Tuesday 6 December 2016

"The Greatest goal I have ever scored" - Kevin Sheedy reflects on last night's draw with England

Published 12/06/2015 | 11:40

Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari. The result was England 1 (goal by Gary Linekar) - Republic of Ireland 1 (goal by Kevin Sheedy). 11/06/1990. INDO PIC (Part of the NPA and Independent Newspapers)
Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari. The result was England 1 (goal by Gary Linekar) - Republic of Ireland 1 (goal by Kevin Sheedy). 11/06/1990. INDO PIC (Part of the NPA and Independent Newspapers)
June 1990; England manager Bobby Robson, right, shakes hands with Republic of ireland manager Jack Charlton after the game. Republic of Ireland v England, World Cup Finals, Caglairi, Italy. Soccer. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari. The result was England 1 (goal by Gary Linekar) - Republic of Ireland 1 (goal by Kevin Sheedy). 11/06/1990. INDO PIC (Part of the NPA and Independent Newspapers) Soccer
Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari. The result was England 1 (goal by Gary Linekar) - Republic of Ireland 1 (goal by Kevin Sheedy). 11/06/1990. INDO PIC (Part of the NPA and Independent Newspapers) 1990's NPA/Independent Collection
Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari. The result was England 1 (goal by Gary Linekar) - Republic of Ireland 1 (goal by Kevin Sheedy). 11/06/1990. INDO PIC (Part of the NPA and Independent Newspapers) Soccer

IRISH HERO Kevin Sheedy described his equaliser against England as "the most important goal I've ever scored".

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"Steve McMahon tried to play it wide to Gary Stevens but I nicked in. I had the confidence to hit it first time. The moment I hit it I knew.

“Shilton had no chance. It was a fantastic feeling to see it hit the back of the net. We knew that if we had lost this game it would have been difficult to qualify and that makes it the most important goal I've ever scored."

It was Sheedy's sixth goal for his country in 29 appearances. Jack Charlton was full of praise for his "honest players".

"I've probably got the hardest-working midfield in the whole competition.

“Anyone who's going to beat us has got to get up and get past our midfield first," he said. "Our players may not be the best in the world, they may not make the best patterns, but they're the most honest."

Charlton admitted the match was not pretty to watch but said: "It was a typical English game. We always play that way. We bomb on, play the ball in and always make you work hard.”

Gary Lineker said: "We hoped the first goal would be decisive but the Irish showed tremendous spirit. They kept putting the long ball into the box and eventually it paid off.

"Their style may not be prettiest to watch but it’s effective. "I'm a bit disappointed to lose a point but, hopefully, the result means we can both go through.”

Lineker, who was replaced near the end by Steve Bull, is suffering from a stomach problem.

"He's got stomach cramps or something", said Robson. "We'll have to have a look at him over the next few days."

Lineker explained: "I've just got a funny stomach. I’ve had it for a few days."

England captain Bryan Robson added: "I would not say it was a bad start but we were looking to get two points, obviously.

"The important thing is not to get beaten in your first game because then you are chasing to get points in the bag. We have a point from the first game. It is now important that we win a game. If we win a game, we go through."

England manager Bobby Robson said: "We had the game won. The Irish were difficult opponents. It was a physical, aerial onslaught all night long. I thought our back four, plus Peter Shilton, played magnificently to quell that sort of football.

"We got in front; it was there to be won. But we made a mistake on the ball and Sheedy took the half chance and buried a very very good shot.

Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari. The result was England 1 (goal by Gary Linekar) - Republic of Ireland 1 (goal by Kevin Sheedy). 11/06/1990. INDO PIC (Part of the NPA and Independent Newspapers) 1990's
NPA/Independent Collection
Republic of Ireland v. England in Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari. The result was England 1 (goal by Gary Linekar) - Republic of Ireland 1 (goal by Kevin Sheedy). 11/06/1990. INDO PIC (Part of the NPA and Independent Newspapers) 1990's NPA/Independent Collection

"They made a tactical change, which posed us a problem in midfield. I made a change to nullify that. The substitution of McMahon for Beardsley was made to save the game; unfortunately, it actually cost us the game.

"At the moment, it means both teams can still go through. Jack has got a point, I've got a point, and there are still two matches to go. It's not the end of the world. We've got something in the bank. We've got to be optimistic."

Robson felt that England should have had a penalty when Chris Waddle was tackled by Kevin Moran in the second half.

"For me, it was as clear a penalty as could be," he said. "It came at a crucial time of the game for us. It looked a bad tackle. I don't think he got the ball at all."

The England manager predicted that Ireland would pose a lot of problems for Holland.

"The Irish will be very difficult opponents for the Dutch. Make no mistake about that," he said. "This particular group is wide open.

June 1990; England goalkeeper Peter Shilton is beaten by the Republic of Ireland's Kevin Sheedy. Republic of Ireland v England, World Cup Finals, Cagliari, Italy. Soccer. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
June 1990; England goalkeeper Peter Shilton is beaten by the Republic of Ireland's Kevin Sheedy. Republic of Ireland v England, World Cup Finals, Cagliari, Italy. Soccer. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

"There's an awful lot to be played for and our match against Holland next Saturday will be quite different to what we have seen tonight."

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