The Republic of Ireland are gearing up to take on Wales on Friday (March 24th) in a crucial World Cup qualifier at a sold out Aviva Stadium. Martin O'Neill's men are top of Group D with three wins and a draw from their opening four qualifiers. Wales go into the game with a return of six points from their four games and they too are unbeaten in the campaign.
March 24th was also the date for the meeting of Ireland and Wales at Croke Park in 2007. It was the first soccer match played at the historical GAA venue and the Boys in Green really needed a win after a poor start to the campaign under Steve Staunton. The Ireland boss lost 1-0 away to Germany in his first competitive game in charge and then came a shock 5-2 loss in Cyprus.
Ireland followed the defeats to Germany and Cyprus with a 1-1 draw at home to the Czech Republic and back to back wins against San Marino. We needed an injury time winner from Stephen Ireland to get all three points in San Marino, a team Germany had put 13 goals past earlier in the campaign.
The game was played on a Saturday afternoon in front of more than 72,000 supporters who saw Stephen Ireland score the only goal of the game in the first half to give the home side a 1-0 win.
Ireland team v Wales: Shay Given, Steve Finnan, Paul McShane, Richard Dunne, John O'Shea, Jonathan Douglas, Lee Carsley, Stephen Ireland (Kevin Doyle 59), Kevin Kilbane, Robbie Keane, Damien Duff.
Wales team managed by John Toshack: Coyne, Ricketts, Bale (Danny Collins 74), James Collins, Evans, Nyatanga, Ledley (Fletcher 45), Robinson (Easter 90), Simon Davies, Giggs, Bellamy.
Gareth Bale was 17 years of age and he played as a left back in Dublin that day.
Kevin Doyle and John O'Shea were both involved in that game 10 years ago and today they were asked what they remember about it: