Republic too strong for Oman
Brady stars for Ireland on debut
Last Updated: 11/09/12 9:51pm
Robbie Brady: Celebrates his goal on his international debut
Robbie Brady scored on his Republic of Ireland debut as they overcame Oman 4-1 at Craven Cottage.
The Manchester United youngster was the star of the show in the friendly, scoring once and having a hand in two other goals.
The Irish were three goals to the good inside 36 minutes before taking their foot off the pedal in the second half.
Ireland needed just seven minutes to break the deadlock, as Brady's 40-yard free-kick was headed back across goal by Sean St Ledger and Shane Long nodded home from close range.
Giovanni Trapattoni's side doubled their lead 16 minutes later when Oman failed to clear Seamus Coleman's cross and Brady volleyed clinically home.
Brady was also involved in the third, as his cross to Kevin Doyle was headed beyond keeper Ali Al-Habsi from six yards.
Oman looked better after the break with keeper Darren Randolph pulling off a great save to deny Eid Al Farsi from 25 yards.
Substitute James McClean came close twice, first with a free-kick that was brilliantly saved by Al-Habsi and then with a volley which flew over.
Al Farsi did pull a goal back for Oman on 72, with debutant Alex Pearce heading in Ireland's fourth five minutes from time.
Substitute McClean was also highly impressive during his 30 minutes on the pitch.
The Sunderland winger vented his fury at Giovanni Trapattoni after he was left on the bench during Friday's drab 2-1 win, and he showed the Italian just how devastating he can be during his cameo from the bench.
The 23-year-old looked lively on the left flank so often occupied by Fulham and Republic man Damien Duff over the years, and had it not been for Ali Al-Habsi in the Oman goal, the winger would have notched his first international goal and could have even had a second when he fired a sweet volley just over.
Even though Oman are ranked 53rd in the world, tonight's result and performance will do the world of good for Trapattoni.
Like in Astana on Friday, the Republic started brightly. Doyle peeled down the left and his cross flew towards goal off the knee of Mohammed Al-Balushi but Al-Habsi showed great reflexes to prevent an own goal.
A moment of hesitation from David Forde in the Republic goal almost cost Trapattoni's team, but the defence cleared their lines and the men in green found themselves in front after six minutes.
Brady pumped a 40-yard free-kick towards the back post and Sean St Ledger nodded back across goal for the West Brom man to head home.
Oman looked confident going forwards, and almost tested Forde twice through Ahmed Al Muhaiyri and Amad Al Hosni, who both shot just over.
The Republic were 2-0 up after 22 minutes, however, when Seamus Coleman's cross was cleared into the path of Brady, who lashed home a low volley that beat Al-Habsi as he scrambled across his line.
Abdullaziz Al-Muqabli thought he should have had a penalty just before the half hour after going down under pressure from St Ledger but Andre Marriner waved play on.
Brady's incredible debut continued 12 minutes before the break when the 20-year-old sent over a peach of a flat cross which Doyle headed in from six yards.
Trapattoni brought on Reading defender Pearce and Motherwell goalkeeper Darren Randolph at the break and the Republic remained in control.
Andy Keogh picked up Doyle's pass on the right wing and cut inside before firing a wicked curling shot that Al-Habsi athletically tipped wide.
Oman still looked confident going forward, however, and Randolph had to pull off a terrific diving save to deny Eid Al Farsi from 25 yards.
The loudest cheer of the night came when McClean came on for Doyle.
The Sunderland winger, his every touch greeted by a cheer, looked keen to make an immediate impression, beating Al-Muhaiyri to the byline, but his cross was hooked clear.
McClean almost scored his first international goal soon after when he fired a wicked free-kick over the wall that Al-Habsi saved brilliantly to his right.
McClean came within inches of making it 4-0 in the 69th minute when he smacked a peach of a volley just over Al-Habsi's goal after a pin-point pass from his Sunderland colleague Meyler.
Oman pulled one back after 71 minutes when Al-Farsi lost his marker and found some space in the box before shooting beyond Randolph.
Amad Al-Hosni almost scored another for the Gulf state when he beat Stephen Kelly but rippled the side-netting.
David Meyler, like Brady, wanted a debut goal and he almost got it seven minutes from the end when he smacked a fierce shot that Al-Habsi parried.
Two minutes later and it was 4-1. Substitute Aiden McGeady swung in a deep cross and Pearce leapt to head home from 10 yards.
In a worrying development for Nottingham Forest, Simon Cox hobbled off in injury time after suffering an ankle in injury from a heavy tackle, but otherwise it was smiles all around as the team left the pitch to chants of "You'll never beat the Irish".