Home Irish Football Countdown To Bosnia – Ireland’s Playoff History

Countdown To Bosnia – Ireland’s Playoff History


The playoff has always been an important point to consider before a major championship from an Irish perspective. Here, we take a look back at Ireland’s play-off history ahead of tonight’s massive clash with Bosnia….

Ireland V Spain World Cup 66′ Playoff

Ireland first played Spain at home in Dalymount where they ran out 1-0 winners before travelling to Spain where they managed to lose 4-1. Bizarrely, back then the game moved onto a third fixture which was played in Paris as a neautral venue where a brave and fantastic Irish team lost 1-0. Known as one of the darkest days in Irish football it would be another 20 years waiting for qualification for Irish fans.

Ireland V Netherlands Euro 96′ playoff

At this time the playoff was a single match at a neutral venue. So, Anfield the home of Liverpool Fc was chosen. An emotional night was had where the Netherlands completely outclassed Ireland 2-0. The game signaled the end of the Charlton era, the most successful  to ever manage Ireland hung up his managerial paddy-cap for the last time.

Ireland V Belgium World Cup 98′ playoff

The new era of Irish football without Charlton was manned by Mick McCarthy. A Roy Keane-less Ireland welcomed Belgium to town for the first leg where they managed to draw 1-1. This put extreme importance on the second leg in Brussels where sadly as Ireland do so much we managed to lose by a single goal. Regardless this was good for a team in transition and under new management for the first time in years.

Ireland V Turkey Euro 00′ playoff

In typical Irish fashion, we were dealt a heartbreaking end to the campaign having missed out on automatic qualification through a last minute equaliser from Macedonia’s Stavrevski. This gave Ireland the chance to qualify yet again through the playoff system. The first leg In Dublin finished 1-1 with a goal for a young lad playing for Coventry city called Robbie Keane or something along those lines. Then the second leg was in a tense atmosphere in Bursa where Turkey held out for a 0-0 and went through on away goals.

Ireland V Iran World Cup 02′ playoff

After countless failed attempts at breaking through the playoff system it finally happened in Tehran after a wonderful campaign. This is a campaign that lives fondly in the memory of most Irish people. Ireland went into the playoff confident and this prevailed with a 2-1 win on aggregate over Iran. Roy Keane then lead the Irish team into the World Cup in South Korea/Japan, where well, you know what happened…

Ireland V France World cup 10′ playoff

I will just insert this clip as the less said the better.

Ireland V Estonia Euro 12′

In what was almost plain sailing Ireland toppled Estonia under Trap. This was a very joyous occasion as it was the first time in 10 years we had made it to a major competition. The 4-0 in Tallinn setup a party atmosphere in Dublin where a sold out Aviva stadium first felt as if it was a home to the soccer team.

Ireland V Bosnia and Herzegovina Euro 16′

A completely different team from the last time Ireland played in a playoff will face tough conditions in Zenica. They will have to play extremely well if they are to make it to Dublin next Monday with an away goal or a draw. But, having made it this far there is no reason why they cant pull off anymore surprises and make it to France next summer!

About David Cullinane

David Cullinane
Aspiring to write words on the beautiful game and lover of all things international football, European football and Waterford United.