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Republic of Ireland 3-1 New Zealand: Trio score first international goals in friendly win


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Republic of Ireland 3-1 New Zealand: Trio score first international goals in friendly win

Callum Robinson marked his 11th Republic of Ireland cap with his first goalDerrick Williams, Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson scored their first Republic of Ireland goals as an experimental side beat New Zealand.The team who started the Dublin friendly will bear no resemblance to the side who play Monday’s must-win Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.New…

Republic of Ireland 3-1 New Zealand: Trio score first international goals in friendly win

Callum Robinson

Callum Robinson marked his 11th Republic of Ireland cap with his first goal

Derrick Williams, Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson scored their first Republic of Ireland goals as an experimental side beat New Zealand.

The team who started the Dublin friendly will bear no resemblance to the side who play Monday’s must-win Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.

New Zealand took the lead through debutant Callum McCowatt.

But Williams headed in Robbie Brady’s corner, Maguire blasted home a second from 20 yards and Robinson headed in.

The last two goals were set up by teenage debutants, with Troy Parrott laying off for Maguire and Lee O’Connor crossing for substitute Robinson.

What have the Republic learned?

It was a strange game for several reasons – a rookie XI against a team who had not played an international match for 525 days, in front of a sparse Aviva Stadium crowd four days before the Republic’s biggest game in two years.

Parrott, who has played just one Carabao Cup game for Tottenham and Celtic’s O’Connor, who has never played a first-team game at club level, were the debutants in a line-up announced over 24 hours before kick-off.

The performance will probably have been of more interest to Stephen Kenny, the Republic of Ireland Under-21 boss who replaces Mick McCarthy as manager next August.

Williams and O’Connor were adventurous at full-back, with Shamrock Rovers playmaker Byrne composed on the ball and Maguire and Parrott causing plenty of problems – yet it is highly unlikely any of them will start on Monday.

Brady, who played on the right side of a front three, looked sharp on his first international appearance of the season. The Burnley man, who has recovered from a rib injury, is probably the most likely contender for that match.

However, one of his rivals for a spot against Denmark is Robinson, whose maiden international goal came at a good time.

Who had the chances?

The Irish played some fluent football out wide and through the centre, with Williams and Maguire missing several chances as well as scoring.

Parrott, the third youngest Republic of Ireland player, almost got a goal to add to his assist but his shot was straight at keeper Stefan Marinovic.

New Zealand, who gave West Ham defender Winston Reid his first appearance for club or country since March 2018, took the lead against the run of play when 20-year-old McCowatt converted a cross from Wellington Phoenix team-mate Liberato Cacace.

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But the Republic eventually took a chance when Williams powered home a header from Brady’s corner.

New Zealand then made a mess of clearing the ball and Parrott laid off for Maguire to smash home from the edge of the box. A good run from O’Connor down the right was met by the head of substitute Robinson.

That was a big boost for the Sheffield United man, who could well start on Monday. The Irish must beat Denmark to qualify and may need a 2-0 win if Switzerland draw with Georgia on Friday.

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