Republic of Ireland v Belgium Football Results
The Republic of Ireland has played Belgium 14 times in total. The first meeting between to two nations was in February 1928 and was a friendly played in Liege.
The Irish team on the day was drawn entirely from teams based in Ireland and was: Harry Cannon (Bohemians); Jeremiah Robinson (Bohemians); Jack McCarthy capt. (Bohemians); John Kinsella (Shelbourne); Jack Sullivan (Fordsons); Paddy Barry (Fordsons); Jack Byrne (Bray Unknowns); Billy Lacey (Shelbourne); Jimmy White (Bohemians); Charlie Dowdall (Fordsons); Joseph Goulding (Shamrock Rovers).
The Irish won 2-4 despite being 2-0 down at half-time. Goals from White (2), Lacey and a penalty from Sullivan sealed the victory.
The first competitive match against Belgium was a World Cup qualifier in February 1934 at Dalymount Park in Dublin. The match ended 4-4 which is the highest ever score draw involving the Republic of Ireland. The game is also notable for the fact that Paddy Moore of Aberdeen scored all four Irish goals.
Ireland V Belgium – 1982 World Cup Qualifiers
Following four more international friendlies Ireland and Belgium met competitively in the 1982 World Cup qualifiers. The home match was played at Lansdowne Road in October 1980 and finished up in a 1-1 draw. Eoin Hand was the Irish manager at the time and the team was captained by Liam Brady. Albert Cluytens put Belgium ahead after 12 minutes however Tony Grealish scored the equaliser with just a couple of minutes of the first half left to play.
The away match was played in the following March in the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. A late Jan Ceulemans goal after 88 minutes gave the Belgians the victory.
Ireland V Belgium – 1998 World Cup Finals Play-Offs
With Mick McCarthy managing the Irish team the Republic had missed out on automatic qualification for the World Cup finals and so were drawn against Belgium in the 1998 World Cup qualifier Play-Offs.
The first leg took place on 29 October 1997 at Lansdowne Road in front of 32,305 fans. An early free kick by Denis Irwin of Manchester United gave Ireland a 1-0 lead. Without Roy Keane in midfield the Belgians had long periods of dominance. It was no great surprise when Belgium grabbed and equaliser after 30 minutes. Despite other opportunities for both teams the final score was 1-1.
Towards the end of the match Denis Irwin sent another free kick opportunity just wide but an Irish victory would have been an injustice to the Belgians. The Irish wanted to keep Belgium scoreless but at the final whistle the Belgians had their precious away goal.
This meant that at the very least the Irish would have to score in regulation time at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels to bring the tie into extra time. However a second away goal would put the Irish very much in the driving seat.
The second 1998 World Cup qualifier play-off leg took place on 15th November 1997 in front of more than 35,000 fans in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels. Within 25 minutes the Irish found themselves 1-0 down as Olivera slotted home almost unopposed. This didn’t change the situation all that much as Ireland needed to score in any event.
It wasn’t until the second half that the Irish made the breakthrough. An Andy Townsend cross was met by Ray Houghton whose arced header evaded the finger tips of the the Belgian keeper De Wilde. This cancelled out the away goal advantage that Belgium brought into the second leg. A further goal by the Irish would have meant that the Belgians would need to score twice.
Unfortunately for Ireland ten minutes later the Belgian goal scorer from the first leg, Luc Nilis, struck again. He latched onto a clever overhead kick that caught the Irish defenders flat-footed. Nilis tucked the ball past Shay Given into the Irish net from close range. This goal proved to be decisive as Belgium qualified for the 1998 World Cup finals in France by a 3-2 aggregate score line.
Republic of Ireland Match Results Against Belgium
Republic of Ireland v Belgium Record Summary
Ireland v Belgium Euro Finals Record
Ireland v Belgium Euro Qualifiers Record
Ireland v Belgium World Cup Qualifiers Record
Ireland v Belgium Friendly Matches Record