International Friendly Report: Republic of Ireland 3 - 1 New Zealand

Thu, Nov 14 2019

Sean Maguire Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Andrew Dempsey reports from Aviva Stadium

An experimental Republic of Ireland came from behind to secure a routine 3-1 win over New Zealand at a sparsely populated Aviva Stadium on Thursday evening.  

Callum McCowett gave the New Zealanders a shock lead, before Derrick Williams levelled on the stroke of half-time.

Sean Maguire and sub Callum Robinson then netted in the second period to earn the win for the Boys in Green, who face Denmark in a win-or-bust clash on Monday evening.

With Monday’s tantalising home clash on everyone’s mind, Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy opted for a much-changed side.

Robbie Brady made his return to the starting XI, where he was named as captain as Troy Parrott was handed his first senior international debut.

Lee O’Connor was also called up from Stephen Kenny’s under-21s for his senior bow, with Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne also earning his first start for the Boys in Green.

The All Whites, as they are known as back home, came into the Lansdowne Road venue with a new manager in Danny Hay, formerly of Leeds United for a time from 1999-2002.

In his first starting side as boss, he handed starts to Burnley forward Chris Wood and West Ham United defender Winston Reid.

And it was the Boys in Green who started brightest, with Byrne and Josh Cullen both spraying the ball across the park with purpose and conviction.

Full-back Derrick Williams had the best chance of a dull opening twenty minutes, as he flashed his shot wide, after some good play from Alan Browne on the right-flank.

Williams was then called into action defensively moments later, preventing the lively Callum McCowett from scoring.

However, the Boys in Green were soon undone by a slick passing move that saw the All Whites take an unlikely lead.

McCowett was found free just outside the six-yard box before firing the ball home after a delicious cross from Liberato Cacace found the Wellington Phoenix man free.

Ireland soon rallied, and Sean Maguire went mightily close with a header, but it skewed wide of goal after a cross into danger from Brady.

And with just moments remaining in a rather forgetful opening half, an experimental Republic of Ireland levelled through the impressive Williams.

The Blackburn Rovers star making just his third Irish appearance rose highest to turn home a Brady cross, giving a sparse home crowd something to cheer about at the break.

Despite an early second half scare that saw Kieran O’Hara forced into action, palming away a Ryan Thomas effort on goal, Ireland soon took the lead through Maguire.

Williams, in one of last acts before being substituted battled well to win back the ball, before it found Parrott.

Parrott then in turn found the former Cork City star who rifled home his effort into the top corner of the net to give Ireland the lead just seven minutes into the half.

Parrott was denied shortly after before being fed in by Maguire, with Marinovich saving well under pressure from the Tottenham Hotspur youngster.

O’Connor was soon becoming a major source of threat for Ireland as the half wore on, finding Maguire free but the Preston North End forward was unable to convert.

The Celtic youngsters influence was not to be understated however, as he soon found the head of sub Callum Robinson who nodded home inside the penalty area.

The Sheffield United forward almost doubled his tally minutes later, but the busy Marinovich was on hand to tip over his effort on goal from 30 yards.

Fellow substitute James Collins then saw a major chance go begging in the final moments of the game, missing a one-on-one effort on goal.

However, it was a calm way to lead into the home clash against Denmark, with no notable injuries picked up by the Boys in Green ahead of Monday’s showdown.

Republic of Ireland: Kieran O'Hara (Mark Travers, 65); Ciaran Clark, Kevin Long, Lee O'Connor, Derrick Williams (Callum O’Dowda, 56); Joshua Cullen, Jack Byrne (Alan Judge, 63), Alan Browne (Conor Hourihane, 65); Robbie Brady, Sean Maguire (James Collins, 74), Troy Parrott (Callum Robinson, 63).

Subs not used: Scott Hogan, Jeff Hendrick, John Egan, Shane Duffy, Matt Doherty, James McClean, David McGoldrick, Darren Randolph, Enda Stevens, Glenn Whelan.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

New Zealand: Stef Marinovic; Storm Roux (Tim Payne, 90+2), Liberato Cacace, Winston Reid (Bill Tuiloma, h/t), Michael Boxall (Tommy Smith, 75); Callum McCowett (Elliot Collieer, 85), Joe Bell, Sarpreet Singh, Ryan Thomas (Martin McGlinchey, 75); Elijah Just, Chris Wood (Andre De Jong, 76).

Subs not used: Marco Rojas, Matt Ridenton, James McGarry, Max Mata, Alex Rufer.

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Referee: Robert Jenkins.

Attendance: 15,000 (Estimate). Player of the Match: Sean Maguire (Republic of Ireland).