Republic of Ireland 4 - 0 Oman | 2017 - Senior Friendly | 999942916

Senior Men Friendlies Three International Friendly | Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Republic of Ireland 4 - 0 Oman

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REPORT: Ireland 4-0 Oman

As the camera lingered on the face of Ireland’s most clinical striker during the Aviva Stadium’s rendition of Amhran na bhFiann, it still seemed a little surreal that this was truly his final match in an Irish jersey.
Keane_SM.jpg
31st Aug 2016

Surreal, but nevertheless a vocal crowd were determined not to let the occasion pass. Less than two minutes in and the familiar “Kean-o” chant echoed through the stadium.
Despite an energetic start from Ireland, it was the men in red for whom the first chance fell to. A neat connection from Ibrahim Saleh saw Westwood being sprung into action early on as he acrobatically tipped the Oman striker’s effort over the bar.  

Ireland quickly regained composure. The brute strength of Jonathan Walters in the seventh minute led to a classic Brady moment of magic. Brady’s exquisite free kick curled into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, making that his third international goal in three games.

However, Brady and co were clearly intent that it was another Robbie who would be getting on the score sheet next. The much anticipated 68th record goal for the man in question was imminent. A Walter’s effort rebounded off the post and almost onto Keane’s right boot. The number ten wriggled through two defenders but was dispossessed before he could make a clean connection. That record goal was coming.

And when that goal did arrive, it didn’t disappoint. Walters leapt high to nod the ball down for Brady, the ball rebounding fortunately back to Walters who delicately toed it into his captain’s path. Ever aware of his surroundings, Keane knocked the ball over the oncoming defender before swiveling to volley past the helpless Oman keeper from close range.

It was classic Keane, as was his celebratory tumble. The crowd, as expected, erupted.

The Brady-Walters duo was key in Keane’s goal, and it only took five further minutes for the pair to combine again. A deep cross from the left full back was met by the head of Walters, who guided his effort neatly into the bottom left corner of Al Rushaidi’s goal.

O’Neill was intent on using every opportunity to assess his panel and the second half saw six substitutions. The one which met the most applause was, of course, the introduction of Hoolahan for Keane in the fifty-seventh minute, as the crowd stood to thank our long serving captain.

Keane slowly exited the pitch, arms raised in the air to wave goodbye. Still slightly surreal, surely for the man himself also.

Walters quickly continued his bright first half, pouncing on a through ball to skip by the onrushing Oman keeper and steer a left footed stroke into the back of the net to make it 4-0.

Ireland dominated possession for the entire second half, Oman seeing even less opportunities in front of goal than their two in the first forty-five minutes. The Irish attacking combination of Walters, McClean, Hendrick and Hoolahan linked well and a pacey O’Dowda looked sharp on the left flank.

O’Neill will surely be pleased with the performances of certain players, in addition to established senior corporals such as Walters and Brady. Harry Arter and Cyrus Christie in particular showcased their abilities.

But it will be Ireland’s number ten who steals the limelight tonight and rightly so. His final game in green this evening, but memories provided that will last a life time.

Ireland: Westwood (Randolph, 45); Christie, Wilson, Clark, Brady (Ward, 45), Quinn (O’Dowda, 65), Whelan (Hendrick, 45), Arter, Long (McClean,45)  Keane (c) (Hoolohan, 57), Walters

Oman: Al Rushaidi; Sallam Amur Almukhaini, Humaid Mubarak Al Muqbali, Jamil Zaid Al Saadi, Mabrook Al Mushaifri, Saleh Abd Raboh Bait, Jouhar Bilal Al Khaldi, Awadh Bashir Bait Mabrook, Mohammed Rahid Al Malki, Ibrahim Saleh, Khalil Abdallah Al Shyadi. 

 

VIDEO: Robbie Keane: The Final Interview

Republic of Ireland captain gives his last interview ahead of his 146th and final appearance for the Boys in Green.
Robbie Keane Interview
29th Aug 2016

The Republic of Ireland kickstarted preparations for the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign at the FAI National Training Centre on Monday ahead of two games in the space of a week.

The team will play host to Oman on Wednesday, August 31 in a 'Three' International Friendly at Aviva Stadium - which will be captain Robbie Keane's final international - before turning attention to the World Cup qualifier away to Serbia on Monday, September 5.

Ahead of the Oman game, Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane spoke to FAI TV to reflect on the past 18 years in the green jersey, his highs, his lows, and the special connection with the fans. 

Tickets to Republic of Ireland v Oman, Robbie Keane's final game, are on sale HERE