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England in the European Championship 1992
Preliminary Competition


European Championship 1992 Preliminary Competition

Group 7 Table
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
England 6 3 3 0 7 3 +4 9
Republic of Ireland 6 2 4 0 13 6 +7 8
Poland 6 2 3 1 8 6 +2 7
Turkey 6 0 0 6 1 14 -13 0


Group 7 Matches
Date Match Score H.T. Venue Att.
17-Oct-1990 Republic of Ireland 5 Turkey 0 [2-0] Lansdowne Road, Dublin 46,000
17-Oct-1990 England 2 Poland 0 [1-0] Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London 77,040
14-Nov-1990 Republic of Ireland 1 England 1 [0-0] Lansdowne Road, Dublin 45,000
14-Nov-1990 Turkey 0 Poland 1 [0-1] Inönü Stadyumu, İstanbul 4,868
27-Mar-1991 England 1 Republic of Ireland 1 [1-1] Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London 77,753
17-Apr-1991 Poland 3 Turkey 0 [0-0] Stadion Wojska Polskiego, Warszawa 1,061
01-May-1991 Republic of Ireland 0 Poland 0 [0-0] Lansdowne Road, Dublin 46,000
01-May-1991 Turkey 0 England 1 [0-1] Izmir Atatürk Stadyumu, İzmir 20,000
16-Oct-1991 Poland 3 Republic of Ireland 3 [0-1] Stadion Lecha, Poznań 11,400
16-Oct-1991 England 1 Turkey 0 [1-0] Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London 50,896
13-Nov-1991 Poland 1 England 1 [1-0] Stadion Lecha, Poznań 10,300
13-Nov-1991 Turkey 1 Republic of Ireland 3 [1-1] Inönü Stadi, İstanbul 33,601


Seven of the 12 matches in this group ended in a win for one of the teams; six of those seven involved Turkey.  Of the six matches involving only the other teams, five ended in draws.  Fortunately, advancement did not hinge on how many goals were pumped past the Turkish goalkeeper.  In fact, the group's winner, England, managed only a pair of 1-0 victories against Turkey and won in Turkey against the run of play.  Still, the group was one of those that gave reason for later adoption of competition rules that ignored goals scored against the last place team in breaking deadlocks in points among the top teams.

Only first-place teams in the qualifying groups advanced to the eight-team final tournament.  The match that on paper gave England the points edge, their 2-0 victory over Poland, was played on the competition's first day.  But the match that actually decided the group was England's return visit to Poland on the competition's last day.  The Republic of Ireland had a far superior goal difference and could be expected to beat Turkey away on the same day, which meant England had to draw against Poland to win the group and advance to the finals.  An Irish victory and an English loss would give Ireland the spot in the finals.  Poland could match Ireland on points but not on goal difference unless they trounced England by a wide margin, an event so unlikely they really had nothing but pride at stake.  

Ireland beat Turkey 3-1, as expected.  England needed the draw.  The Poles took the lead in the first half on an own goal.  Things looked increasingly bleak for England as the second half wore on with no further scoring.  Finally, in the 78th minute, Gary Lineker saved England yet again with a superb effort, twisting in mid-air to reach a ball headed on from a corner kick and volleying it into the net.  England were through.  

Further Information

The UEFA website has the results, match summaries and tables for all qualifying groups, although its tables incorrectly award three points for a win instead of two and its summaries do not include lineups, goalscorers or goal times.  A correct version of the tables, along with the bare results, may be found in the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistical Foundation Archive.  Match summaries that include goalscorers and goal times but not lineups are available from the archives of La Gazetta della Sport.  We are not aware of any website that offers complete match summaries for the 1988 preliminary competition.