Ireland 3 France 2
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.