The glory boys of Ireland will be urged on by up to 20,000 green-and-orange-clad fanatical supporters in their £1m clash with Romania.
The winners will get the glamour tie of Italia '90, a game against competition favourites and hosts, Italy, in Rome on Saturday.
Tickets are still expected to be at a premium for today's game, with touts expected to claim up to four times the face value. And last night FAI general secretary Dr. Tony O'Neill again appealed to Irish supporters not to travel without tickets.
More than 4,000 tickets, rounded up over the weekend by the FAI from FIFA, and the football associations of England, Argentina, Holland and other sources were sold out by yesterday. FAI security officer Joe Delaney last night said all fans who had travelled up from Palermo had been accommodated with tickets.
"We have used every possible contact to get a total of 4,000 tickets. We gave full priority to those who followed the team in Sardinia and Sicily. But, unfortunately, we cannot cater for day-trippers and new people coming out," FAI security director, Joe Delaney said last night.
FAI officials were questioned by Italian police last night about "selling" tickets before the Brazil-Argentina match in Turin, but later discovered they were selling them legitimately. Association secretary Dr. Tony O'Neill will be issuing a statement this morning explaining the involvement of some officials in the probe.
Despite the ticket scramble they've come to Genoa by plane, road, rail and ferry to witness Jack's Army World Cup dream.
Last night the ranks of the pilgrims from Palermo eagerly contemplating today's historic clash were being swelled by thousands more Irish travelling from home and from England. West Germany, and other centres throughout Europe.
Inside the 35,000-seater stadium, Irish fans are expected to outnumber their Romanian counterparts 20 to 1.
And there was further good news for Ireland's impeccably-behaved fans who have been forced to go on the dry for our previous three World Cup matches in Italy. Genoa police have eased the drink ban for today's game, from 24 hours to five hours, from 3 p.m. to 8p.m.
Last night Supt. Barney Curran, on secondment to the FAI security team, said there was no problem with the Irish contingent who had maintained exemplary conduct.
Meanwhile, in yesterday's World Cup second-phase clashes, Argentina sensationally defeated Brazil 1-0, while West Germany ended Holland's hopes winning 2-1.