You join us in the Emerald Isle for today’s episode of Greatest Games, in association with The Blizzard. We’re taking a look at a historic afternoon for Irish football from 2001, alongside JOE’s Dion Fanning!
The Netherlands arrived at Lansdowne Road with qualification for the 2002 World Cup on the line, while Mick McCarthy’s men had enjoyed a hugely successful qualifying campaign. Louis van Gaal had began to drift from his traditional 4-3-3 philosophy by this point, after a tough spell at Barcelona, and as this game slipped through their fingers he even finished the game playing four strikers.
In contrast, Dion remembers how this game was perhaps “the last time Irish football felt united and moving in the same direction.” The Green Army were still the usual underdogs but, with a fantastic goal from Jason McAteer and a stalwart performance from captain Roy Keane, they secured World Cup qualification in front of 35,000 at Lansdowne Road.
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