Alan Judge came off the bench to blast the Republic of Ireland to victory over the United States and hand John O’Shea the perfect send-off.
The Brentford midfielder’s 90th-minute winner came just seconds after his introduction on a night when Shamrock Rovers striker Graham Burke, the first League of Ireland player to make the starting XI since Joe Gamble in 2007, claimed his first goal to cancel out Bobby Wood’s opener.
It clinched a 2-1 win at the Aviva Stadium to ensure O’Shea’s 118-cap international career ended in style.
Tweet of the match
On a night when Ireland once again laboured for long periods, much of the impetus for their better spells came from Bristol City midfielder Callum O’Dowda. His willingness to run at the United States defence repeatedly caused panic and created space for the men around him.
End of an era
O’Shea’s 118th and final senior appearance for the Republic of Ireland lasted just 34 minutes as he he was given the send-off he so richly deserved. The central defender, who won his first cap against Croatia in August 2001, walked out with his children wearing shirts emblazoned with his number four and “Daddy” and left to warm applause from an appreciate crowd at the Aviva Stadium.
Rover the moon
Burke was far from over-awed having been handed his big chance made sure he left his mark on the game. The Rovers striker was in the right place at the right time to turn substitute Darragh Lenihan’s shot home to claim his first goal for his country in his second appearance.
Republic of Ireland: Colin Doyle 7 (out of 10), Seamus Coleman 6, John O’Shea (Capt) 6, Kevin Long 6, Shane Duffy 7, Declan Rice 6, Jeff Hendrick 5, Callum O’Dowda 8, Jonathan Walters 7, James McClean 7, Graham Burke 7. Subs: Darragh Lenihan (for O’Shea, 34) 6, Daryl Horgan (for Burke, 58) 7, Enda Stevens (for Duffy, 72) 6, Harry Arter (for Hendrick, 82) 6, Alan Judge (for O’Dowda, 89) 7.
United States: Bill Hamid 6, DeAndre Yedlin 6, Cameron Carter-Vickers 6, Matt Miazga 6, Jorge Villafana 6, Wil Trapp (Capt) 7, Tim Weah 5, Tyler Adams 7, Weston McKennie 6, Rubio Rubin 7, Bobby Wood 7. Subs: Tim Parker (for Carter-Vickers, 61) 6, Shaq Moore (for Yedlin, 70) 6, Josh Sargent (for Wood, 70) 6, Luca de la Torre (for Rubin, 72) 6, Joe Corona (for McKennie, 81) 6.
Who’s up next?
Wales v Republic of Ireland, UEFA Nations League, Thursday, September 6.
France v United States, friendly, Saturday, June 9.
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