"THAT" GOAL, says Ray Houghton. Ray Houghton is credited with scoring what is widely regarded as the single most crucial goal in Irish history against England in Stuttgart in 1988. It was Ireland's first victory over their oldest rivals and it set off a chain reaction that has seen them rise from near extinction to international fame.
Now, this is where things get a bit hazy for some people. But not for Ireland fans - who believe that Ray Houghton scored the winning goal in the 1986 World Cup final vs France at the Parc des Princes in Paris. The match ended 1-1 after extra time and it needed a late goal from Michel Platini to deny Ireland their first ever World Cup title.
However, not all Irish fans agree that Houghton was responsible for getting Ireland into world football's biggest tournament. There have been claims from other players including Tony Cascarino and Pat Jennings that Ireland's previous game had also finished 1-1. In that case, it would have been Charles Hughes who got Ireland into the World Cup by scoring the only goal of the game against Wales back in March 1986.
Whatever way you look at it, there's no denying that Ray Houghton is one of the most important players in the history of his country.
The weird thing about Irish football is that it is as much about using your hands as it is about using your feet. The ball is kicked, caught, punched, and hand-passed. It is played in the air among trees, under lights, and on grassy fields. Sometimes it is even thrown! Most players use both foot and hand, but some are more skilled with their head than their legs or vice versa.
The ball is made from leather and has a bladder inside it. When you kick the ball, your foot creates pressure which forces the air out of the bladder and makes it firm like a ball of rubber. This makes it easy to control with your hands as well as your feet. There are several ways to score goals in football including running with the ball, kicking it, and throwing it. A player who runs with the ball is called a striker while one who kicks the ball is a kicker. A player who throws the ball is called a passer.
There are two ways to pass the ball in football: sideways and forward. On each side of the field there is one opposing player who is assigned the task of stopping the player with the ball. These two players form a line called the defensive line. To pass the ball forward, the player with it pulls it back toward himself before shooting. This is how strikers score goals.
Maradona Maradona, who scored many brilliant goals throughout his stellar career, is arguably most remembered for the "Hand of God" goal he scored against England on June 22, 1986, in a World Cup semifinal match in Mexico. The goal, which was awarded by video review after English defender Steve Cook appeared to block a shot with his arm, is considered one of the greatest goals in World Cup history.
After scoring the goal, Maradona attempted to celebrate with his team mates but was restrained by teammates Felipe Baloy and Jorge Newbery. During the incident, Maradona touched the ball with his hand and moved it into the net.
The Hand of God goal caused an outrage among fans around the world, but it also earned Maradona even more attention. He was later named man of the match as Argentina went on to win the match 2-1 and eventually reach the final where they would face Germany led by Gerd Mueller. Although Maradona was not selected as the best player at the tournament, he did win the Golden Boot award for having scored the most goals.
Besides being only 25 years old at the time of the tournament, Maradona had already won two World Cups with Argentina - in 1978 and 1982 - and was nominated for the 1976 Olympic gold medal before losing to Japan.
June 12th, 1988 We can revisit that day, June 12th, 1988, thanks to the excellent Sportsfile archive, when Irish football shocked the globe and put the English in their place. In a game known as 'The Miracle of Wicklow Street', Ray Houghton scored the only goal of the game for Ireland against England at Dalymount Park. It was one minute past midnight local time; the match had been going for an hour and half with no goals being scored. Then Houghton picked up the ball on the left wing and ran with it before smashing it into the bottom corner of the English net. The whole episode was watched by over 500,000 people around the world.
Houghton's goal is regarded as one of the greatest achievements in Irish sports history. To date it is still the only score made between two European nations. England have been beaten by Germany and Italy but they also beat France, Switzerland, Belgium and Denmark so they are not exactly cannon fodder either. Ireland on the other hand has been humiliated by England on numerous occasions; they lost every single match they played against them from 1882 to 1990.
So how did Ireland do it? Well, there were some good players involved but the manager who brought out the best in them was Jack Charlton.
The match ball was used in the 1966 World Cup final, which England won 4-2 over West Germany. England's Geoff Hurst famously scored a three trick, but the ball was claimed by Helmut Haller and returned to England only in 1996. This item is brought to you by Eurostar, Mirror Group, and Virgin.
The ball was put up for auction by British bookmaker Paddy Power in November 2016, but it didn't sell at that time. It was listed again in January 2017 with an estimated price of £50,000 to £100,000 ($67,813-$134,627).
In August 2017, Paddy Power announced that the ball had sold for $3 million (GBP 1.5 million) at a charity golf tournament in California held by Guinness World Records.
The record attempt was part of a series of events called "A Century Of World Cups", which also included a football being played with all the pieces from today's game. The original ball from the 1966 final was used during the match.
England won their third World Cup in a row - and their fourth overall - when they defeated West Germany 4-2 in the final on July 13, 1966. The match was played at Wembley Stadium in London. Gordon Banks of England saved several penalties during the match, including one in the last minute of extra time.