In what was his 118th and final appearance in green for Ireland, John O’Shea captained the side. The Waterford native was given a standing ovation by the Aviva Stadium crowd as he was given a guard of honour by players from this two schoolboy clubs Ferrybank and Waterford Bohemians.
For the first time in three games, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill did not hand any players their debuts in the starting lineup, but Graham Burke made his first start in green, after making his debut earlier this week against France.
Ireland had much of the better of the opening period, with O’Shea coming close to scoring his fourth goal for Ireland. The captain headed just wide inside the opening ten minutes. Jonathan Walters also has a decent opportunity, but his effort failed to test USA goalkeeper Bill Mamid.
The visitors also had chances to take the lead, with Tyler Adams’ deflected shot flying just over Colin Doyle’s crossbar and Bobby Wood’s shot just going wide.
Just after the half-hour mark, O’Shea left the field to a standing ovation. The defender, who was ending his international career, was replaced by one starting his. Darragh Lenihan came on to make his debut and in doing so became the first Meathman to every represent Ireland.
With the final kick of the opening period, USA took the lead. Bobby Wood scored from close range, after Matt Miazga’s looping header looked to be going wide.
Ireland equalised ten minutes into the second-half. Callum O’Dowda’s cross to the back-post was headed back into the six-yard box by Kevin Long, to Darragh Lenihan. The debutant’s shot was hit over the line from close range by Graham Burke. It was the Shamrock Rovers star’s last involvement in the game, as he was replaced by Daryl Horgan.
Just under 15-minutes later, Lenihan thought he had scored once more, but this time his effort was ruled out for offside.
Enda Stevens became the second debutant of the night. The defender replaced Shane Duffy in the final 15-minutes to earn his first cap.
Alan Judge scored the winning goal, less than 60 seconds after replacing Callum O’Dowda. The midfielder blasted the ball into the back of the net to score his first goal for his country.
Martin O’Neill’s side return to action in September, away to Wales in the UEFA Nations League.
Republic of Ireland: Colin Doyle; Shane Duffy (Enda Stevens 77), John O’Shea (capt) (Darragh Lenihan 34), Kevin Long; Seamus Coleman, Jeff Hendrick (Harry Arter 82), Declan Rice, Callum O’Dowda (Alan Judge 89), James McClean; Graham Burke (Daryl Horgan 58), Jonathan Walters
USA: Bill Hamid; DeAndre Yedlin (Shaq Moore 70), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tim Parker 61), Matt Miazga, Jorge Villafana; Tim Weah, Tyler Adams, Wil Trapp (capt), Weston McKennie (Joe Corona 81), Rubio Rubin (Luca De La Torre 77); Bobby Wood (Josh Sargent 70).
Referee: Andrew Dallas (Scotland)