After the incredible feat of reaching the quarter-finals in 1990 despite not winning a game, the Republic of Ireland were looking to match or better that performance in the USA.
They had edged out European Champions Denmark on goals scored to reach the finals and their direct style was known to be able to cause problems for any side.
In their first match of the 1994 World Cup, Italy would become the latest victim of Jack Charlton’s Ireland.
Ray Houghton finds time and space:
What Happened Next?
This was as good as it got for the Republic of Ireland as tragedy struck the country and their form went downhill.
During the match, six men were shot dead whilst watching the game in a pub in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland. This news rocked the Irish team who were jubilant after beating one of the favourites for the World Cup.
In their next match they lost to Mexico 2-1, but a draw against Norway was enough to see them through to face the Netherlands in the second round.
The Dutch proved too good for the Irish and were given a helping hand from Terry Phelan and Pat Bonner who made errors for the goals.