Fabian Johnson of USA with Ireland's Anthony Stokes. Donall Farmer/INPHO

As it happened: Ireland v USA, international friendly

Ireland were looking to end the year on a high against the Americans tonight.

IT’S COYBIG VS USMNT tonight in D4 … and once we get our heads around all of the acronyms, it will be time for some football.

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Good evening and welcome to the Aviva Stadium on Lansdowne Road where we’re just getting set ahead of tonight’s friendly between Ireland and the USMNT.

That’s the US Men’s National Team to the gloriously uninitiated among you. Or America for short.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

I don’t know how many American fans there are in Dublin tonight but if there’s enough of them to make some noise, you can bet you’ll be hearing this.



ESPN / YouTube

The teams are in:

Ireland: Given; Meyler (c), Pearce, Clark, Christie, Brady, McGoldrick, Quinn, Pilkington, Murphy, Stokes.

USA: Hamid; F Johnson, Cameron, Besler, Chandler; Beckerman; Bedoya, Diskerud, Morales; Wondolowski, Altidore (c).

Ireland make 11 changes to the team which lost 1-0 to Scotland  in Glasgow on Friday night as a Martin O’Neill looks to give a number of squad players the chance to impress in the final game of 2014.

As he promised, Cyrus Christie and David McGoldrick come in to make their debuts for the Boys in Green. Derby County full-back Christie is likely to start at left-back while McGoldrick will play in attack.

David Meyler is captain for the night.

Cyrus Christie and Shane Long warming up on the Aviva Stadium pitch.

Cyrus Christie Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

John O’Shea has just been presented with his 100th cap, which he won in the 1-1 draw against Germany last month. The Sunderland man also popped up with an all-important equaliser on that night in Gelsenkirchen.

There is a minute’s silence for the 22-year-old Scottish fan who tragically died at Celtic Park on Friday.

Right, here we go. Ireland are in their change strip of white and navy while the US team are wearing that distinctive red, white and blue kit.

Ireland have lined up with a back four of (left to right) Robbie Brady, Alex Pearce, Ciaran Clark and Cyrus Christie. Steven Quinn and David Meyler are the midfield pairing with Anthony Stokes and Anthony Pilkington occupying the wings.

That means it is a front two of Ipswich Town club mates David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy.

The US, meanwhile, have started in a 4-4-2 formation with Altidore and Wondolowski leading the attack.

The home side have had to content with a number of early corners from the States and Shay Given has just batted away a cross.

GOAL! Ireland 1-0 USA (Anthony Pilkington 7′) 

What a brilliant goal from Ireland. They win possession in the centre of the field and break through Pilkington, who passes inside to McGoldrick.

He delays the pass before threading through an exquisite through-ball for Pilkington. The Cardiff winger takes the shot on first time with a deft chip over Bill Hamid. Really, really well-worked.

The US win a free-kick some 35 yards out from goal and play it short before it is crossed to the back post, where the danger is averted.

Here’s the goal.

FanSided GIF / Vine

Ireland are passing the ball a lot better than they did on Friday but the US have created two decent chances in as many minutes.

First, Bedoya gets down the right to whip a cross to the back post where Pearce has to head behind under pressure from Altidore. Then, when the ball comes out as far as Johnson, he lets fly from 25 yards and clips the outside of the post.

The singing section behind Given’s goal have been making their frustration with FAI chief executive John Delaney heard during the first 25 minutes with a couple of different chants.

On the pitch, Hamid has kept Murphy out with a strong save after the striker created an opening for himself with a clever first touch after good work from McGoldrick.

Beckerman catches Pilkington late and a bit of handbags between the pair ensues. Brady sends the delivery into the box but it’s headed clear by the US.

From the throw-in, Christie shows great footwork to make a yard for himself and cross. It comes out as far as Meyler, whose shot is blocked.

GOAL! Ireland 1-1 USA (Mix Diskerud 38′) 

The visitors equalise after Ireland are guilty of giving away possession. Meyler is caught on the ball by the hard-working Beckerman. A cross from the left is met by the head of Wondolowski, who cushions a pass into the path of Diskerud.

The Norwegian-born striker finds the back of the net with a tidy first-timed finish.

Ben Jata / Vine


Half-time: Ireland 1-1 USA

Anthony Pilkington with Kyle Beckerman Kyle Beckerman takes Anthony Pilkington's legs from underneath him. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

The teams are back out on the pitch and Jurgen Klinsmann is about to make a change. Bobby Wood is on for Chris Wondolowski. No substitutions on the Irish team just yet.

A timely interception from Quinn is needed after Meyler’s clearance spins into the Ireland box thanks to a block. Pilkington breaks and lays off to Quinn, who rolls back to Christie.

The Derby County man is again eager to get forward and skips past his man before driving into the box. Stokes is then found but loses out to the US backline.

Given is called into action and saves from Altidore with his legs.

Christie plays in Pilkington on the right flank with a fine pass. His cross reaches Murphy at the back post but he can’t make sufficient contact.

GOAL! Ireland 2-1 USA (Robbie Brady 55′) 

Ireland hassle in the US corner and the ball is played as far as Brady, who passes to McGoldrick and continues his run before being found by a super flick.

He keeps his composure to slot past Hamid for Ireland’s second.

Ireland’s first substitution sees Aiden McGeady on in place of Anthony Stokes.

Check out the backheel from McGoldrick for the goal. That’s his second assist tonight.

Ben Jata / Vine

Changes on either side — Greg Garza replaces Alfredo Morales while James McClean is on for Anthony Pilkington. He will be happy with his performance.

Altidore is shown a yellow card after a heavy challenge on Christie.

Excellent save from Given, who keeps out Wood after the substitute gets in behind the Irish backline.

The Americans have got plenty of set-pieces up their sleeves and Garza makes a run down the channel to receive a short free-kick and send in a low cross, which is booted away.

More subs — Timmy Chandler and Mix Diskerud make way for Rubio Rubin and Jordan Morris.

For Ireland, McGoldrick and Murphy are off with Jeff Hendrick and Shane Long joining the action.

Long is instantly involved after a nice first time ball from Quinn to send him away down the right wing. He looks to cut back to McClean but the US manage to get it clear.

Both teams are really going for it now and it’s end-to-end stuff.

GOAL! Ireland 3-1 USA (James McClean 81′) 

That’s a third. Given pulls off another cracking save and moments later Long beats Rubin for pace and curls an effort at goal, which cracks the upright.

The ball is recycled and comes out as far as McClean, who takes on the shot and sees it fly past Hamid via a deflection off Geoff Cameron.

Rob Elliot will get the last few minutes in goal for Ireland with Given making way.

GOAL! Ireland 4-1 USA (Robbie Brady 86′) 

That’s a terrific free-kick from Brady, who scores his second of the night. The Hull City wide man, playing full-back tonight, steps up from 25 yards after Quinn is fouled and curls over the wall and into the top corner.

Goal number three:

Ben Jata / Vine

And four:

Ross / Vine

Full-time: Ireland 4-1 USA

A late yellow card for David Meyler but that’s the final whistle.

So, all-in-all, a worthwhile night for Martin O’Neill and the Irish team. A couple of top class finishes and plenty of positives to take with the likes of Christie, Brady, McGoldrick, Quinn, Clark and Pilkington all making strong claims for starting berths when Ireland take on Poland in March.

QUIZ: How well do you know the United States Men’s National Team?

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