Rep of Ireland 2-1 Czech Rep
Dublin, 31/03/04

The Czech Republic were unbeaten in 20 matches, but the Republic of Ireland brought that run to an end and snatched the UFWC title. Leeds full-back Ian Harte scored the first goal from a free kick. Shay Given repelled several attacks, and when the Czechs finally broke through there was a hint of offside about Milan Baros’s equaliser. But the Irish fought back, and Robbie Keane grabbed a deserved last-gasp winner, his 19th goal for his country.

In taking the UFWC title from Europe’s form team, the Irish became unofficial champions of the world for the first time since 1977. Brian Kerr’s side includes Premiership stars like Given, Keane and Damien Duff, but do the Irish have enough to retain the title against football’s elite sides, having just missed out so disappointingly on the Euro tournament?

About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.