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Irish spirit lifted after American victory

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Ireland's Anthony Pilkington lifts the goal over USA goalkeeper Bill Hamid to open the scoring in their friendly at the Aviva. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Ireland's Anthony Pilkington lifts the goal over USA goalkeeper Bill Hamid to open the scoring in their friendly at the Aviva. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Ireland's Anthony Pilkington lifts the goal over USA goalkeeper Bill Hamid to open the scoring in their friendly at the Aviva. Photo: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

MARTIN O'NEILL shrugged off a difficult few days and gave his new faces the freedom of the Aviva against the USA and a new star was born. Take a bow David McGoldrick.

Touted as a player who could fill the gap between midfield and attack, McGoldrick (inset) made an instant impact and by the time he left the pitch in the second-half, he had set up two goals, one for Anthony Pilkington and the second for Robbie Brady.

Brady, starting at left-full, was the other big success story of the night, performing well in defence but a revelation in attack.

He finished the night with a brace after walloping a 25-yard free-kick to the net for Ireland's fourth and final goal.

And to add even more lustre to a great night, soured somewhat by scuffles between Gardaí and fans protesting about the FAI's ticket allocation for the Scotland game, Cyrus Christie signaled that O'Neill has found a very capable alternative to Séamus Coleman with an accomplised debut at right-full.

3SEE INSIDE P68-71


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