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Irish Football Federation (FAI)

The national football team of the Republic of Ireland represents Ireland in the Football Association. It is led by the Irish Football Federation (FAI) and plays its home games at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The team debuted at the 1924 Summer Olympics and reached the quarterfinals. Between 1924 and 1936, the team started as an Irish Free State and from then until 1950 was designated by the FAI as Éire or Ireland. In 1953, FIFA decreed that the FAI team should officially be called the Republic of Ireland for competitive matches in tournaments in which both Irish teams are allowed to participate, while the IFA team should be called Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland was allowed to use the title of Ireland from FIFA in the International Home Competition until it was discontinued in 1984. The Republic of Ireland was the first nation outside the United Kingdom to defeat England football at home in Goodison Park in Liverpool. The team also reached the quarter-finals of the European Cup in 1964, losing to eventual winners Spain football.

Under the guidance of Jack Charlton, the team enjoyed its most successful era, reaching the highest FIFA World Ranking of all time in August 1993 and qualifying for the UEFA Euro 1988 in its first appearance at the UEFA European Championship quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup Charlton's successor Mick McCarthy lost in the next two major tournaments, but eventually qualified for the 2002 World Cup and thus reached the 16th Under Giovanni Trapattoni lost the team in. In 1990 in their first appearance at the finals and the last 16 in the 1994 edition a controversial playoff just barely qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, but still qualified for the Euro 2012.

The team could not qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil football, which meant the end of Trapattoni's term as manager. The Republic of Ireland also fell to a record low of FIFA 59, reaching a record low of 70 in June 2014. In the next qualifying campaign for Euro-qualifying under coach Martin O'Neill, the Republic of Ireland fell behind Germany and Poland, but finished third for the European Championship 2016 after a 3-1 aggregate victory against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the play-offs. The boys in Green reached the round of 16 in this tournament and were defeated by the hosts and later runner-up France after a defeat of 2: 1.

For the European Championship qualifying phase 2016, the Republic of Ireland was drawn in Group D against Georgia, Germany football, Gibraltar, Poland and Scotland. The team played for the first time against Gibraltar and beat them 7: 0. A few days later, in October 2014, she scored a draw against the German world champion.

On October 8, 2015, the Republic of Ireland defeated World Champion Germany 1-0 in the 2016 European Championship qualifier at the Aviva Stadium. Shane Long scored the only goal of the match in the 70th minute, rewarding his impressive defense Republic of Ireland. The result, which was celebrated as one of the largest in the Republic of Ireland, secured at least a play-off place for the Republic of Ireland, and the hope for an automatic qualification was still a reality in the last group match against Poland in Warsaw. A win or a draw of 2-2 or more would guarantee at least the second place in the group and ensure the automatic qualification for the final in France. The Republic of Ireland, however, lost 2-1 and thus in the play-offs.

The draw for the 2016 European Championship play-off took place on 18 October 2015 in Nyon, Switzerland. Ireland was not represented in the draw, which means that it could be related to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Sweden or Hungary. Ireland were drawn against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most seeded team in the play-offs. The only previous encounter between the teams resulted in a 1-0 victory for the Republic of Ireland in a friendly in 2012, Shane Long scoring the only goal of the match. Due to injury and suspension, Ireland were only available for the first leg of the play-off at the Bilino Polje Stadium "B". A goal from Robbie Brady nearly won the Irishman until Edin Džeko scored 1-1. In the return leg at Aviva Stadium Jonathan Walters scored two goals, which led to a 2-0 win for the Irish. In the end, Ireland won the play-off 3-1 and thus qualified for the European Championship 2016.

In the final round of the tournament in France Ireland was drafted into Group E against Italy, Belgium and Sweden. In their opening game at the Stade de France at Saint-Denis, Paris, Wes Hoolahan opened the scoring with a spectacular half volley after a cross from Séamus Coleman, but Sweden made up for it when Ciaran Clark had beheaded into his own net and tried to cross from Zlatan to clear Ibrahimović led to a 1-1 draw. In the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux against Belgium, the Belgians triumphed after two goals from Romelu Lukaku and a goal by Axel Witsel 3-0. Ireland had to win the final game against the already qualified Italy to qualify for the knockout stages. It was a tough game against Italy at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, Lille, Ireland, but Robbie Brady headed home five minutes from time with a cross from Hoolahan. The Republic kept winning 1-0 and sent Ireland through as one of the top four third place teams. On 26 June Ireland played in Lyon in the second round against France. Ireland took the lead in the game with an early penalty by Robbie Brady, but France went on to win 2-1 to advance to the quarter-finals.

The 2018 World Cup qualifying draw took place on 25 July 2015, when the Group D team was drawn against Austria, Georgia, Moldova, Serbia and Wales football.

Ireland began the qualifiers with a 2-2 draw with Serbia football before two impressive victories over Georgia and Moldova.

On 12 November 2016, Ireland defeated Austria in Vienna and won the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. However, a series of three draws against Wales, Austria and Georgia, followed by a devastating 1-0 defeat by Serbia, seemed to be an opportunity for them Republic of Ireland to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Republic of Ireland was soon back in shape after securing a 2-0 home win over Moldova, thanks to a duel between Daryl Murphy.

Ireland defeated Wales 1-0 at Cardiff on 9 October 2017 to qualify for the qualifying play-offs after a James McClean goal put Ireland in second place in the group. In the play-offs they played against Denmark football.

In the first leg of the play-offs on 11 November, Ireland beat Denmark 0-0 in Copenhagen. In the second leg on 14 November in Dublin Ireland lost 5-1 against Denmark after the lead in the game. Shane Duffy's early header seemed to have given the Republic of Ireland hope of qualifying for their first World Cup since 2002, but a goal by Andreas Christensen, a Christian Eriksen hat-trick and a late Nicklas Bendtner penalty broke the Irish.


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