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Northern Ireland national football team

From Academic Kids

Template:National football team The Northern Ireland national football team represents the Northern Ireland region of the United Kingdom in international football. (In such events, the four constituent nations of the UK compete separately.) Before 1921, all of Ireland was part of the UK and the team therefore represented the entire island. The independent Republic of Ireland has its own team.

Northern Ireland's best World Cup performance was in their first appearance in the competition, the 1958 World Cup, where they reached the Quarter-finals after beating Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the play-off. They were knocked out by France, losing 4-0.

Northern Ireland also qualified for the 1982 World Cup, reaching the second round after beating Spain, the hosts 1-0. In the 1986 World Cup, they reached the first round. They have not qualified for any other World Cups. The side have yet to participate in their first European Championship finals.

Northern Ireland were the last winners of the now defunct British Home Championship held in 1984.

Current coach Lawrie Sanchez was appointed in January 2004 after a run of 10 games without a goal. The previous manager was Sammy McIlroy. That run ended after his first game in charge, a 1-4 defeat to Norway in a friendly in February 2004. The run of 16 games without a win ended after his second game, a 1-0 victory in a friendly over Estonia, with a largely experimental side, in March 2004.

The Northern Ireland team is effectively the successor to the all-Ireland national football team that existed until 1920. The Republic of Ireland national football team was created when the Irish Free State came into being, but the Northern Ireland team continued to pick players from across the whole of Ireland until the practice was stopped by FIFA in 1950.


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