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Irish Football > Republic of Ireland Qualifying Campaigns > 1976 European Football Championship

European Championship 1976 - Irish Qualifying Campaign

In the European Championship 1976 only four teams qualified for the finals which were held in the former Yugoslavia.

The Irish soccer team competing in the qualifiers for this championship was managed by player manager Johnny Giles. The qualifying campaign is noteworthy for a couple of reasons 1) the great Irish footballer Liam Brady was launched on to the international soccer stage and 2) international forward Don Givens scored eight of the eleven goals scored in the qualifying campaign.

The Irish got off to the best possible start in Group 6 when they beat the Soviet Union 3-0 in their first match at Dalymount Park. In a stunning display on his debut Liam Brady propelled the Irish to a historic victory over the former European champions. Don Givens scored a hat trick of goals for Ireland.

The victory over the Soviets was followed up by a draw in Izmir against Turkey with Givens, who was to one day to become a stand-in Irish international soccer manager, once again was the Irish goal scorer.

In the next match, at home against the footballers of Switzerland, was a second victory in the Group. The Irish won 2-1 with the goals coming from Mick Martin and Ray Treacy. After three matches the Republic of Ireland had amassed 5 points out of a possible 6. Unfortunately for Irish soccer the wheels were about to come off the campaign wagon.

The Irish efforts in the 1976 European Football Championship came unstuck in the two away matches against the Soviet Union in Kiev and in Berne in Switzerland. The Republic's team lost 2-1 and 1-0 respectively with Eoin Hand scoring the only Irish goal.

Ireland's fate was now out of it's own hands and the Irish were now left hoping that the Swiss and the Turks would do the Republic a favour. In fairness to the Irish players they did all they could to keep the pressure on the Soviet Union beat thrashing Turkey 4-0 at Dalymount Park. Don Givens once again scoring all of the Irish goals. In the last two matches Turkey did manage to beat the Soviets but the Swiss lost 4-1 to the old USSR thus leaving the Soviets at the top of Group 6 of 1976 European Football Championship Qualifying Campaign by just one point.

Euro Championship 1976 Qualifying Campaign - Group Table

1976 European Football Championship - Qualifying Group 6
Goals F
Goals A
Soviet Union

Republic of Ireland Euro Championship 1976 Qualifiers - Match Results

30/10/1974: Dalymount Park, Dublin: Ireland 3-0 Soviet Union
Don Givens 22, 30, 70

20/11/1974: Izmir: Turkey 1-1 Ireland
Dunne 54 (og) / Don Givens 61

01/12/1974: Izmir: Turkey 2-1 Switzerland

02/04/1975: Kiev: Soviet Union 3-0 Turkey

30 /04/1975: Zurich: Switzerland 1-1 Turkey

10/05/1975: Lansdowne Road, Dublin: Ireland 2-1 Switzerland
Mick Martin 2, Ray Treacy 28 / Muller 74

18/05/1975: Kiev: Soviet Union 2-1 Ireland

Blokhin 13, Kolotov 29 / Eoin Hand 79

21/05/1975: Berne, Dublin: Switzerland 1-0 Ireland

Elsener 75

12/10/1975: Zurich: Switzerland 0-1 Soviet Union

29/10/1975: Dalymount Park, Dublin: Ireland 4-0 Turkey
Don Givens 26, 33, 38, 89

12/11/1975: Kiev: Soviet Union 4-1 Switzerland

23/11/ 1975: Izmir: Turkey 1-0 Soviet Union

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