Arsenal At The World Cup #5: Pat Jennings Espana 1982

Pat Jennings is one of the few players to have served both Arsenal and Tottenham with distinction. His international career peaked in 1982 as Northern Ireland reached the World Finals for the second, and to date, last time in their footballing history.

Drawn in a group with hosts Spain, Yugoslavia and Honduras, the Irish seemed destined for a first round exit having gained a creditable draw with the Yugoslavs but stumbled through a 1 – 1 draw with the Hondurans, despite a tenth minute goal from Gerry Armstrong.

It left them requiring a win in their final match with hosts Spain in Valencia to be sure of qualifying or be eliminated on goal difference unless their fixture ended with a high scoring draw.

Spain were expected to win but were intent upon kicking the Irish from the competition. Despite this, the Paraguayan referee seemed more intent on theatrically officiating the match, ignoring the cynicism of the hosts and incredibly only booking three players, two of them Irish. To rub salt into that wound, Mal Donaghy was dismissed with a little under half an hour remaining.

However, Northern Ireland would not be bullied into submission and limited the Spaniards to few attempts on target. When the did breach the defence, Jennings stood firm with his calm unflustered manner, an impeneterable barrier.

With the second half barely two minutes old, Billy Hamilton’s run and cross was poorly defended, the ball breaking to Gerry Armstrong to drill the ball under Arconada for the only goal of the game, the Irish topping the group as a result.

The journey would end in the second phase, a 2-all draw with Austria and a 1-4 thrashing by France but nothing topped that night on the Mediterranean coast.

Posted on June 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Soccer, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I think 1986 was the last time North Ireland Qualified for the world cup, a tornament Pat also play in goal (but perhaps well past his prime by then).

  2. edit – Northern Ireland

  3. Great goalkeeper!

  4. N Ireland qualified for 58 world cup and had quite a good one at that me thinks. Spain 82 was amazing for our wee country

  5. I am begining to fukin hate the fukin summers now.

  6. we all know Fab is off, so why dont we just sell the c*nt now and start preparing for life without him.

  7. Well done studley for coming first today.

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