'The greatest moment of my life' - Niall Quinn sends Ireland into the last 16 of the World Cup
Published 21/06/2015 | 18:42
The dream lives on... after a night of unforgettable drama.
Ireland has a new World Cup hero, 23-year-old Niall Quinn, who once set scoring records with Dublin hurlers.
The golden goal that he grabbed against the Dutch masters is one that Irish fans will always treasure.
It earned us a magnificent draw, just when things were beginning to look bleak, and sent Ireland through to the last 16 of the competition.
This the night that Jack Charlton and his men answered their critics with a sparkling display.
The manner in which the qualifying point was won was as impressive as the achievement itself. Quinn may have earned the cheers but this was a night of 13 Irish heroes and a vindication of manager Jack Charlton.
If it was the year's longest day, it was also the Irish fan's longest night. Even when the draw was secured, there was a nervous wait to see if Egypt would snatch a point and force a point from England that would force a lottery to decide the qualifying places. It didn't happen.
And the man of the match said: "This was the greatest moment of my life. It's something I've always dreamed about... I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the ball pop out of Van Breukelen's hands... It was a moment I'll never forget."
Jack Charlton said it "was the best game of the three".
"We played very good football this time and showed that we can play against, and do well against, one of the best teams in the world."
And commenting on Niall Quinn's performance, he said: "I'm delighted for the lad. He's a dedicated professional. He has been patient and waited for his chance."
Ireland now go on to play Romania in Genoa next Monday following a draw in Rome shortly after last night's match.