Irish 1978 World Cup Qualifying Campaign
For the 1978 World Cup qualifying campaign the Republic of Ireland soccer team was drawn in Group 5 that also included France and Bulgaria. The team to top the group would qualify for the finals in Argentina. Former Leeds United football great, John Giles, was the Irish International Soccer Manager for this campaign having replaced Liam Tuohy.
In such a small group there was no room for any slip ups but unfortunately the Irish got their qualifying group matches off to a bad start in November 1976 with an away defeat to France. Goals from Michel Platini and Dominique Bathenay were enough to give the French a comfortable victory.
In the following March the Republic avenged this defeat when a Liam Brady goal in the 11th minute was enough to secure two points for Ireland at home. It now came down to how Ireland would perform against the Bulgarians.
The French had already earned a draw in Sofia so if the Irish could beat Bulgaria twice they would be heading off to the finals of major international soccer tournament for the first time ever.
Unfortunately for Ireland it was not to be. Despite a Don Givens second half goal in Sofia, Bulgaria ran out 2-1 winners in June 1977. The return home match in the following October ended up in a disappointing 0-0 draw at Lansdowne Road (now the Aviva Stadium). Ireland finished up in third place in a three team qualifying group having scored just two goals in four matches.
In November 1977 the French qualified for the 1978 World Cup Finals when they beat Bulgaria 3-1 in Paris.
Irish World Cup 1978 Qualifying Campaign – Group Table
Republic of Ireland World Cup 1978 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