Irish 1966 World Cup Qualifying Campaign
The Republic of Ireland soccer team was drawn in World Cup Group 9 that also included Spain and Syria. Syria withdrew in support of a protest made by African countries about the allocation by FIFA of qualifying slots to countries of the African continent.
This made it a straight playoff between the Republic of Ireland and Spain. Ireland won the home match in Dalymount Park in Dublin by a single goal. It was an own goal by Jose Angel Iribar Cortajarena.
In Seville the Spanish beat the Irish more comprehensively by a score line of 4-1 in the return match. Ireland took the lead in the 26th minute through Andy McEvoy of Blackburn Rovers. A hat trick by Chus Pereda and a goal from Carlos Lapetra Coarasa gave the Spaniards a comprehensive victory over the Irish.
In those days goal difference did not affect qualification so it had to be decided by a one-off match between the two countries at a neutral venue. Originally the match was scheduled to be played in London which would have been to the advantage of Ireland due to the large immigrant Irish population in England.
It is reported that the FAI agreed to play the match at the Parc des Princes in Paris for financial reasons thus handing the advantage to the Spanish. Very few Irish made the trip to Paris.
In a tight match Spain won the play-off 1-0. José Armando Ufarte Ventoso scored the deciding goal with just ten minutes remaining and yet again the Irish had missed out on World Cup qualification.
Republic of Ireland World Cup 1966 Qualifying Campaign – Match Results
Irish World Cup Qualifying Group Results
Number of Appearances and Goals Scored in Irish World Cup Qualifying Campaigns
Irish European Championship Qualifying Group Results
Number of Appearances and Goals Scored in Irish Euro Championship Finals Qualifying Campaigns