Michael Steele Ireland winger Anthony Pilkington celebrates his goal.
Friendly fire

McGoldrick stars on debut as Ireland outclass USA

The Ipswich Town forward set up the opening two goals for the hosts.

DAVID MCGOLDRICK PRODUCED an inspirational debut performance as the Republic of Ireland claimed a 4-1 win over United States on Tuesday.

Having lost to Scotland in last Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier, Martin O’Neill’s men will have been keen to bounce back and end the year on a high.

And, despite the build-up to the game being somewhat marred by comments from assistant Roy Keane about the international commitment of Everton pair Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, Ireland did not disappoint as they saw off USA with a clinical performance.

Ipswich Town forward McGoldrick set up the opening two goals for the hosts at the Aviva Stadium in a showing that boosted his chances of playing a role in Ireland’s qualification campaign for the European Championship finals in France.

First McGoldrick played in Anthony Pilkington for his first international goal, only for midfielder Mikkel Diskerud to level for USA.

However, McGoldrick was on hand again as Ireland’s lead was restored in the 55th minute by Robbie Brady, who made it four late on after James McClean had effectively made the game safe.

Ireland captain John O’Shea was given an award before the match for earning 100 caps and the hosts had further reason to celebrate after seven minutes as Pilkington opened the scoring.

The Cardiff City winger lofted the ball over USA goalkeeper Bill Hamid with a delicate chipped finish after McGoldrick had split the defence with a brilliant throughball.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s men responded well to that setback and went close to an equaliser when Fabian Johnson’s powerful low drive scraped the outside of Shay Given’s left-hand post.

Chances were few and far between at both ends but the visitors did level in the 38th minute as they capitalised on some sloppy Ireland defending.

Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore picked up a deflected pass on the left-hand side of the penalty area and curled a great ball to Chris Wondolowski, who headed down for Diskerud to volley home from point-blank range.

Altidore then almost went from creator to goalscorer but his effort from Wondolowski’s pull back cannoned off the crossbar.

Given was called into action shortly after the half-time interval to once again deny Altidore, whose profligacy was punished as McGoldrick broke down their defence for the second time.

The 26-year-old played a delightful return pass into the path of Brady, with the Hull City man making no mistake as he slotted the ball underneath Hamid.

USA would have pulled level for again if not for the continued heroics of Given, who turned an effort from substitute Bobby Wood round the post with a fine one-on-one save before another replacement Greg Garza stung his palms as Klinsmann’s side pressed for a second leveller.

Yet, for all their endeavour going forward, USA were shaky at the back and – after Shane Long struck the post – they were condemned to defeat as two quick-fire late goals put the result beyond doubt.

McClean wrong-footed Hamid with a deflected effort eight minutes from time to give Ireland breathing room and four minutes later Brady curled home with a fine set-piece to cap an excellent night for O’Neill’s team.

Ireland’s Robbie Brady did his best Beckham impression to score a brilliant goal tonight>

Player ratings: How the Boys in Green fared against America>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.