10/10/2013 07:45, Report by Mark Froggatt
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#14 - The American dream

Our series of international moments takes us to New Jersey for Ireland's historic win...

Players: Denis Irwin and Roy Keane
Match: Italy v Republic of Ireland, 18 June 1994, Giants Stadium, New Jersey, USA

As upsets go, they don't come much bigger than Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 win over Italy at the 1994 World Cup in the USA, and in the land of opportunity the Irish grasped theirs with both hands.

Despite the Italians being overwhelming favourites for this encounter, appropriately enough, just as the American Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal", at the Giants Stadium in New York the men in green lived up to that ethos against a team featuring such luminaries as Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini and Roberto Baggio.

But while those names stood out in bold on the teamsheet, it was Jack Charlton's lesser-known stars who shone brightest and, quite brilliantly, United's Denis Irwin and Roy Keane were completely influential, helping cement a narrow win following Ray Houghton's 11th minute opener.

The result shocked the world and despite losing to Mexico in the following Group E match, Ireland secured qualification to the second round thanks to a goalless draw with Norway. Unfortunately, the journey ended with a 2-0 defeat to Netherlands, but memories of beating Italy will never fade.

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