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Dublin: 20 °C Wednesday 5 August, 2020
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Brady: It's a shame for Irish football that Wes hasn't played more. He's a class act

The Norwich City man scored his third international goal in Paris tonight.

Brady with Hoolahan after the game.
Brady with Hoolahan after the game.
Image: John Walton

- Ben Blake reports from the Stade de France, Saint-Denis

AT 34 YEARS of age, Wes Hoolahan cemented his name alongside the likes of Ray Houghton, Ronnie Whelan, Kevin Sheedy and Robbie Keane by scoring for Ireland at a major tournament.

Latching onto Seamus Coleman’s cross three minutes into the second half, Hoolahan sent a sweetly-struck half-volley beyond Andreas Isaksson before a Ciaran Clark own-goal denied the Boys in Green victory at the Stade de France.

Robbie Brady celebrated Ireland’s first goal at Euro 2016 with his team-mate and close friend and was singing his praises after the final whistle.

“He’s a class act and I’m over the moon for him,” said Brady. “No one will be able to take the goal away from him. It was a man-of-the-match performance as well. He was excellent, which he always is.

He’s one of these lads that you think might get caught on the ball sometimes and he just manages to come out with something to get himself out of it. He’s a joy to play with and it’s a joy to watch him play. All credit to him.”

He may be in the latter years of his career, but international latecomer Hoolahan was making just his 31st appearance tonight.

Brady believes he should have considerably more caps to his name and says fans need to enjoy watching Hoolahan while he’s still around.

“It’s a shame for football,” he added. “A shame for Irish football especially that he missed that much time and people didn’t get to see him for more time. He’s here now so people just need to tune in and catch the best of him because he’s still a top class player.”

Hoolahan came off feeling his calf with 12 minutes remaining but his Norwich clubmate isn’t worried that he won’t be available for Belgium game on Saturday.

“It’s very important (that Hoolahan is fit),” said Brady. “He looks after himself well and he’s in unbelievable shape. He seems to be getting better with age.

“There’s no doubt that he’ll be ready to go again. If he puts in another performance like he did today it will do us nothing but good.”

Listen to The42′s Ben Blake on the 98FM Euro 2016 Daily podcast throughout the tournament 

Player ratings: Here’s how we reckon the Boys in Green fared in their Euro 2016 opener

Wes Hoolahan’s absolutely beautiful half-volley cancelled out by sickening OG

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Ben Blake

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