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Dublin: 18°C Monday 21 September 2020

5 years ago, a team with World Cup winners and Euros champions came to Belfield and lost

It’s the fifth anniversary of one of the quirkier moments in recent Irish football history.

Source: UCDAFCTV/YouTube

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES are often dour affairs, but there are occasional exceptions.

One of the quirkier moments in Irish football history took place five years ago to the day, when a Villarreal side full of high-profile names came to Belfield and lost 4-3.

Granted, it was a friendly, but it was still a day to remember for many long-suffering UCD fans.

Keep in mind that while the UCD team comprised of part-timers, the Villarreal side included 2010 World Cup winners Carlos Marchena and Joan Capdevila, as well as Euro 2008 winners Marcos Senna and Santi Cazorla, with the latter on the verge of sealing a €21 million move to Malaga at the time.

Borja Valero gave the visitors the lead on 13 minutes, before quick-fire goals from Paul O’Conor and Mick Leahy sent UCD into a half-time lead.

Marco Reuben equalised three minutes after the break before Tomas Boyle gave the Students the lead once more just after the hour mark.

Future Arsenal star Cazorla equalised seven minutes later, before a Joan Oriol own goal 10 minutes from time sent Belfield into raptures, as UCD came out on top of a seven-goal thriller.

UCD: Barron; Harding, Nangle, O’Conor, Leahy, Corry, Belhout, Creevy, Rusk, Paul O’Connor, Darren Meenan.

Subs: Marshall, Russell, Boyle, Doyle, McGinley, Morrison, Roche.

Villarreal CF: Diego López; Mario, Kiko, Marchena, Capdevila; Borja Valero, Bruno, Cani, Gerard Bordas; Joselu, Marco Ruben.

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Second half: César; Pere, Marcos Gullón, Musacchio, Joan Oriol; Iriome, Marcos Senna, Cazorla, Castellani; Nilmar, Marco Ruben.

h/t @action81, and for the line-ups

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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