26th May – Today In Our Footballing History

26/05/1989 Belfast Chile 0-1

Tommy Wright, Gary Fleming, Anton Rogan, Mal Donaghy, Alan McDonald, Danny Wilson (Robbie Dennison), David McCreery (Colin O’Neill), Michael O’Neill, Colin Clarke, Jimmy Quinn (Liam Coyle), Kevin Wilson (Kingsley Black)

Chile’s sweeper Fernando Astengo heaped footballing disappointment and a financial disaster for Northern Ireland in Belfast by earning his team a 1-0 victory. The defender poached a 44th minute winner in front of just 2,500 spectators as the Irish Football Association lost an estimated £30,000.

This match was played in front of only 2,500 diehard supporters mainly due to the live TV broadcast of Liverpool v Arsenal in the final match of the 1988/1989 Division 1 season. Arsenal had to win by two clear goals to overtake Liverpool and win the title, whereas Liverpool only had to draw or not loose by two goals. The previous week Liverpool had won the FA Cup. Arsenal scored a last minute second goal to seal a dramatic title. Other factors included previous poor Northern Ireland results and fans behaviour at matches.

Author: Killultagh

Source: http://nifootball.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/402-26-may-1989.html

Roy Cathcart (Belfast Telegraph)

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Northern Ireland Footballing Greats

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