01/07/1982 Madrid Austria 2-2 Billy Hamilton (2)
Jim Platt, Jimmy Nicholl, Sammy Nelson, Chris Nicholl, John McClelland, David McCreery, Norman Whiteside (Noel Brotherston), Martin O’Neill, Billy Hamilton, Gerry Armstrong, Sammy McIlroy
Northern Ireland had not enjoyed the best preparation since winning Group 5, goalkeeper Pat Jennings was injured with a groin strain, the players were unhappy with their new hotel and a training session was interrupted by a local claiming that a member of the squad had hit his child for refusing to return the ball.
The Irish were hoping for a 2-0 or 2-1 victory to leave them needing a draw v France to make it through to the Semi-finals (where they would meet the winners of England’s group), they went ahead on 27 thanks to good work by Gerry Armstrong on the right who accelerated past two defenders to reach the byline and send in the perfect cross for Billy Hamilton to head in at the far post. Austria hit the post 5 minutes into the 2nd half when McClelland made a hash of a headed clearance and Schachner prodded against the inside of the post and out, but from the resulting corner the equaliser came through Bruno Pezzey who deliberately deflected Baumeister’s shot past stand-in keeper Jim Platt. Austria went ahead on 68, Hintermaier blasting in an indirect free-kick through the breaking wall, but Burnley striker Billy Hamilton netted his 2nd goal on 75 with a diving header on the end of a Chris Nicholl lob over the keeper after the pair had chased the ball to the right byline.
The draw meant that Austria were now out of the competition, Billy Bingham said; “France were the favourites from the start in our group, but we’ve not been beaten in four games, even though we were outsiders all the way. We flagged a bit early in the second half, when the heat got to us, but we never gave up. If the game had gone on another five minutes, we would have won, I’m sure of that.”
Your Place or Mine with Gerry Armstrong and Billy Hamilton
John McBride: Is it true you had to send home for new shirts after unexpected qualification to the second round?
Billy Hamilton: I’m not quite sure about that that’s something the IFA would have to answer A true story happened when we beat Spain we had to move onto Madrid and the hotel we were going into the Yugoslavian team from our section had to pack their bags and get out because they were that sure we were not going to beat Spain – we actually crossed them on the stairs! But I’m not sure about the shirts – but by hook or by crook we had shirts.
Tony: In answer to John McBride. The answer is yes and the shirts when they arrived hadn’t got Customs clearance. I, as interpreter and World Cup liaison with the Spanish organizing committee, along with David Bowen and an Adidas rep. had to work hard at Madrid airport cargo terminal to get them. Finally, 4 hours before the game against Austria in Madrid, we got them after a lot of arguing. Billy Hamilton obviously never knew about it.