Ireland and Hungary will meet for the 11th time this evening. The last meeting was in September 1991, a friendly match that was notable for a Man-of-the-Match display from Roy Keane. Ireland triumphed 2-1 in a contest that came towards the end of the Euro '92 campaign.
Ironically enough, it was followed a month later by a key competitive fixture in Poznan -- where the Croatia encounter takes place this Sunday. On that occasion, Ireland led the Poles 3-1, only to ship two late goals that ultimately proved crucial in the unsuccessful attempt to reach the finals in Sweden.
The only other Irish victory over the Hungarians came on the road to Italia '90, where a 2-0 win at Lansdowne Road sent Jack Charlton's men on the right path.
trapattoni takes it all in his stride
as panic rages amongst the locals
Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli said goodbye to Montecatini in slightly chaotic fashion on Saturday evening. They were inducted into the spa town's walk of fame, with the unveiling of a Hollywood-style gold inscription on the footpath.
But the ceremony around the event was slightly frenetic, with a number of elderly ladies trying to storm the stage at an early juncture, including one who ended up on her backside, with Tardelli racing to protect her dignity.
Yet the real drama was to follow afterwards when Trapattoni, with the customary FAI security presence, was ushered to a waiting police car to escape the crowds.
The vehicle in question was blocking the main street, which was poor timing as a road race was passing through at the time. Cue angry joggers dodging around well-wishers and photographers or, in some cases, bumping straight into them.
Still, a couple of hours later, Trapattoni was spotted walking arm in arm with his wife, without a trouble in the world, so it was clearly a case of everyone getting a little caught up in the heat of the moment.
hungarian PHRASE OF THE DAY
"Valaki szerezze meg, gyorsan cariq Physio az" -- Meaning, "Somebody get the physio, quickly." Pretty much the last thing you want to be hearing this evening although, to be fair, the Irish medical staff are more likely to communicate in English. Still, if it was a really bad one, the Hungarians might also feel the need to get the message across.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
12,000 The attendance at the Mardyke Arena in Cork back in 1939 when Ireland and Hungary met in the only international ever staged at the venue. Ireland secured a 2-2 draw against the runners-up in the previous year's World Cup. The excellent greenscene.me website carries a detailed history of previous meetings, including YouTube footage of the encounters from the '80s and '90s.