The preparations for the 2016 Euros get into full swing this week when Ireland host Switzerland on Good Friday in Landsdowne Road. The pre-tournament friendlies are an integral part of the build-up to every tournament, but how have Ireland fared over the years as they warmed up for tournaments from Germany in 1988 to Poland in 2012? We have the answers here!
Ireland 2-0 Romania. 23rd March 1988; Dublin – (Irish Scorers) Kevin Moran, David Kelly
Ireland 2- 0 Yugoslavia. 27th April 1988; Dublin – Mick McCarthy, Kevin Moran
Ireland 3- 1 Poland, 22nd May 1988; Dublin – Kevin Sheedy, Tony Cascarino, John Sheridan
Norway 0- 0 Ireland, 1st June 1988; Oslo.
A very solid warm-up campaign that saw three wins from four games as Ireland kept up their unbeaten run that would end at 12 games when they were cruelly denied by Holland a few weeks after the draw with Norway.
Ireland 1- 0 Wales, 28th March, 1990; Dublin – Bernie Slaven (above).
Ireland 1- 0 Soviet Union, 25th April, 1990; Dublin – Steve Staunton.
Ireland 1-1 Finland, 16th, May, 1990; Dublin – Kevin Sheedy.
Turkey 0-0 Ireland, 27th May, 1990; Izmir.
Malta 1- 3 Ireland, 2nd June, 1990; Ta Qali – Niall Quinn, Andy Townsend, Frank Stapleton.
Three wins and two defeats as Ireland shaped up for a first ever World Cup appearance. The final game against Malta before the tournament proper saw Frank Stapleton score his 20th and final international goal. The man who would break his record years later, Niall Quinn, bagged his second ever Irish goal in the same game.
Ireland 0 – 0 Russia, 23rd March, 1994; Dublin.
Holland 0- 1 Ireland, 20th April, 1994; Tillburg – Tommy Coyne.
Ireland 1 -0 Bolivia, 24th May, 1994; Dublin – John Sheridan.
Germany 0 -2 Ireland, 29th May, 1994; Hannover – Tony Cascarino, Gary Kelly.
Ireland 1 – 3 Czech Republic, 5th June, 1994; Dublin – Andy Townsend.
A memorable warm up run as Ireland overcame both Holland (above) and Germany in widely celebrated victories – the latter coming on the same day as Down dethroned Ulster and All Ireland champions Derry in one of the all time great Ulster championship clashes. Despite a first loss in 14 warm-up games to an up and coming Czech Republic (comprising of many players who would go on to play in the 1996 Euros final), hopes were high for the Irish invasion stateside. Holland though would gain revenge in Orlando.
JAPAN/SOUTH KOREA 2002
Ireland 2 – 0 Russia, 13th February 2002; Dublin – Steven Reid, Robbie Keane.
Ireland 3- 0 Denmark, 27th March, 2002; Dublin – Ian Harte, Robbie Keane, Clinton Morrison.
Ireland 2- 1 USA, 17th April, 2002; Dublin – Mark Kinsella, Gary Doherty.
Ireland 1- 2 Nigeria, 16th May, 2002; Dublin – Steven Reid.
Ireland’s two year unbeaten record in Dublin was brought to an end on the eve of the tournament by Nigeria in the 100th international played in Landsdowne Road. It was a disappointing end to a promising warm-up run but luckily nothing of real significance happened between then and the tournament….
Ireland 1 – 1 Czech Republic, 29th February, 2012; Dublin – Simon Cox.
Ireland 1- 0 Bosnia Herzegovina, 26th May, 2012; Dublin – Shane Long.
Ireland 0-0 Hungary, 4th June, 2012; Budapest.
Just the three games in the 2012 warm ups including the final away game against Hungary that may go down as the most boring game of football ever played. Indeed, the game was not fully recognised by FIFA due to one of the officials not being on their list but the FA did award caps for the game thus allowing Damien Duff reach the century.
Ireland ?- ? Switzerland, 25th March, 2016
Ireland ? – ? Slovenia, 29th March, 2016
Ireland ? – ? Holland, 27th May, 2016
Visit the Elverys Intersport Aviva Stadium Store as Ireland warm up for Euro 2016 and cheer on the Boys in Green with the new Home Kit – http://bit.ly/1KQbJMz