question nobody asked
ARE IRELAND 'A PLUS' OR 'A MINUS'?
Having previously played only 25 games against teams beginning with the letter A in 80 years of action, Ireland face their fourth in a row tomorrow night against such opposition.
The results, however, are more A- than A+ with just under half (14 of 29, with 10 wins and four draws) of the games ending in defeat, although, barring disaster, the winning ratio should improve when they play Andorra.
The first such game came in 1951 against Argentina in a 1-0 defeat in Dublin and the South Americans have dominated the five games against Ireland with four victories and a draw.
Austria top the list of 'A games' as they feature 12 times and have beaten Ireland on eight occasions, the last of which came in September 1995 after a 3-1 victory in Dublin in June of that year.
Tomorrow's opponents Andorra feature twice and were beaten both times in the qualifiers for the World Cup in 2002, while Algeria (one win, one defeat), Australia (one win, one defeat), Albania (four wins from four) and Armenia make up the other A-teams.