GELSENKIRCHEN IS CALLING for Martin O’Neill’s Ireland side after it was confirmed that their Euro 2016 qualifier against Germany next October will take place in the city.
Veltins-Arena, the home of Bundesliga side Schalke 04, will be the venue for the Group D qualifier on Tuesday October 14th (kick off 7.45pm Irish time). The venue will bring back memories for Irish fans from Euro 88, when Ireland existed the championship with a 1-0 defeat against Holland after a late goal from Wim Kieft.
That match took place at the Parkstadion but the new Veltins-Arena opened in 2001. The stadium hosted the Champions League final in 2004 when Jose Mourinho guided Porto to a 3-0 win over Monaco while five games at the 2006 World Cup were also staged there.
Previously Ireland faced Germany in their opening Euro 2008 qualifier in Stuttgart in September 2006 when they lost 1-0 after Lukas Podolski netted in the second-half.
Last October they lost 3-0 in Cologne in the qualifiers for this summer’s World Cup with Sami Khedira, Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil firing the goals for Germany.
Next October’s game will be Ireland’s third qualifying match after the trip to Tbilisi to face Georgia on September 7th and the home game against Gibraltar on October 11th.