Date Time League Season
June 20, 1991 4:00 pm 6th World Youth Championship 1st Round Group A 1991


Team1st Half2nd HalfGoals
Republic of Ireland112

KO 8 62 70 82 FT


Left with a mountain to climb in what would turn out to have been a “Group of Death” Republic of Ireland, needing at least a two-goal victory over Argentina in order to progress, went into the break 1-0 up and with some hope thanks to a Barry O’Connor goal. Battling hard as Irish sides did, Kieran Toal sent a ball through to Jason Byrne which split the defense way down on the right. Byrne broke into the box and timed a pass perfectly for Barry O’Connor to scramble into the net. Ireland were 1-0 up after 8 minutes.

Argentina nearly had an equaliser after 27 minutes when Delgado broke free and fired in a shot which was cleared off the line by Leonard Curtis. Argentina then survived several goal mouth scares towards the end of the first half.

The second half, however, saw Argentina pull level, with more purpose to their game than in the first half as Delgado ;picked up a loose clearance and fired the ball into the net from 18 yards out after 55 minutes.

Ireland went behind three minutes later as David Collins was harshly judged to have fouled Molina in the box and DiStefano scored from the spot.

In the 62nd minute Brian Byrne brought Ireland level again with a candidate for goal of the tournament, picking the ball up on the left, before cutting inside and firing the ball home from an almost impossible angle.

After the game the Irish team got a standing ovation from the Portuguese crowd.

In all it was neither a successful, nor particularly disappointing performance from the Republic of Ireland, as was the case throughout the tournament. While the team did not qualify for the Quarter-Finals, they could hold their heads high at finishing third in a group involving eventual World Champions Portugal, the top Asian team South Korea, and particularly satisfying, finishing above renowned world power Argentina.



Republic of Ireland (1) 2 (O’Connor 8, J Byrne 62)

Argentina (0) 2 (Delgado 55, Molina 59 pen)


[1] (1991) “6th World Youth Championship for the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Cup 1991” World Soccer. August 1991. pg. 19.

[3] Paul Hyland (1991) “Argentina face World ban” Irish Independent. Wednesday June 19th, 1991. pg. 12 [Past Copies of the Irish Independent are Available to view online at: https://www.irishnewsarchive.com/ ][Accessed 4 December 2021]