v Republic of Ireland, 2002 World Cup First Phase Group D
v Republic of Ireland, Kashima Stadium, Ibaraki (First Phase Group D) 05.06.2002
Klose 19. / R. Keane 90.+2.
Having dismantled Saudi Arabia in their opening group game in Sapporo, Germany headed south to Ibraki to take on the Republic of Ireland, a team that had in past tournaments proved to be a tough nut to crack for many more highly-rated sides.
Unsurprisingly, Nationaltrainer Rudi Völler would stick with the same lineup that had started against the Saudis, with hat-trick hero Miroslav Klose looking to add to his tally. Like Germany, the Irish had also qualified via the playoffs – beating Iran 2-1 on aggregate having been drawn in the battle between UEFA and the Asian Football Confederation for one of the last spots at the finals.
The Irish had drawn 1-1 in their opener against Cameroon, and while the Germans knew that a win would see them safely through to the knockout phase Mick McCarthy’s side knew that a defeat would place them on the brink of elimination. This meant that when the two teams met at the Kashima Soccer Stadium there would be everything to play for – and that famous Irish fighting spirit would be on show not for the first time.
On what was a dry yet balmy evening in front of a crowd of just under thirty-eight thousand, the teams were led out by Danish referee Kim Milton Nielsen. Once again Germany would be in their traditional Schwarz und Weiß, and for the second time match in succession opponents would be in green shirts.
The Nationalmannschaft had been seconds away from booking their place in the last sixteen, but Keane’s dramatic equaliser at the death meant that they would have to wait until their final fixture against Cameroon to make absolutely certain. With two sets of matches played Germany would be level with the Africans on four points, though leading on goal difference – which meant that they would only need a draw to go through.
Germany: Kahn (c) – Linke, Ramelow, Metzelder – Frings, D. Hamann, Ziege – Schneider (90. Jeremies), Ballack – Klose (85. Bode), Jancker (75. Bierhoff)
Republic of Ireland: Given – Finnan, Breen, Staunton (87. Cunningham), Harte (74. Reid) – Kelly (73. Quinn), Holland, Kinsella, Kilbane – Robbie Keane, Duff
Referee: Kim Milton Nielsen (Denmark)
Assistants: Jens Larsen (Denmark), Evžen Amler (Czech Republic)
Fourth Official: Mourad Daami (Tunisia)
Yellow Cards: – / –
Red Cards: – / –