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13 best Irish football moments in 2014

John O’Shea, Stephanie Roche and Dundalk all enjoyed great years.

Seamus Coleman is named in 2014 Premier League Team of the Year

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Everton - Stadium of Light Source: Richard Sellers

A terrific season at club level for Everton full-back Seamus Coleman, in which he made 41 appearances and scored seven goals, earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

PFA Team of the year

Irish women’s U19s team make it to the European Championships semi-final

Heading into their first European Championship in Norway, Ireland were the outsiders in a group which contained Spain, England and Sweden back in July. However, Dave Connell’s girls caused a major upset by topping the group with three wins from three. A place in the final proved a step too far as they lost out to eventual winners the Netherlands in the last four.

The Republic of Ireland team 24/7/2014 Source: Anders Hoven/INPHO

Aiden McGeady’s late winner against Georgia

Ireland came away from a tricky trip to Tblisi with all three points thanks to a couple of moments of magic from Everton winger Aiden McGeady. Having opened for the scoring for the visitors on 23 minutes, McGeady produced a mesmerising piece of skill to make a yard for himself on the edge of the Georgia box before stroking home for a 2-1 win.

McGeady Georgia Source: RTE.ie

Dundalk win the Premier Division title decider

Stephen O'Donnell is congratulated by Richie Towell and Ruadhri Higgins Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The SSE Airtricity League Premier Division came down to the wire with the top two Dundalk and Cork City meeting at Oriel Park on the final night of the season. Cork held a one-point advantage going into the game but goals from returning captain Stephen O’Donnell and Brian Gartland sealed a first title in 19 years for Stephen Kenny’s Lilywhites.

Stephen O'Donnell and Andy Boyle raise the SSE Airtricity trophy Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Robbie Keane’s hat-trick in the Gibraltar rout

Ireland racked up a a 7-0 victory over Gibraltar with captain Robbie Keane bagging himself a 12-minute hat-trick to take his international tally to 65 goals.

Robbie Keane celebrates scoring Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

John O’Shea reaching 100 caps and scoring equaliser against the Germans

John Oohn O'Shea celebrates scoring the equalising goal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Wearing the captain’s armband and winning his 100th senior cap for Ireland, John O’Shea popped up injury-time to help Ireland snatch a 1-1 draw away to world champions Germany in Gelsenkirchen.

Wes Hoolahan’s overhit cross was recycled brilliant by Jeff Hendrick and the Sunderland defender beat Mats Hummels to the ball to flick past Manuel Neuer.

Source: evansjamil/Vine

St Pat’s end their FAI Cup drought

Ger O'Brien lifts The FAI Ford Cup Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

53 years on from their last FAI Cup success, St Patrick’s Athletic were finally crowned champions of the country’s premier cup competition after seeing off 2012 winners Derry City in the final in November. PFAI Player of the Year Christy Fagan scored both goals as the Saints defeated to he Candystripes 2-0 at the Aviva Stadium.

Here are their fans reacting to the second goal:

https://vine.co/v/Oe7EUI7PVu0

Irish fans at Celtic Park

After all the arguments about tickets in the build-up to the game, around 10,000 Ireland fans made themselves heard at Celtic Park for the much-anticipated qualifier against Scotland in November.

Despite the large support, however, Martin O’Neill’s side were second best on the night and lost out to Shaun Maloney’s well-taken goal.

Ireland fans Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Robbie Brady free-kick v the US

After the disappointment of defeat in Glasgow, Ireland ended the calendar year on a high by overcoming the US at the Aviva Stadium. Robbie Brady featured at left full-back in a second-string team and scored twice in the 4-1 win.

His second, a perfectly-executed free-kick from 25 yards out, is undoubtedly one of the Irish goals of the year.

https://vine.co/v/OJZWObzJAOz

David McGoldrick’s debut

David McGoldrick assists the first goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

David McGoldrick and Cyrus Christie made their bows for Ireland on that night and both newcomers impressed. Ipswich Town striker McGoldrick had a particularly eye-catching international debut — setting up two goals with exquisite passes.

Pilkington goal

Shay Given coming out of international retirement

Having hung up his international boots after Euro 2012, 38-year-old Shay Given made his Ireland return in the friendly win over Oman in September. The Aston Villa stopper may be behind David Forde in the pecking order but he is seemingly ahead of Darren Randolph and Rob Elliot after starting against the US.

The Ireland team line up for the national anthem Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Stephanie Roche’s Puskas Award nomination

The Ireland striker is up against Robin van Persie and James Rodriguez in the final three.

Source: Profitsbuzz/YouTube

Robbie Keane winning MLS MVP

The Ireland skipper was named the MLS Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the first time thanks to his exploits for LA Galaxy this year.

Originally published at 0900

What were your biggest Irish football moments this year? 

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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