Irish Soccer's Most Memorable Moments, No 8: King Keane-Kahn, 2002 11 years ago

Irish Soccer's Most Memorable Moments, No 8: King Keane-Kahn, 2002

Number 8 - today we look at Robbie Keane’s finest moment in a green jersey in our last appearance at a major tournament and hope he can do it again this summer.

It was injury time in our penultimate group match - we needed a win. The Irish management team stood on the sideline ready to accept the inevitable victory by the Germans


Miroslav Klose had scored in the first half and Ireland, to be fair hadn’t played badly, but couldn’t beat Oliver Kahn, the goalkeeping ace had been immense and would be for the rest tournament, in fact he ended up winning player of the World Cup in Japan/Korea 2002 – a rare feat for a ‘keeper.

Mick McCarthy went to “Plan B” and threw on big Niall Quinn for Gary Kelly and reunited the “little and large” striking partnership of Keane and Quinn, our primary partnership for the preceding qualifying campaign.

In injury time Kinsella launched the ball into Niall Quinn’s path who knocked it into Keane’s on rushing path, Ireland’s all-time leading scorer’s predatory instincts kicked in and he fired past Kahn.

The only other player to score against the Kahn in the tournament was Ronaldo in the final, the World Cup’s leading all-time goalscorer and golden boot winner that year.


The rest of the Irish team piled on top of Robbie Keane as people around the country, in England and our Japanese supporters in Ibaraki celebrated with them.

Mick McCarthy’s reaction on the sideline said it all, it captured the disbelief and joy that all supporters of the Irish team felt at the time.

We’re counting down the days to Ireland’s Euro 2012 opener against Croatia. Join us every day in the build-up to the tournament for another classic Irish soccer memory.

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