The Magnificent Seven: memorable quarter-finals

What do Bebeto, Brian O’Driscoll and Maurice FitzGerald have in common? Find out here, as we countdown seven unforgettable quarter-finals ahead of the big game this Saturday.

THERE’S A QUARTER-final taking place on Saturday that you may have heard about (I think we might have mentioned something about in a previous article or two).

So with that in mind, here’s seven similar occasions that you may recall:

7. Ireland 18-19 Australia (1991 World Cup, rugby)

The kind of heroic loss that Ireland have unfortunately gained a reputation for producing at Rugby World Cups, Gordon Hamilton’s late score appeared to have won it for the hosts, only for Michael Lynagh to break Irish hearts with a last-minute try.

6. Holand 2-1 Argentina (1998 World Cup, soccer)

While the match itself was a tense and sometimes cagey affair, it warrants inclusion on the list purely for one game-defining goal showcasing a sublime player – Dennis Bergkamp – at the peak of his powers. Argentina simply could not have legislated for Bergkamp’s brilliance, as he led his country to the World Cup semi-finals, owing to this solitary act of genius.

5. Dublin 2-11 Kerry 1-14 (2001 All-Ireland Football Championship, GAA)

Dublin-Kerry ties normally produce a special occasion and this encounter turned out to be no exception to the rule. The game was a thrilling affair, which was lit up by one moment in particular: Maurice FitzGerald’s extraordinarily well-taken sideline point. His heroics earned Kerry a replay, which they subsequently won.

4. Toulouse 35-41 Leinster (2006 Heineken Cup, rugby)

Few people gave Leinster much hope going into this game, but an incredible performance saw them edge out their opponents with four tries, while playing some wonderful rugby in the process. Messrs O’Driscoll, Contemponi and Hickie were at the helm of what was undoubtedly one of the province’s best performances ever.

3.  Ireland 0-1 Italy (1990 World Cup, soccer)

Ireland may have lost this game, and the brand of football that Jack Charlton’s side adopted may not have been easy on the eye, but for the sheer sense of occasion and the spectacle in the stadium that night, the game merits a place on the list.

2. Dublin v Cork (1987 National League, GAA)

Few people remember much about how the match panned out in normal time, but most GAA fans of a certain age will recall the extra time that followed. Cork, having drawn in normal time, were falsely informed that a replay between the two teams would be taking place. Consequently, they failed to emerge from the dressing room, leading to a farcical scenario whereby Dublin were required to kick the ball into an empty net.

1. Brazil 3-2 Holland (1994 World Cup, soccer)

This game had not one but a series of memorable moments. Romario’s eloquent finish for the first goal, Bebeto’s ‘rocking baby’ celebration, a stunning Holland comeback prompted by another expertly-taken Bergkamp goal, and of course Branco’s remarkable free kick to win it.

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