UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying play-off

The UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying play-off was a UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying match to decide the final participant for UEFA Euro 1996. It was played on 13 December 1995 at Anfield in Liverpool, England, a neutral venue, between the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands. The Netherlands won 2–0, therefore qualifying for the 1996 European Championship.[1]

UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying play-off
View of inside Anfield Stadium from Anfield Road Stand.jpg
Anfield in Liverpool hosted the play-off
EventUEFA Euro 1996 qualifying
Netherlands qualified for UEFA Euro 1996
Date13 December 1995 (1995-12-13)
VenueAnfield, Liverpool (England)
RefereeVadim Zhuk (Belarus)
Attendance40,050

BackgroundEdit

The UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying group stage consisted of eight groups with five or six countries in each group. Each group winner would qualify for Euro 1996, and the eight group runners-up would be compared in a separate table. The top six countries would automatically qualify for Euro 1996, while the bottom two countries would face each other in a one-off match playoff to determine the sixteenth and last team that would participate in the next summer's European Championship.[2]

Netherlands (Group 5)Edit

After the 1994 FIFA World Cup the Netherlands started he qualifying campaign for Euro 1996 under coach Dick Advocaat. In December, Advocaat moved to PSV Eindhoven, where he succeeded Kees Rijvers as head coach. In January 1995 48-year-old Guus Hiddink took charge of the national team. Under the new coach, the Netherlands finished second in Group 5, 1 point behind the Czech Republic, and tied at 20 points with Norway. The Netherlands had the better head-to-head against Norway, thus putting the Dutch in second place.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Czech Republic 10 6 3 1 21 6 +15 21 Qualify for final tournament
2   Netherlands 10 6 2 2 23 5 +18 20[a] Advance to play-off
3   Norway 10 6 2 2 17 7 +10 20[a]
4   Belarus 10 3 2 5 8 13 −5 11
5   Luxembourg 10 3 1 6 3 21 −18 10
6   Malta 10 0 2 8 2 22 −20 2
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head points: Netherlands 4, Norway 1.

Republic of Ireland (Group 6)Edit

The Republic of Ireland had a strong start to their group, when they won their opening three games, including a 4–0 win against Northern Ireland. The Republic's next game was also against Northern Ireland, although the result was a 1–1 draw. From that point onwards the Republic stuttered badly as injuries struck down key players such as Roy Keane, Andy Townsend, John Sheridan and Steve Staunton.[3] After beating the highly fancied Portugal, the Irish then endured an embarrassing 0–0 draw to Liechtenstein (this was Liechtenstein's only point in their ten matches), before losing twice to Austria, on both occasions by three goals to one. Although they defeated Latvia, Ireland needed to beat Portugal in Lisbon to qualify outright, but lost 3–0. The Republic of Ireland therefore finished second in Group 6, 6 points behind Portugal, and tied at 17 points with Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland had the better head-to-head against Northern Ireland, thus putting the Republic of Ireland in second place.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Portugal 10 7 2 1 29 7 +22 23 Qualify for final tournament
2   Republic of Ireland 10 5 2 3 17 11 +6 17[a] Advance to play-off
3   Northern Ireland 10 5 2 3 20 15 +5 17[a]
4   Austria 10 5 1 4 29 14 +15 16
5   Latvia 10 4 0 6 11 20 −9 12
6   Liechtenstein 10 0 1 9 1 40 −39 1
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head points: Republic of Ireland 4, Northern Ireland 1.

Ranking of second-placed teamsEdit

The runners-up of each of the eight groups were placed in a table to decide which seven of them would qualify. The best six runners-up would qualify automatically, while the two worst would play-off on a neutral ground to determine the final qualifier. To determine the two worst runners-up, a comparison was made between all of them. Only matches played against teams that finished first, third and fourth were regarded. The Netherlands finished seventh in the table, while the Republic of Ireland finished eighth and last, therefore qualifying both countries to the play-off.

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 4   Italy 6 4 1 1 12 4 +8 13 Qualify for final tournament
2 7   Bulgaria 6 4 0 2 14 8 +6 12
3 3   Turkey 6 3 2 1 11 8 +3 11
4 8   Scotland 6 3 2 1 5 2 +3 11
5 2   Denmark 6 3 2 1 9 7 +2 11
6 1   France 6 2 4 0 8 2 +6 10
7 5   Netherlands 6 2 2 2 6 5 +1 8 Advance to play-off
8 6   Republic of Ireland 6 2 1 3 8 10 −2 7
Source: RSSSF
Rules for classification: Counting only matches against teams ranked first to fourth in the group, 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Away goals scored; 5) Drawing of lots.

SummaryEdit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Republic of Ireland   0–2   Netherlands

MatchEdit

SummaryEdit

Dutch forward Patrick Kluivert opened the scoring with a low shot to the right corner after 29 minutes to put the Netherlands ahead. Kluivert then wrapped the match up with his second goal, lifting the ball over the advancing Alan Kelly with two minutes to go, giving the Netherlands a 2–0 win and sending them through to Euro 1996.[4]

DetailsEdit

Republic of Ireland  0–2  Netherlands
Report
  • Kluivert   30', 89'
Anfield, Liverpool (England)
Attendance: 40,050
Referee: Vadim Zhuk (Belarus)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Republic of Ireland
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Netherlands
GK 1 Alan Kelly
RB 2 Gary Kelly
CB 5 Paul McGrath
CB 4 Phil Babb
LB 3 Denis Irwin
RM 6 Jeff Kenna
CM 7 Andy Townsend (c)   51'
CM 10 John Sheridan
LM 11 Terry Phelan
CF 8 John Aldridge   72'
CF 9 Tony Cascarino
Substitutions:
MF 14 Jason McAteer   51'
DF 15 Alan Kernaghan   85'   72'
Manager:
  Jack Charlton
 
GK 1 Edwin van der Sar
RB 2 Michael Reiziger
CB 3 Danny Blind (c)   79'
CB 4 Clarence Seedorf
LB 5 Winston Bogarde
RM 6 Ronald de Boer
AM 10 Dennis Bergkamp   58'
LM 8 Edgar Davids
RW 7 Marc Overmars
CF 9 Patrick Kluivert
LW 11 Glenn Helder   79'
Substitutions:
DF 13 Johan de Kock   58'
MF 12 Aron Winter   79'
Manager:
Guus Hiddink

Match rules

GoalscorersEdit

There were 2 goals scored in 1 match, for an average of 2 goals per match.

2 goals

AftermathEdit

 
This was Jack Charlton's final match as coach of the Republic of Ireland, as he resigned after the match.

After failing to qualify for the European Championship, Republic of Ireland manager Jack Charlton resigned shortly after the game. Charlton bid Irish fans an emotional farewell after ten memorable years in charge which saw him help Ireland qualify for their first ever European Championship in 1988 and their first and second ever World Cups in 1990 and 1994.

"In my heart of hearts, I knew I'd wrung as much as I could out of the squad I'd got – that some of my older players had given me all they had to give."

— Charlton speaking in his autobiography on his decision to retire.[5]

The Netherlands advanced on to Euro 1996, where they finished second in Group A behind hosts England, thus qualifying them for the knockout stage. In the quarter-finals, they drew 0–0 after extra time to France, before losing 4–5 on penalties, as Clarence Seedorf missed his spot kick.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Play-offs - 13/12/1995 - 21:00CET (20:00 local time) - Anfield - Liverpool". uefa.com. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  2. ^ European Championship 1996 qualifications
  3. ^ Charlton 1996, p. 299
  4. ^ Leahy, Ed (10 November 2011). "Ireland's chequered play-off history". RTÉ Sport. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  5. ^ Charlton 1996, p. 298