It was the game that set up the famous showdown with Romania. But the build-up to Ireland's final group game in Italia '90 - the 1-1 draw with Holland that will be screened by TG4 tonight - was dominated by off-the-pitch matters.
The front page of the Irish Independent led with the details of Jack Charlton's fiery press-conference confrontation with Eamon Dunphy on account of his criticism of the team's approach in the preceding drawn game with Egypt.
Charlton walked out of the room after refusing to take questions from the RTÉ pundit and then Sunday Independent columnist.
"You're not allowed to ask a question, you're not a proper journalist," said the irate manager. Dunphy claimed that the real issues in Irish soccer were not being addressed because of the bullying of journalists and denied that his appearance in Italy was a "publicity stunt".
In his player diary, Kevin Moran declared that it would be "utter madness" for either Ireland or Holland to go into their Palermo clash looking for a draw that would likely be enough to put them through.
But it all changed on the pitch when Niall Quinn cancelled out Ruud Gullit's opener and the two sides realised a point would be enough and played out a farcical conclusion.
Ireland v Holland, TG4, 7.30pm