moran (Sporting Gijon) capt, John Sheridan (Leeds Utd), Tony Galvin (Sheffield Wednesday), Tony Cascarino (Millwall), John Aldridge (Liverpool)
Sub: Niall Quinn (Arsenal) for Aldridge 64 mins, Liam O’Brien (Newcastle Utd) for Sheridan 81 mins

Spain: Zubizarreta, Quique, Gorriz, Sanchis, Andrina, Jiminez, Michel, Roberto, Martin, Vazquez, Butragueno, Manola
Subs: Ramon for Manola 67 mins, Solana for Quique 84 mins


26 April 1989. Republic of Ireland 1-0 Spain.
Ireland were lucky to be drawn in one of the 5 team qualifying groups as the second-placed team also qualified, and a 0-0 draw with Hungary in March made a first-place finish even harder to achieve. Spain had won their first five games, but suffered a shock defeat at Lansdowne Road. Ray Houghton swung a 15th minute cross into the box, and after evading Ronnie Whelan, the ball struck Michel (José Miguel González Martín del Campo) who put it past his own goalkeeper. Ireland performed well throughout, and had the ball in the net twice more. First Ray Houghton’s strike was ruled out for offside, and then Paul McGrath’s volley was denied because of a push by Tony Cascarino. Ireland went on to win the remaining four qualifiers to guarantee a place at Italia 90.

Ireland: Packie Bonner (Glasgow Celtic), Chris Hughton (Tottenham), Mick McCarthy (Glasgow Celtic) capt, Kevin Moran (Sporting Gijon), Steve Staunton (Liverpool), Ray Houghton (Liverpool), Paul McGrath (Manchester Utd), Ronnie Whelan (Liverpool), Kevin Sheedy (Everton), Frank Stapleton (Le Havre), Tony Cascarino (Millwall)
Sub: Andy Townsend (Norwich City) for Stapleton 67 mins

Spain: Zubizarreta, Quique, Gorriz, Sanchis, Serna, Jimenez, Michel, Roberto, Martin Vazquez, Manolo, Butragueno
Subs: Eusebio for Quique 69 mins, Salinas for Butragueno 69 mins

18 November 1992. Spain 0-0 Republic of Ireland
After both missing out on Euro 92, Spain and Ireland were drawn in Group 3 for World Cup 1994 qualifying. Ireland started with wins over Albania and Latvia and a draw with Denmark in Copenhagen, while Spain slipped up with draws against Latvia and Northern Ireland after opening with a win over Albania. A scoreless draw at the Estadio Benito Villamarín in Seville was Ireland’s best result on Spanish soil since the 1-0 win in 1946. Roy Keane was impressive for Ireland on his 10th cap, and almost helped opne the scoring when he found Niall Quinn in the 22nd minute via a John Aldridge dummy. Quinn was one-on-one with Andoni Zubizarreta and could have done better, but the goalkeeper stood firm. That was the best chance for either side, and then in the second half Juan Manuel “Juanma” López was sent off for a tackle from behind on Tony Cascarino, meaning the hosts had to hold out for a draw.

Ireland: Packie Bonner (Glasgow Celtic), Denis Irwin (Manchester Utd), Paul McGrath (Aston Villa), Kevin Moran (Blackburn Rovers), Terry Phelan (Manchester City), Ray Houghton (Aston Villa), Roy Keane (Notts Forest), Andy Townsend (Chelsea) capt, Steve Staunton (Aston Villa), John Aldridge (Tranmere Rovers), Niall Quinn (Manchester City)

Spain: Zubizarreta, Ferrer, Lopez, Solozabal, Goikoetxea, Michel, Hierro, Amor, Martin Vazquez, Butragueno, Salinas
Subs: Bakero for Salina 51, Beguiristain for Butragueno 60

13 October 1993. Republic of Ireland 1-3 Spain
Wins over Northern Ireland, Albania, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as a draw with Denmark left Ireland on the verge of qualification heading into the Lansdowne Road game with Spain. A victory would guarantee a place in the World Cup finals for Ireland, but three goals in the first half hour gave the visitors the win. José Luis Pérez Caminero opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a volley, before a mistake from Ray Houghton in midfield allowed Francisco José “Paco” Camarasa to play in Julio Salinas with a through ball to make it 2-0. Salinas got his second on 26 minutes, rounding Packie Bonner on a quick counter-attack. Alan Kernaghan had hit the bar moments before, and by the time John Sheridan netted in the 76th minute, Spain were already thinking of their final game with Denmark. Ireland had succumbed to their first competitive home defeat in eight years, but an epic 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland at Windsor Park sent Charlton’s team to USA for the 1994 World Cup.

Ireland: Packie Bonner (Glasgow Celtic), Denis Irwin (Manchester Utd), Terry Phelan (Manchester City), Alan Kernaghan (Manchester City), Kevin Moran (Blackburn Rovers) capt, Roy Keane (Manchester Utd), Paul McGrath (Aston Villa), Ray Houghton (Aston Villa), Niall Quinn (Manchester City), Ronnie Whelan (Liverpool), Steve Staunton (Aston Villa)
Subs: John Sheridan (Sheffield Wednesday) for Moran 23 mins, Tony Cascarino (Chelsea) for Staunton 45 mins

Spain: Zubizarreta, Ferrer, Voro, Nadal, Giner, Hierro, Goikoetxea, Camarasa, Salinas, Caminero, Luis Enrique
Subs: Bakero for Caminero 31 mins, Guardiola for Salinas 68 mins


16 June 2002. Spain 1-1 Republic of Ireland (3-2 on penalties)
After the fallout of Saipan, Mick McCarthy’s Ireland restored pride to the nation with 1-1 draws against Cameroon and Germany at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, before a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia set up a Second Round tie with Spain. José Antonio Camacho’s side had topped Group B ahead of Paraguay, South Africa, and Slovenia, and were favourites to win at the Suwon World Cup Stadium. An eighth minute header from Fernando Morientes broke Irish hearts, but the Irish side did not capitulate, with the offside trap proving effective against Morientes and Raul. In the second half Ireland were offered a lifeline from the spot after Damien Duff was felled, but Ian Harte struck the penalty kick at Iker Casillas, and Kevin Kilbane sliced the rebound. However, substitute Niall Quinn once again was Ireland’s saviour, winning a stoppage time penalty, which Robbie Keane converted to send the game to extra time. David Albelda was forced off injured in extra time, but Ireland could not make the man advantage count and the game went to penalties. Each side took five spot kicks, but saved efforts from David Connolly and Kevin Kilbane as well as Matt Holland’s crossbar rattler meant Spain ran out 3-2 winners when Gaizka Mendieta narrowly beat Shay Given with the final penalty. Spain faced South Korea in the quarter-final, but went out on penalties to the tournament’s surprise package.

Ireland: Given; Finnan, Breen, Staunton (Cunningham 49), Harte (Connolly 81); Kelly (Quinn54), Kinsella, Holland, Kilbane; Robbie Keane, Duff.

Spain: Casillas; Puyol, Hierro, Helguera, Juanfran; Luis Enrique, Baraja, Valeron, De Pedro (Mendieta 66); Morientes (Albelda 72), Raul (Luque 80).

Related posts:

  1. Republic of Ireland v Northern Ireland Match History
  2. Ireland v Hungary Match History
  3. Ireland v Uruguay: Match History
  4. Ireland v Croatia Match History
  5. Republic of Ireland v Scotland Match History

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