France vs Republic of Ireland head to head: Can Les Bleus maintain 100% record?

In the below record we take you through the France vs Republic of Ireland head to head record ahead of their Euro qualifier this week.

After a narrow away victory in March, last year’s defeated World Cup finalists France aim to maintain their perfect winning record in UEFA European Championship qualifying when the Republic of Ireland visit the Parc des Princes on Thursday night.

The Boys in Green, meanwhile, seek an unlikely victory to help their bid for automatic qualification out of an undoubtedly tough Group B which also includes the Netherlands, Greece and Gibraltar.

France vs Republic of Ireland head to head record

France and the Republic of Ireland have faced off on 18 occasions since a first friendly meeting in May 1937.

They’ve regularly come up against each other in qualifying tournaments but only once in a competition itself, in 2016 when Robbie Brady’s second-minute goal at the Euros was cancelled out by a second-half Antoine Griezmann double.

The two teams’ overall record in this fixture is as follows:

  • France Wins: 9
  • Draws: 5
  • Republic of Ireland Wins: 4

Unbeaten in this match-up since 1981, France have regularly shown themselves to be the superior side, although enormous controversy followed their aggregate victory in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup when Thierry Henry‘s handball to tee up William Gallas helped Les Bleus to a crucial 1-1 draw.

Even with their superior record, France have never found the Republic of Ireland to be easy opponents. Only one of the last ten meetings between these sides has featured more than three goals and France have won by a two-goal margin on only two occasions.

Ireland’s underdog status, meanwhile, is further compounded by the fact they have been unable to find victory on French soil since their very first trip across the Channel in 1937 when David Jordan and Johnny Brown scored for a 2-0 friendly victory.

The closest The Boys in Green have come in recent years in France vs Republic of Ireland head to head was at Euro 2016, which is further explored below.

France vs Republic of Ireland head to head matches

27 March 2023: Republic of Ireland 0-1 France

Benjamin Pavard‘s powerful goal proved decisive at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium, but so too did two match-winning saves from AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan, who denied James McClean and Nathan Collins.

Ireland performed excellently and were devastated that they were unable to get a point against one of the world’s best teams. Forward Chiedozie Ogbene said his teammates “worked so hard out there” and “deserved to get something out of it.”

“We knew we were up against such a quality side, but the display shows how much we have come on as a team.”

Stephen Kenny’s side will aim to show their mettle once again, this time away from home, in Thursday’s match at the Parc des Princes.

France vs Republic of Ireland head to head
Photo by Icon Sport

28 May 2018: France 2-0 Republic of Ireland

Declan Rice, now of Arsenal and England fame, turned out in midfield for the Republic of Ireland in this end-of-season friendly at the Stade de France. The £105million man has since chosen to represent England, the country of his birth.

Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir were the scorers in a comfortable win for Didier Deschamps’ charges against the then-Martin O’Neill-coached Ireland.

26 June 2016: France 2-1 Republic of Ireland

Ireland shook, and so did Lyon’s Stade des Lumieres when Robbie Brady scored the quickest goal in the history of the European Championships just two minutes into this round of 16 encounter. Shane Long had been fouled in the area and Brady made no mistake from the spot.

An end-to-end affair followed only for France to bring Ireland’s hopes screeching to a halt with a remarkable five-minute assault that saw Antoine Griezmann score twice and Shane Duffy sent off.

Ireland battled admirably but could not enact a memorable comeback of their own, and France went on to reach the final, where Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal defeated them.

18 November 2009: France 1-1 Republic of Ireland

Some footballing moments linger for eternity, some for joy and pain. This was the latter for Ireland. Giovanni Trappatoni’s side trailed from the first leg of this FIFA World Cup play-off but had levelled the aggregate scoreline thanks to Robbie Keane.

That forced the tie into extra-time.

In the 103rd minute, Thierry Henry handballed Florent Malouda’s lofted free-kick back across goal, where William Gallas duly turned it home to send France to the World Cup finals.  The protests of Ireland’s incensed players could do nothing to change the referee’s inaction.

Henry admitted the handball in the controversial aftermath of the match, while 1998 World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit said French football should feel “guilty and ashamed” at the manner in which they had qualified for the 2010 tournament.

Ahead of May’s match between these two sides, current Ireland boss Stephen Kenny revealed that he and his players had watched back old fixtures against France, including this one and Henry’s handball.

A spirited performance followed, and so perhaps they will do the same again in anticipation of Thursday’s tie.

France vs Republic of Ireland head to head – what to expect

France are the favourites with a 100% record in European Championship qualifying thus far and a 42-year unbeaten record against the Republic of Ireland.

However, France vs Republic of Ireland head to head have, historically, been very tight.

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