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Ireland v Germany: A Football Rivalry With A Bigger History Than You'd Imagine

Ben Kiely
By Ben Kiely
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17 October 1936 – Ireland 5 Germany 2

28,000 fans packed into Dalymount Park to witness a historic victory by the boys in green. Not only was the match memorable because it was the first Irish victory over the Germans but it was played during the height of Nazi Propaganda.


17 October 1951 - Ireland 3 West Germany 2

In a historic game, Ireland ran out the victors in what was West Germany's first away game since the end of World War II. After an own goal from Josef Posipal, Arthur Fitzsimons and Dessie Glynn added a second and third goal to ensure victory. A year later Ireland traveled to Cologne for another friendly but were beaten 3-0. You can check out the footage below.

4 May 1952 - Ireland 0 Germany 3

25 November 1956 - Ireland 3 West Germany 0

Another memorable international match in Dalymount Park. Ireland annihilated West Germany, who were at the time the holders of the World Cup. A lionhearted performance by the Irish secured them the victory and showed that they would not be intimidated by the reputation of the elite of World football. Three second half goals earned the win for Ireland.  Noel Cantwell scored a penalty just after the hour mark while Joe Haverty and Jimmy McCann found the net in the dying moments to seal the win. It was a very special way for McCann to make his debut.

18 September 1991 – Cork city 1 Bayern Munich 1


Cork City almost shocked the world when they came up against German giants Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup Round of 64. A valiant performance by the Munster men saw them hold the Bundelsiga runners-up to a 1-1 draw in Musgrave Park. Dave Barry gave Cork a surprise early lead before Stefan Effenberg brought the game level just 20 minutes later. Bayern eventually progressed to the next round by winning  2-0 in the return leg in Bavaria.



29 May 1994 – Germany 0 Ireland 2

Ireland travelled to Hannover  for a warm-up match for the USA '94, the third major tournament they qualified for under Jack Charlton. Tony Cascarino and a young Gary Kelly bagged the goals for Ireland. The win did nothing to dissuade the public from getting caught up in the World Cup hype.

5 June 2002 -  Ireland 1 Germany 1

A thunderous Matt Holland strike earned a draw against Cameroon in Ireland's opener of the 2002 World Cup and a result against the mighty Germans was required to see safe passage into the knockout stages. Miroslav Klose sank Irish hearts when he nodded the ball passed Shay Given and it appeared as if all was lost. The Hail Mary moment came deep into added time. A last minute long ball from Mark Kinsella was flicked on by Niall Quinn and picked up by Robbie Keane inside the box. The striker’s excellent run beat the last line of defence and he blasted it with venom past Oliver Kahn. Keane was one of two players to score on the German goalkeeper in the tournament. The other player was golden boot winner Ronaldo whose precision finishing inspired Brazil to World Cup glory. The result booked Ireland’s place in the round of 16.

13 October 2007 – Ireland 0 Germany 0

A scoreless draw against the eventual finalists of Euro 2008 proved to be one of the highlights of Steve Staunton’s tenure as Ireland manager. Although the result was meaningless in terms of the overall qualification campaign, it was a testament to the Irish team of old that was rarely bullied by the heavyweights of world football.


12 October 2012 - Ireland 1 Germany 6

We can't avoid this any longer. It is hard to believe it took Germany 32 minutes to break the deadlock considering they would go on slot five more passed Kieran Westwood. It marked the worst home defeat in the history of the national team and was one of the contributing factors to Giovanni Trapattoni getting axed as the Irish boss. A spectacular diving header consolation goal from Andy Keogh is likely to go down as one of the better meaningless goals to be scored in an Irish shirt.


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