03 Oct 2022

1990: Packie Bonner's save sends Ireland through to World Cup quarter-finals


1990: Packie Bonner's save sends Ireland through to World Cup quarter-finals

Packie Bonner makes the vital save in Genoa

THE YEAR; 1990

THE MOMENT: Packie Bonner's save against Romania sends Ireland through to the World Cup quarter-final

It was a day when a nation held its breath.

Packie Bonner’s memorable save from Daniel Timofte in the penalty shoot-out and David O’Leary’s winning penalty sent Ireland into the World Cup quarter-final at Italia 90.

Over 27 years later, it was recently voted Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moment.


RTE's series - Ireland's Greatest Sporting Moment - drew much debate and captured the imagination of sports fans all over the country.

But when it came to deciding on a winner - the list was narrowed down to the four greatest moments of their respective decades.

Munster's victory over the All Blacks in 1978, Ray Houghton's header against the English in Stuttgart at Euro 88, the penalty win over Romania at Italia 90 and Padraig Harrington's British Open victory in Carnoustie in 2007 all made the final list.

Following a public vote, Ireland’s dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Italy, and that wonderful save by our own Packie Bonner, won the day.

After the excitement that surrounded Ireland’s qualification for a first ever European Championships in Germany two years earlier, Ireland headed for their first ever World Cup with a quality side.

With Packie Bonner so impressive in goal, Jack Charlton's team drew all three of their group games against England, Holland and Egypt.

It saw them advance to the last 16 and a meeting with Romania and when the game was played on June 25th, 1990,  the country came to a halt.

The game finished 0-0 and penalties were needed to find a winner.

Each side scored their opening four penalties before Packie Bonner pulled off a brilliant save to tip the shootout in Ireland's favour.

David O’Leary then kept his nerve to fire to the net and send Ireland into the quarter-finals where they would eventually lose out to host nation, Italy.


Click HERE and register your vote for Donegal's greatest sporting moment. You can vote once on each separate device you use to access the site (phone, laptop etc)

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