Watch: 30 years ago today, Ireland faced England in their first-ever World Cup game

Thu, Jun 11 2020

The iconic Ireland jersey worn at Italia '90. Credit: Macdara Ferris (ETPhotos)

This day 30 years ago so the Republic of Ireland open their 1990 World Cup Group F campaign with a 1-1 draw against familiar rivals England.

Kevin Sheedy's fine strike 17 minutes from time earned Jack Charlton's side their first point in their first-ever game at the World Cup finals.

They had to do it the hard way as the 1986 Golden Boot winner Gary Lineker gave the English the lead early doors following a mix-up in the Irish defence.

A diagonal ball from Marseille winger Chris Waddle picked out the 30-yard Tottenham Hotspur striker, who nipped in between Chris Morris and Mick McCarthy to scramble home.

Ireland, who had beaten England in their Euro 88 clash two years earlier thanks to a Ray Houghton header, endured the early batterring and worked their way into the game.

And they levelled things up after the break when a mistake from Liverpool’s Steve McMahon, who had only replaced Peter Beardsley moments earlier, allowed Sheedy the chance to pounce.

McMahon’s loose touch allowed Tony Cascarino and Sheedy to close him down and it was the Everton winger who took a touch before firing low past Peter Shilton.

The sportscast will run throughout the month as we recount Italia '90 day-to-day as it happened. Listen to day four, which includes Ireland v England, here.