MICK McCarthy comes up against Manchester United counterpart Louis van Gaal tonight for the first time since Ireland famously beat Holland 1-0 in Lansdowne Road over 14 years ago.
McCarthy’s Ipswich side travel to Old Trafford for a third round tie in the Capital One Cup, and the former Ireland boss admits Dutchman van Gaal may need a reminder of who he is.
He said: "In his career he might not even remember me - I guess people will be asking him now and he might say 'oh yeah' like an irritation, but I will be shaking hands with him like I do every single manager before and after."
Holland, whose starting XI boasted four European Cup winners at the time, had to win in Dublin in September 2001 with just three qualifiers remaining for the 2002 World Cup. Defeat would eliminate them altogether.
The bookies made them odds-on for an away win, and it’s little wonder given the line-up at van Gaal’s disposal, with Marc Overmars, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert among his starters.
Mick McCarthy comes up against Louis van Gaal tonight for the first time since this famous afternoon in Lansdowne Rd pic.twitter.com/gRzhRQl9Ej
— Irish Post Sport (@IrishPostSport) September 23, 2015
With such attacking prowess, Ireland’s back four of Ian Harte, an aging Steve Staunton, Richard Dunne and the normally dependable Gary Kelly wasn’t expected to keep the visitors out.
When Kelly received a red card just before the hour mark, the Irish were on the ropes and given little chance of clinging on for the bell. But within 10 minutes of the sending off, Jason McAteer delivered a devastating knockdown, flooring the Dutch with an exquisite, perfectly-placed half-volley.
Steve Finnan picked up possession on the right and took on Barcelona’s Phillip Cocu before digging out an inch-perfect cross for McAteer, who’d peeled clear of the Dutch defence at the back-post.
Holland needed to score twice in barely 20 minutes, or they were out of the World Cup before it had even begun. Deflated, drained and destined for failure, van Gaal had no answer for McCarthy’s minnows.
He later stepped down as national team boss and headed back to Barcelona. Check out our gallery of pictures from one of the finest day's in Irish soccer...