A quick look at Ireland’s history in playoff second legs
It’s been a mixed bag over the years with delight and disappointment equally spread
Republic of Ireland players celebrate after beating Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for the 2016 European Championships. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Over the years playoff second legs have been as cruel to Ireland as they have been kind with three proving successful in sending Ireland through while three more have seen them crash out.
Belgium squeeze into France ’98
November 15th, 1997 – Belgium 2 Ireland 1 (aggregate: Belgium 3 Ireland 2)
After Ray Houghton’s equaliser had given Ireland hope, a late winner from Luc Nilis was enough to send Belgium through but not without controversy. In the build-up to Nilis’ goal, referee Gunter Benko had overruled his assistant to award Belgium a throw-in, catching Ireland flat-footed.
Trouble follows goalless draw in Turkey
November 17th, 1999 – Turkey 0 Ireland 0 (aggregate: Turkey 1 Ireland 1)
Ireland left the Turkish city of Bursa feeling hard done by after some questionable refereeing decisions and a full-on riot on the pitch after the game left the home side to go through courtesy of their away goal in Dublin.
Ireland cling on in Tehran
November 15th, 2001 – Iran 1 Ireland 0 (aggregate: Iran 1 Ireland 2)
In front of 100,000 people at the Azadi Stadium, Ireland managed to keep the home side out until a consolation goal in stoppage time but it didn’t matter because the hard work had been done in the first leg and Ireland had qualified.
Henry hands France a World Cup berth
November 18th, 2009 – France 1 Ireland 1 (AET) (aggregate: France 2 Ireland 1)
Robbie Keane’s goal in normal time has forced extra-time but, 13 minutes in, Florent Malouda’s ball into the box was allowed to bounce and looked to be going out of play but Thierry Henry stuck out a hand to control it before squaring to William Gallas who bundled home.
Ireland sweep Estonia aside
November 15th, 2011 – Ireland 1 Estonia 1 (second leg) (aggregate: Ireland 5 Estonia 1)
On the half hour mark Stephen Ward popped up to increase Ireland’s already sizeable aggregate advantage after a 4-0 first lef win and Konstantin Vassiljev’s second half strike only proved to restore some Estonian pride.
Walters’ brace sends Ireland to France
November 16th, 2015 – Ireland 2 Bosnia & Herzegovina 0 (aggregate: Ireland 3 Bosnia & Herzegovina 1
After Robbie Brady’s crucial away goal in the fog of Zenica, Ireland had the advantage heading to Dublin and Jonathan Walters set them on their way with a first half penalty before confirming the result with a second half volley.