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Poll: What Is Ireland's Greatest Ever International Goal?

Poll: What Is Ireland's Greatest Ever International Goal?
By Paul O'Hara Updated

After Aiden McGeady's beautiful turn and strike last night to snatch a late victory in Tbilisi, plenty of voices on social media and beyond were moved to declare it the best Irish international goal ever - from a technical standpoint, at any rate. With this in mind, we've decided to run a poll to definitively pick out the Greatest Goal in Green.

One can be forgiven for thinking that there's a dearth of quality strikes in the canon of Irish international goals, but there's been plenty of worthy candidates, particularly in recent years, that can be seriously considered the best ever scored by an Irishman in a senior international.

What is an issue, though, when picking out a clear winner in terms of aesthetic quality is that a lot of them are so damn similar. That's not to take anything away from the skill and beauty of some we've left out, but there was a danger of making this a poll of sentimental favourites with a smattering of pretty similar-looking 30-yard screamers.

It was tempting to only include efforts that were just beautiful-looking, but we know that it takes more than tidy technique and a thundering finish to make a truly great goal. With that in mind, we've included a couple of less-than-sweet strikes on the grounds that the collective national ecstasy that followed more than justified their inclusion.

However - and this is a big however - every pick has to be able to stand alone as a great goal in neutral eyes to make the final cut, so don't start moaning because we didn't include the one that caused you to end up in hospital/be conceived/be named Niall or Raymond. For example, I'd love to have included Robbie Keane's goal in Ibaraki because the sight of it still gives me the shivers, but it misses out because it involved Route One at its most hopeful and his shot cannoned in off Olli Kahn.

Also, we fully understand that the selection is limited by goals that were broadcast on TV in living memory, so if you know of some worthy candidates from the mists of time that your granddad won't shut up about, do let us know.


Some honourable omissions before we get going (you can still vote for one of these, or any other you think merits the title):

Jimmy Dunne v. Norway (1937)
Freddie Strahan v. England (1964)

Liam Brady v. France (1977)
Jason McAteer v. Netherlands (A - 2000)
Robbie Keane v. Netherlands (2004)
Glenn Whelan v. Italy (2009)
Kevin Doyle v. Andorra (2010)
Darron Gibson v. Wales (2011)
Shane Long v. England (2013)
Every Irish goal in a major tournament finals not included below.

Aiden McGeady's second v. Georgia (2014)

That turn. Jizzable.

Ronnie Whelan v. USSR (1988)

Yes, it hit his shin, but it was still beautiful and came during what arguably remains Ireland's greatest ever 90-minute performance.

Gary Breen v. Saudi Arabia (2002)

A criminally underrated goal, surely Ireland's best of the tournament.

Robbie Keane v. France (2009)

A great team goal capped off a wonder spell. No Irish goal has been celebrated as maniacally since - St Ledger in Poznan might have run it close, but the reaction to this was something else.

Jason McAteer v. Netherlands (2001)

Speaking of great team goals and wanton stranger-hugging ...

Mark Kennedy v. Yugoslavia (1997)

A right old thunderbastard from Mick McCarthy's first campaign in the hotseat. An important one, too.

Kevin Doyle v. Slovakia (2007)

A great goal from yet another game best remembered for late heartbreak - the Slovaks snatched a draw at the death.

Liam Miller v. Sweden (2006)

The Corkman pulled this one out in Stan's first game in charge (from 2:20 below).

Liam Brady v. Brazil (1987)

A gorgeous passage of football capped off by a typical Brady feint and finish secured a fondly-remembered victory over Brazil just before the Charlton era really took off.

Matt Holland v. Portugal (2000)

It was a good era for pretty-looking finishes at vital times.

Robbie Keane v. Israel (2005)

Yet another underrated gem from a game where a winning position was thrown away (from 0:15). Note also a textbook Ian Harte free kick to put Ireland 1-0 up.

Frank Stapleton v.  France (1981)

A smashing goal from the famous qualifier victory over a golden generation of Frenchmen.

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