WC 1994 Grp E
Date: 9 p.m. June 18, 1994
Venue:
Att: 75,338
TV: RTE

Scored: 11'
- Ray Houghton 11'

Live Updates for Italy -v- Republic of Ireland

Updates by Dave Donnelly

90' + 4'

FULL TIME!

The game has ended between Italy and Republic of Ireland. It's all over and the Republic of Ireland hold on for a historic result - their first-ever win at the World Cup at the expense of Italy, thanks to Ray Houghton's early goal. Boos ring around the stadium but they seem to be directed from the Italian fans towards their own team. The Italians can't complain too much about the result - Ireland created the best chances and could have wrapped it up earlier only for John Sheridan's shot to rattle the bar. What now for the Italians, one of the pre-tournament favourites? They have their work cut out to get out of the group now with Norway and Mexico to come.

90' + 3'

McAteer wins a free kick deep in the Italy half and surely that must be it?

90' + 2'

Aldridge's first action is to be caught offside and the Italians break, but once more Paul McGrath is there to block Massaro at the expense of a corner. Berti works the ball into the box and once more McGrath is first to it... and he wins the free kick!

90' + 1'

Jack Charlton is beckoning his team to push up the pitch and gets his reward as Townsend wins the ball and charges up towards the corner, and wins the throw-in off Costacurta.

90'

Substitution

John Aldridge replaces Tommy Coyne for Republic of Ireland. Off goes Coyne, who looks like he could use that stretcher from the first half, and on comes the Tranmere Rovers striker for what's sure to the first of many smooth, no-nonsense substitute appearances.

87'

The Italians are getting a bit more panicked now, Baresi firing it long to Massaro, who has held the ball up brilliantly since his introduction at the break. He tries to find Berti but the imperious McGrath is there first, and wins the free kick into the bargain. Magnificent defending from the Aston Villa man.

85'

Big call from Sacchi there, bringing of arguably his best player on the night in Signori for Nicola Berti of Inter.

84'

Substitution

Nicola Berti replaces Guiseppe Signori for Italy.

80'

Yellow Card

Denis Irwin is booked for Republic of Ireland.

79'

Italy are still probing the Ireland box but heads are starting to drop, as Donadoni sees another tame effort easily saved by Bonner.

78'

Approaching the final ten minutes here and Ireland continue to show more of a goal threat, Andy Townsend this time meeting Staunton's cross at the back post and forcing Pagliuca into a smart save.

74'

If Ireland are downhearted following that narrow Sheridan miss, they haven't shown it and have a real pep in their step. The introduction of McAteer seems to have given them a renewed energy, but his first shot at a World Cup finals is wayward.

72'

Oh my word! John Sheridan has his head in his hands in disbelief. Outstanding work by Roy Keane wide on the left as he zigzags his way to the endline, picks up his head and cuts back for John Sheridan. Either he or Coyne could have pulled the trigger,but it was the sweet right boot of Sheridan that had Pagliuca beaten all ends up, only for the ball to rocket back off the bar!

70'

Ireland seem to have weathered the storm for the moment, but the Italians still look strong. Tommy Coyne has run himself ragged up front and surely it's only a matter of time before we see John Aldridge into the fray.

68'

Substitution

Jason McAteer replaces Ray Houghton for Republic of Ireland. Finally, the Bolton Wanderers man is on for his World Cup debut. Hopefully this is the last incident of pointless jobsworthism we see in this tournament.

68'

Farcical scenes here as Jason McAteer, on his 23rd birthday, comes on to replace Houghton but has to leave the field again as his number hadn't been held up correctly. In the melée, Houghton manages to get a shot away and forces a good save from Pagliuca. What a way to sign off that would have been!

66'

It's 11 men behind the ball now for Ireland and even that is looking like a man or two too few - the Italians really showing their class on the ball now. Baggio has another go from outside the box and again it curves wide - how long can Ireland depend on the ponytailed genius's radar being off?

65'

Save! That's the best chance Italy have made so far as Packie Bonner is in top form to deny Signori with a furious drive at the near post. Could Houghton have done better to close down the Lazio striker there? He seemed to find space awfully easily.

64'

Chants of "ooh-ah Paul McGrath" echo around the Giants Stadium. And what a game he's had!

62'

Better from Ireland as they hold onto the ball in the Italian half and Keane looks to pick out the run of Townsend, but it's overhit and straight into the arms of Pagliuca. The skipper was offside in any case - good offside line from the experience Italian backline.

60'

Italy really threatening now and Donadoni threads through for Dino Baggio, but what a challenge from Denis Irwin! From the resulting corner, Albertini skies his shot and Ireland survive, but Dino Baggio has had an outstanding first 15 here and will need to be watched.

59'

Dino Baggio somehow manages to escape without a yellow card for a challenge on Houghton, the Parma man seeming to stamp down over the ball, but Houghton is thankfully unhurt. Tell me how is that not a yellow but Phelan's in the first was?

58'

Ireland starting to look a bit ragged now. Good hold-up play from the sub Massaro and Dino Baggio's run from midfield isn't tracked by Keane or Townsend. He lays it off to Donadoni coming in from the right and Bonner is grateful to see him slice his shot high and wide.

56'

Another free kick for the Italians, this time 25 yards out and from an angle, and once again they overcomplicate it and Dino Baggio's eventual strike is easy for Packie Bonner to pick up. The Ireland keeper hasn't had much to do, it has to be said...

55'

Top class once again from Phil Babb. It was a risky one as he was unsighted of Dino Baggio in behind him, so he had to be spot on, and so he was, flicking the ball clear of the midfielder for a corner, which comes to nothing. Great defending once more - the Irish back four have been outstanding as a unit.

54'

Ireland are going to need to find a way to get their foot on the ball here and slow it down, because they're not going to conserve their energy running around in this heat.

51'

Oooh that was a little reckless from Phelan there. He's already on a yellow, remember, and he dives in on Donadoni who, thankfully, steps out of the way and the referee waves play on.

50'

Yellow Card

Tommy Coyne is booked for Republic of Ireland. Oh come on. FIFA have brought in a new rule for these championships that any player who refuses to leave the pitch for treatment will be booked, and Coyne is shown a yellow card as he is fit enough to play on. Baffling stuff and hopefully FIFA will see sense eventually.

48'

Danger here as Donadoni wins a free kick 30 yards out in a dangerous area, and Albertini can hit them... it's laid off for Signori and Irwin is out like a flash to block the low shot. A waste from the Italians, and Ireland breathe a sigh of relief.

46'

Second Half

The second half between Italy and Republic of Ireland has started.

46'

Arrigo Sacchi is not happy about that first-half performance and he's moved at half time to replace Alberigo Evani, who has struggled up against Denis Irwin, with Daniele Massaro in a straight swap on that left wing.

46'

Substitution

Daniele Massaro replaces Alberigo Evani for Italy.

45' + 1'

If Ireland manage to hold out for the win here, there'll be a gallon or two of Guinness sunk in the bars of New York tonight. Speaking of which, has anyone seen the new Guinness ad? I reckon this bossa nova tune might become iconic in the years to come! 

 

45' + 1'

45' + 1'

Half Time

It is half-time between Italy and Republic of Ireland. Well, who would have thought? Half time at the Giants Stadium and Ireland lead the Italians 1-0 thanks to Ray Houghton's fine early goal. Italy knocked Ireland out at Italia '90 and Ireland look determined to get their revenge here today. A big 45 minutes ahead.

45'

We haven't seen too much of Denis Irwin in an attacking sense either but that's a lovely first-time ball to find Coyne in the area, and he's unlucky that his flicked header bounces wide of the target, although Pagliuca seemed to have it covered anyway.

44'

Italy looking to force things late in the half and Roberto Baggio runs at Paul McGrath but, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, he checks back and Albertini's subsequent lofted pass for Signori is headed away by the big man.

42'

We haven't seen much of Donadoni so far but the winger shows good skill to work his way infield and link up with Roberto Baggio. He tries to pick out Signori but there is Babb again to head the ball clear. What a World Cup debut this young fellow is having.

38'

The Italians have been quite loose in possession. Both Tassotti and Evani give the ball away under little pressure and eventually Ireland win a free kick for a foul on Houghton, but Tommy Coyne gives away a free kick from the resulting delivery. Ireland will need to make more of opportunities like that.

35'

Jack Charlton is rocking that bright white baseball cap something fierce today. He looks like a member of Boyz II Men, a popular vocal combo of the current era.

33'

A nice idea from a free kick wide on the left as Staunton dummies and Sheridan slips it down the line for the winger, but the pass is slightly overhit and the cross sails over the endline.

32'

The Italians continue to threaten but the deep-lying Ireland backline is forcing them to shoot from distance. This time it's Dino Baggio who sees a glimpse of the goal but pulls his shot left and wide.

30'

Yellow Card

Terry Phelan is booked for Republic of Ireland. Bit of a harsh yellow there for Phelan as he clips Donadoni slightly late.

29'

There's an indication of the menace of Roberto Baggio. He picks up that space in advanced midfield, exchanges a one-two with Signori and shoots first time but, luckily for Ireland, he can't keep his effort down.

26'

Ireland sitting back a little bit now - the heat is intense out there and they started the game at a serious pace. That will provide some space for Baggio to get his mercurial boots working, however, and a lot will be asked of young Roy Keane to break the play up for Ireland.

24'

How assured is Phil Babb? Under pressure from Signori and with Bonner unwilling to come out to claim the loose ball, he calmly pops it out for a throw-in.

22'

Roberto Baggio is starting to run the show for Italy in the hole but Paul McGrath seems to be everywhere in this first half, heading clear anything the Juventus man flicks his way.

21'

A loose pass from Roy Keane there put Phelan in trouble and the throw-in is conceded in the Irish half. He'll have to be more accurate than that if he's to make it at a club like Manchester United.

20'

Ray Houghton appears to have the run of that position between the Italian defence and midfield - he finds more space but can't get his shot away and feeds Staunton, who wins a throw. Will Italy regret not playing a more traditional defensive midfielder in there?

19'

A first proper sight of goal for Signori there but, with Phil Babb sticking firmly to him, he can't hit the tatrget. The Coventry City defender has adapted well to the demands of international football - he may be one to look out for in future.

18'

Oh, that was a good chance. Some nice one-touch stuff sees Staunton scamper free on the left and he plays inside for Townsend in space. The ball goes just behind the Irish captain and he has to check back, and he can't get his shot away with any power as Costacurta lunges in to block. Unfortunate.

16'

The Italians appear a little shellshocked by how things have gone so far, and they're making more errors on the ball than we're used to seeing. They can't feel too aggrieved about the goal - Ireland have found space in behind the full-backs Tassotti and Maldini a few times already.

13'

The Irish fans were loud before but the atmosphere now is absolutely electric. One of the tournament favourites trail the Republic of Ireland with just under a third of the first half played, and Ray Houghton, as it was in Stuttgary in 1988, is the name on every Irish fan's lips.

11'

GOAL!

Ray Houghton scores for Republic of Ireland. Wow! A long ball forward from John Sheridan is met by Coyne, Baresi can only head clear as far as Houghton, who lets the ball bounces and lofts a gorgeous volley over the head of Pagluica and into the Italian net. Ireland lead at the Giants Stadium!

11'

Nice build-up from right to left from Italy and Roberto Baggio tries to set up Signori in the box, but the Lazio man can't get hold of it after beating McGrath to the ball.

11'

Half-chance for Ireland there as Townsend wins a header high up the pitch and it sits up for Coyne to strike, but he doesn't really get hold of it and Pagluica easily gathers. You'd imagine Ireland won't have many chances from that range, so they'll need to take them...

8'

Well! I suggested Paul McGrath might be up against it with the pace of Signori but the Aston Villa showed fleet of foot to recover and just nick the ball off the striker's toe. That would certainly have been 1-0 but for McGrath's excellent intervention. First bit of danger the Italians have shown, and they're started to see more of the ball now.

5'

Positive start from Ireland as Staunton and Terry Phelan link up well down the left but Phelan's cross is overhit. There was an offside earlier in the move anyhow.

4'

First sign from Roy Keane of the aggression he can bring to the midfield battle with a pair of strong challenges on Dino Baggio. Scrappy game so far, mind.

2'

The Italians not afraid to move quickly from back to front but Baresi's lofted pass is overhit.

1'

Quite a start from Ireland here. A strong run from Steve Staunton to put pressure on the Italian defence and, when the ball breaks, the wideman smashes a shot wide of the target.

1'

GAME ON!

The game between Italy and Republic of Ireland has kicked off.

0'

Bit of a slower burner that Irish national anthem. 

0'

The national anthems are underway. As the designated away side, we'll first hear Il Canto degli Italiani. And then it's onto Amhrán na bhFiann, with a massive Irish crowd ready to belt it out.

0'

Paul McGrath looks a little bit stiff in the warm-up out there. The Aston Villa man may struggle against the pace of the lethal Bepe Signori tonight... we hope not.

0'

I can hear Niall Quinn out of the corner of my ear, commentating for RTÉ with George Hamilton, and he reckons we might just get something out of it. His replacement up front, Tommy Coyne, will have a part to play in that, you'd imagine.

0'

I've just taken a call on my giant oversized mobile telephone, as smartphones haven't been invented yet, who informs me that the RTÉ panel have taken an unusually bullish approach to their predictions. John Giles and Frank Stapleton both predict a draw, while Joe Kinnear goes for a 1-0 win with Ireland having "total control in midfield." John has his doubts about Roberto Baggio too...

0'

And good luck to the Vatican and the state of Israel, who this week have established full diplomatic relations. I'm sure there will be no problems there.

0'

How about that OJ Simpson car chase, eh? It's 1994 so it only happened six days ago so it should still be fresh in your minds.

0'

Those lucky enough to get tickets will no doubt have a great night in New York either way, but for those at home, why not get in the mood by listening to the current number one in the singles charts? It can only be Michael Flatley and Jean Butler dancing to Bill Whelan's Riverdance! 

 

0'

The teams are in and there are few surprises on either side. Italy manager Arigo Sacchi has plumped for his reliable all-AC Milan defence with Maldini and Tassotti flanking the ageless Baresi and Costacurta, while the Baggio brothers Dino and Roberto, who are not related, make up the spine of midfield.


With Niall Quinn and Tony Cascarino both injured and out of the tournament, Ireland manager Jack Charlton has plumped for Tommy Coyne of Motherwell to lead the one-man frontline ahead of John Aldridge, whose experience may yet be needed from the touchline in this tournament. Young Manchester United tyro Roy Keane starts in midfield alongside captain Andy Townsend and Ray Houghton, both of Aston Villa.

0'

Good evening and welcome to a gorgeous evening at the Giants Stadium in New Jersey as a packed-out crowd is here to see the Republic of Ireland open their World Cup 1994 campaign against Italy. There are massive communities of both nationalities in the tri-state area but it's notable just how heavily outnumbered the Italians are by their Irish counterparts. Kick off is just under half an hour away!



Photo Gallery for Italy -v- Republic of Ireland



Italy
Gianluca Pagliuca
Goalkeeper
Alessandro Costacurta
Defender
Franco Baresi
Defender
Paolo Maldini
Defender
Mauro Tassotti
Defender
Alberigo Evani
46'
46Subbed Off: 46'
Midfielder
Roberto Donadoni
Midfielder
Dino Baggio
Midfielder
Demetrio Albertini
Midfielder
Roberto Baggio
Forward
Guiseppe Signori
84'
84Subbed Off: 84'
Forward

Substitutes
Antonio Conte
Manager
Pierluigi Casiraghi
Forward
Luca Bucci
Goalkeeper
Nicola Berti
84'
84Subbed On: 84'
Midfield
Antonio Benarrivo
Defender
Luigi Apolloni
Defender
Luca Marchegiani
Goalkeeper
Daniele Massaro
46'
46Subbed On: 46'
Forward
Lorenzo Minotti
Defender
Roberto Mussi
Defender
Gianfranco Zola
Forward
Republic of Ireland
Packie Bonner
Goalkeeper
Terry Phelan
Defender
30Booked: 30'
Paul McGrath
Defender
Denis Irwin
Defender
80Booked: 80'
Phil Babb
Defender
Andy Townsend
Midfielder
Steve Staunton
Midfielder
John Sheridan
Midfielder
Roy Keane
Midfielder
Ray Houghton
Midfielder
11Scored: 11'
68'
68Subbed Off: 68'
Tommy Coyne
Forward
50Booked: 50'
90'
90Subbed Off: 90'

Substitutes
Kevin Moran
Defender
Alan McLoughlin
Midfield
Eddie McGoldrick
Midfield
Jason McAteer
Midfield
68Subbed On: 68'
68'
Alan Kernaghan
Defender
David Kelly
Forward
Gary Kelly
Defender
Alan Kelly
Goalkeeper
Tony Cascarino
Forward
John Aldridge
Forward
90Subbed On: 90'
90'
Ronnie Whelan
Midfield