Snap shot: Ireland meet Turkey in EURO play-offs
Sunday, November 8, 2015
With the Republic of Ireland contesting the UEFA EURO play-offs for a record fourth time, we turn the clock back to 1999 when they took on Turkey and narrowly lost out.
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With the Republic of Ireland bidding to make it to UEFA EURO 2016 by the indirect route of the play-offs, UEFA.com recalls the side that came agonisingly close to UEFA EURO 2000. They recovered to draw 1-1 at home, but a goalless stalemate in Turkey meant they missed out on away goals.
1. Roy Keane
One of Ireland's all-time greats, Keane only played for Ireland at one major championship – the 1994 FIFA World Cup – leaving the camp in controversial circumstances before the 2002 finals. The midfielder returned to the squad in 2004, featuring in the Republic's ill-fated bid to reach the 2006 World Cup. Since retiring, Keane has managed Sunderland and Ipswich, and from 2013 has been assistant to Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, also briefly performing a similar role at Aston Villa.
2. David Connolly
With Robbie Keane suspended, striker Connolly started the away leg against Turkey but could not conjure the goal Ireland needed. He burst onto the international scene in 1996, hitting a hat-trick as a teenager in a World Cup qualifying victory against Liechtenstein, and won the last of his 41 caps against Cyprus in 2005. Played for 12 different clubs, including a stint with Feyenoord. Connolly finally quit in 2015 after a spell at Wimbledon, and is now working on his coaching qualifications.
3. Kevin Kilbane
Substituted at half-time on his international debut in 1997, Kilbane recovered to build an impressive Ireland career spanning 110 senior caps and including an incredible run of 66 consecutive competitive starts. The left winger enjoyed the best period of his playing days with Everton (2003–06) before eventually ending up at Coventry, retiring in December 2012. Now a newspaper columnist and television/radio analyst.
4. Robbie Keane
No relation to Roy, forward Robbie made his national-team bow as a teenager in 1998 and has since scored 67 goals in 143 outings – only Gerd Müller, Miroslav Klose, Sándor Kocsis and Ferenc Puskás have managed more for a European country. Keane's commitment to the side has never wavered, even with the logistical problems accompanying his 2011 move to LA Galaxy. Unable to score at UEFA EURO 2012, Keane – now 35 – hopes UEFA EURO 2016 will be his swansong.
5. Rüştü Reçber
The teenaged Rüştü was just a third-choice club goalkeeper when Fatih Terim told him he would become Turkey's greatest custodian – and the prediction came true. When he retired in 2012, he did so with a national-record 120 caps, his reputation secured by a starring role as his country finished third at the 2002 World Cup. Five times a league champion with Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, Rüştü briefly worked at the Turkish Football Association (TFF) after hanging up his gloves. Now a TV pundit.
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