Ireland have been beaten 1-0 in their international friendly against Iceland in a game that featured many championship players.
The defeat ended Irelands run of 15 games unbeaten at their home sadium, however on a more positive note it was an opportunity to offer debuts to those yet to perform in an international shirt.
Inbetween the sticks for the Republic Of Ireland was Sheffield Wednesday ‘keeper Keiren Westwood, who was giving his 20th cap for his country. Having been regarded as Irelands first-choice ‘keeper following the retirement of Shay Given, Westwood will be dissapointed he couldn’t keep a clean sheet on the night, however he will be hoping that this won’t affect his position inside the Irish squad.
Making an appearance at full back was Cyrus Christie of Derby County. The 24 year old has been doing well in the league for Derby with 29 appearnces this season and has managed to solidify his position at the right back role for Ireland. However it will probably be a night to forget for Christie as he struggled to get involved in the game.
Egan had one made an appearance at under 19 and under 21 level before tonight
Making a debut for Ireland tonight was Brentford defender John Egan, who played 64 minutes before being replaced by fellow debutee Preston North End’s Andy Boyle. Boyle joined in January from Irish side Dundalk yet has struggled to break into Preston’s starting 11 since joining. Boyle will certainly be using this international call up as a confidence booster, however his performance tonight was far from remarkable or even very noticable.
Alongside Boyle was Daryll Horgan who also joined the Lilywhites from Dundalk in January. Horgan too made an appearance in the game against Iceland, replacing Hayes in the 63rd minute.
Aidan Mcgeady has heavily criticised by Ireland fans for his performance
One final Preston player in tonights game was Aidan Mcgeady. The Irish legend was heavily criticised throughout the game for his poor final ball via twitter, however recent performances for his club suggest otherwise.
One man who lasted a full 90 minutes for his international side was Derby County defender Alex Pearce who won just his 9th International cap for his national side. Having just missed out for the Euro 2016 squad Pearce will be hoping that this game can be a stepping stone for future caps, however his performance will have done little to prove to Martin O’neill that he is ready.
Also making an appearnce for Ireland was Bristol City winger Callum O’Dowda who played just over 20 minutes, and 28 year old Stephen Gleeson from Birmingham City, adding up to 9 championship players who managed to make an appearance during tonights game.