Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Irish ease to victory

Robbie Brady, centre, was amongst the scorers as Ireland beat Oman
Robbie Brady, centre, was amongst the scorers as Ireland beat Oman

James McClean received the biggest cheer of the night at Craven Cottage, but it was debutant Robbie Brady who stole the show as he scored one and set up two more as Ireland comfortably beat Oman 4-1.

Brady is yet to play a match for Manchester United, but he lit up a quiet atmosphere at Tuesday night's friendly in London by crossing for Shane Long's opener early in the first half.

The winger smacked home a volley to make it 2-0 and he set up Kevin Doyle for the third while Alex Pearce added a fourth after Eid Al-Farsi had scored a consolation goal for Paul Le Guen's side.

McClean was also highly impressive during his 30 minutes on the pitch. The Sunderland winger vented his fury at Giovanni Trapattoni after he was left on the bench during Friday's drab 2-1 win, and he showed the Italian just how devastating he can be during his cameo from the bench.

The 23-year-old looked lively on the left flank so often occupied by Fulham man Damien Duff over the years, and had it not been for Ali Al-Habsi in the Oman goal, the winger would have notched his first international goal and could have even had a second when he fired a sweet volley just over.

The men in green found themselves in front after six minutes. Brady pumped a 40-yard free-kick towards the back post and Sean St Ledger nodded back across goal for Long to head home.

The Irish were 2-0 up after 22 minutes, however, when Seamus Coleman's cross was cleared into the path of Brady, who lashed home a low volley that beat Al-Habsi as he scrambled across his line.

Brady's incredible debut continued 12 minutes before the break when the 20-year-old sent over a peach of a flat cross which Doyle headed in from six yards.

Oman pulled one back after 71 minutes when Al-Farsi lost his marker and found some space in the box before shooting beyond Darren Randolph.

Substitute Aiden McGeady then swung in a deep cross and Pearce leapt to head home from 10 yards and make it 4-1.

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