Watch: 27 years ago, Alan McLoughlin volleyed Ireland to the 1994 World Cup in AmericaWed, Nov 18 2020
It’s 27 years since Alan McLoughlin’s volley found the bottom corner in Windsor Park and fired the Republic of Ireland to a second-ever World Cup finals at USA ’94.
Jimmy Quinn had put Northern Ireland in front earlier in the night and the goal looked set to be enough to end Ireland’s chances of qualification for the finals in the States.
The Republic had beaten the North by a handy three goals to nil at Lansdowne Road earlier in the group but found Billy Bingham’s side a sterner test in the intimidating environs of West Belfast.
And it was a stunning strike from the veteran striker Quinn that looked to have done for Jack Charlton’s men.
Iain Dowie found Gordon Wilson with a low pass and he flicked it up for Quinn to unleash an astonishingly first-time volley that sent the ball sailing past Packie Bonner.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game but a foul by Nigel Worthington on Eddie McGoldrick presented Ireland with a chance moments later.
Denis Irwin’s cross was headed to the edge of the box, where substitute McLoughlin took it on his chest and volleyed yet another beautiful strike in the bottom corner.
With Denmark losing to Spain in the other game at the top of Group 3, the draw proved enough to earn Ireland qualification as group runners-up.