Ireland V Egypt at World Cup 1990 – Match Report
Eamon Dunphy – Ashamed to be Irish ?
Following on from Ireland’s uninspiring draw against England in the opening group match Irish football manager Jack Charlton was seeking an historic first win for Ireland at a World Cup finals competition.
With a very difficult last group match against European champions Holland, awaiting the Irish, a win was vital. Ireland had the opportunity to go top of the group as England and Holland had played out a goal-less draw on the previous day. Nevertheless it was not going to be an easy match as the Egyptians had already drawn 1-1 with the talented Dutch team in their opening group match in Stadio La Favorita in Palermo, Sicily.
Ireland 0-0 Egypt – No-Score Draw Bore
This was a football match that inspired controversial football pundit Eamon Dunphy to throw his pen across the RTE TV studio in a fit of pique and announcing that this was an Irish performance of which to be ashamed. (It was later erroneously reported that Dunphy had said that he was ashamed to be Irish.) While this was a typical over-reaction by Dunphy there is no doubt that the match was a truly woeful affair.
The Egyptians set their stall out very early on and it quickly became clear that they just wanted to avoid a defeat. They played with eleven men behind the ball most of the time and the long ball Jack Charlton football style could not break them down. On the few occasions that the Irish did get through they could not find a past Egypt’s goalkeeper Ahmed Shobair.
The match was almost completely bereft of any creative football but the Irish did create the best opportunities while the Egyptians hardly threatened the Irish goal at all.
Ireland’s Tony Cascarino came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half forcing Shobair to make two good saves. In the second half Andy Townsend did manage to beat Shobair only to see his effort cleared off the line.
The next best opportunity fell to Ray Houghton of Liverpool FC. He broke in from that right and unleashed a fierce shot which a diving Shobair managed to parry away. The sterile Egyptian tactics and the lack of invention or creativity by the Irish meant that the match petered out and ended in a 0-0 draw.
The other Group F match between the Netherlands and England had also ended in a 0-0 draw so after the opening two rounds of matches there was absolutely nothing to separate the four teams in the group.
Team Line Ups
Republic of Ireland: Packie Bonner, Chris Morris, Steve Staunton, Mick McCarthy (capt), Kevin Moran, Paul McGrath, Ray Houghton, Andy Townsend, John Aldridge (Alan McLoughlin 65′), Tony Cascarino (Niall Quinn 85′), Kevin Sheedy.
Egypt: Ahmed Shoubeir, Ibrahim Hassan, Rabie Yassin, Hani Ramzy, Hesham Yakan, Ismail Youssef, Magdy Abdelghani (capt), Magdy Tolba (Taher Abou Zaid 61′), Osama Orabi, Ahmed Abdou El-Kass (Gamal Abdelhamid 77′), Hossam Hassan.
Venue: Stadio Della Favorita, Palermo, Date: 17th June 1990 Attendance: 33,288 Referee: Marcel van Langenhove from Belgium
Result: Ireland 0 – 0 Egypt
Other Group F Result: Holland 0 -0 England
Ireland & 1990 World Cup Finals – Irish Squad World Cup 1990