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Irish squad put defeat behind them to trash USA 4-1 in friendly

IT WAS a small consolation after the weekend's defeat by Scotland, but the boys in Green forged a convincing 4-1 victory over the United States in a friendly last night.

Star-spangled banners and shamrocks flooded Dublin's streets as Ireland played their final game of the year.

The US stars gave a spirited performance in the World Cup in Brazil during the summer and their fans were full of expectations.

"I'm confident the USA will win. It's my first soccer game here in Ireland. It should be fun," said Samantha Lawlor (19), from Colarado but studying in UCD.

However, it wasn't to be as the Republic of Ireland bounced back from Saturday's disappointment in the Euro 2016 qualifier in Glasgow and put the ball in the net four times.

And in a week dominated as much by what happened on the field, in hotels and at press conferences, the focus remained very much on Roy Keane.

"I suppose it has to be a distraction to the players," was the assessment of Ian McCormack from Lucan, Dublin, shortly before kick-off.

"I love it all, though. He's brilliant.

"I've always been a Keano fan."

Ian was attending the game with son Alex who was at the Aviva for the first time.

"It's a night to remember anyway and Alex is really looking forward to it," said Ian.

Ireland's next competitive match is against Poland in March.

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