Cyrus Christie showed there is life without Seamus Coleman by helping to fire the Republic of Ireland to a friendly victory over Uruguay.
The Derby full-back, who is in line to start next Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Austria with Coleman recovering from a double leg fracture, fired home his second senior international goal on the way to a morale-boosting 3-1 win at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland had taken a 28th-minute lead through skipper Jonathan Walters’ sumptuous 28th-minute effort and, although Jose Gimenez levelled before the break, Christie’s effort and a well-executed third from substitute James McClean rounded off a good evening for manager Martin O’Neill.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Cyrus Christie
He has big boots to fill in the absence of injured captain Seamus Coleman, but he did his chances of replacing the Everton man little harm. Enterprising in attack, he was rewarded with his second Ireland goal to cap a good evening’s work.
Moment of the match
Jonathan Walters’ 13th senior international goal on a night when he wore the captain’s armband was one he will remembers for some time. Collecting the ball from Glenn Whelan, he moved it on to his right foot before curling a perfectly-placed shot past keeper Esteban Conde and into the top corner.
Miss of the match
If Walters showed how skilful a player he can be with his goal, he also demonstrated that football can be a cruel game when presented with the opportunity to restore Ireland’s lead a minute before the break. He found himself unmarked in front of an empty net when Robbie Brady’s volleyed cross fell to him, but he skied his effort from three yards out on to the bar and could only look on in utter disbelief as the ball ran to safety.
Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph 5, Cyrus Christie 8, Shane Duffy 6, Kevin Long 7, Stephen Ward 6, Glenn Whelan 7, Harry Arter 7, Robbie Brady 7, Jeff Hendrick 6, Jonny Hayes 5, Jonathan Walters 7. Substitutes: Keiren Westwood (for Randolph, 46 mins) 7, Wes Hoolahan (for Whelan, 46 mins) 7, Aiden McGeady (for Hayes, 60 mins) 6,Alex Pearce (for Duffy, 61 mins) 6, Daryl Murphy (for Walters, 61 mins) 7, James McClean (for Hendrick, 73 mins) 7.
Who’s up next?
Republic of Ireland v Austria (World Cup qualifier, Sunday, June 11)
Italy v Uruguay (Friendly, Wednesday, June 7)
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