Watch: 23 years ago Ray Houghton put the ball in the Italian net

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Credit: Al Robinson

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This day 23 years ago, the Republic of Ireland opened their World Cup '94 campaign with a stunning 1-0 win over eventual finalists Italy at the Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

 

It was a sea of green and blue in the New York Giants' home arena as the two biggest immigrant communities in New York came to support their home countries.

 

And there were just 11 minutes on the clock when Ray Houghton, he of putting the ball in the English net fame, lobbed Gianluigi Pagluica to set up an unexpected first-round victory.

 

Ireland lost to Mexico in Orlando in their following game before drawing 0-0 with Norway back in New Jersey to book passage to the last 16, where they went down 2-0 to the Netherlands in Orlando.

 

Italy rebounded with a 1-1 draw against Norway, despite Pagluica's early dismissal for handling outside his area, and drew with Mexico before losing on penalties to Brazil in the final.