You Boys In Green
Packie Bonner V Romania
Come on you boys in green.
Sheedy, Houghton, Townsend & Cascarino had all put away their penalties but so had the four Romanians. Bonner had guessed the right way for each previous shot but hadn’t managed to stop any. Daniel Timofte stepped up next, he shot too close to the keeper and Burtonport finest export dived right to knock it away.
It’s the highlight of our international football history and the sight of the big man from Donegal dressed in grey and black parrying the shot still sends shivers down the spine. Of course Dave O’Leary’s follow up peno was equally as spine tingling and pile up afterwards is as iconic an image as Bonners save.
Ronnie Whelan V Russia
If you don’t think this is the best goal ever… Ronnie will fight you.
Our first major championship and we’d beaten England in the first game, how do you top that? Mick McCarthy flung the ball into the box with a huge throw-in, Ronnie rose, spun and fired a rocket to Russia, in under the bar. An incredible bicycle kick goal that the Finglas dynamo later admitted had hit his shin. Not that we cared.
Ronnie was an integral part of the dominant Liverpool side of the 1980s and should have felt right ah home playing European football.
Niall Quinn V Holland
Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman we gave your boys one hell of an arranged draw.
The goal had as much to do with Niall Quinn’s height as his skill. The kick out from Bonner was so long it dropped just outside the Dutch box, van Aerle’s dodgy back pass was fumbled by the manky jersey wearing Hans van Breukelen and the Mighty Quinn stretched every inch of his 6’4” frame to scramble home the goal.