Ireland 3 France 2

Frank Stapleton

Re­pub­lic of Ire­land 3 Fran­ce 2, Lans­downe Road, FIFA Wor­ld Cup Quali­fier, Oct­ober 14, 1981. The Re­pub­lic of Ire­land had col­lec­ted a hard-fou­ght 2-2 draw ag­ainst Hol­land at Feyenoord´s De Kuip in Rot­ter­dam in their last quali­fier fix­ture and The Boys in Green put in an equally strong te­am per­form­ance ag­ainst the French at Landsdowne Road in Dublin. 

The Re­pub­lic of Ire­land, who were skippered by Ju­ventus mid­fielder Liam Bra­dy, went on to de­feat Fran­ce by three goals to two in front of 54,000 people at Landsdowne, which was the biggest at­tend­ance ever for a soc­cer mat­ch at the fam­ous sta­dium. The Ir­ish took an early one-nil lead when FC Metz centre-back Phil­ippe Mahut put a dan­ger­ous cross from Brighton and Hove Al­bion at­tack­er Mi­chael Robin­son in­to his own net in the fifth min­ute of the mid­week en­counter, on­ly for Les Bleus to level the score thro­ugh a mag­ni­fi­cent un­stoppable shot from AS Monaco´s Bruno Bel­lone just four min­utes la­ter. Re­fus­ing to des­pair, the green shirts pressed for­ward ag­ain and they re­gained their ad­vant­age af­ter twenty-five min­utes of non-stop ac­tion when Man­chester Uni­ted marks­man Frank Stapleton be­at Saint-Etienne shot stop­per Jean Castaneda wi­th a clo­se ran­ge ef­fort af­ter re­ceiv­ing a cut-back pass from Da­vid O´Leary. Spurred on by the bois­ter­ous ho­me crowd, the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land con­tin­ued mount­ing pres­sure on the opposition´s de­fence and Robin­son ad­ded a third goal for Eoin Hand´s si­de five min­utes ahead of the in­ter­val fol­low­ing a dread­ful back­pass from ex­per­i­enced de­fender Ger­ard Jan­vi­on. The French­men re­duced the ar­rears as cap­tain Michel Plat­ini sco­red wi­th sev­en min­utes re­maining on the watch, but The Green Army held firm to win the tussle. Re­pub­lic of Ire­land Te­am: Seamus Mc­Don­agh, Dave Lan­gan, Chris Hughton, Kev­in Mor­an, Da­vid O’Leary, Ma­rk Lawren­son, Liam Bra­dy, Mick Mar­tin, Frank Stapleton, Mi­chael Robin­son, Ron­nie Whelan. Sub­sti­tute: Don Givens. Fran­ce Te­am: Jean Castaneda, Maxime Bossis, Ger­ard Jan­vi­on, Chris­ti­an Lo­pez, Phil­ippe Mahut, Rene Gir­ard, Jean-Fran­cois Lari­os, Michel Plat­ini, Bruno Bel­lone, Alain Couri­ol, Didi­er Chris­tophe. Sub­stitutes: Didi­er Six, Fran­cois Bracci.

 

The Republic of Ireland Quickfacts

The Re­pub­lic of Ire­land drew one-all ag­ainst Fran­ce in an in­ter­na­tion­al friendly clash at Daly­mount Park in Dub­lin on the six­teenth of Nov­ember 1952, wi­th le­gendary Celt­ic de­fender Sean Fal­lon find­ing the tar­get for the hosts and just as le­gendary Nancy for­ward Ro­ger Pi­an­toni scor­ing for the French.

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