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“I Usually Have A Celebration Or Two In Me But This Time I Didn’t Know What To Do”

Ireland striker Sean Maguire admitted that scoring his first goal for his country was a weight lifted off his shoulders as the Boys in Green ran out comfortable winners against New Zealand at the Aviva on Thursday night.

Maguire played a starring role in an impressive 3-1 victory finding the net in style in the second half and putting in his finest performance so far at international level as he was awarded the man of the match in what was a tremendous all-round display.

The 25-year-old has been a regular scorer for his club side Preston over the past couple of seasons but had failed to score in any of his previous six appearances for Ireland, struggling to find his feet at times.

Tonight though, Maguire looked extremely comfortable linking up brilliantly with the likes of Troy Parrott, Jack Byrne and Robbie Brady and scoring his first international goal in style.

Maguire admitted that finally finding the net was a huge relief for him even if his 20-yard strike wasn’t quite akin to the usual goals he scores for North End.

“It’s a massive weight off my shoulders,” he told Pundit Arena after the game.

“It wasn’t the type of goal I’d usually score, normally I’d score my goals inside the 18 yard box and the chances I got in the first half, nine times out of ten I’d fancy myself to score.”

“I was frustrated at half-time but the manager, Terry Connor and Robbie Keane just told me to keep going.”

The relief on Maguire’s face as the ball flew past Stefan Marinovic in the New Zealand goal was palpable throughout the stadium and the striker outlined that the emotion in finally scoring for his country meant that he had little time to think of his celebration.

“It was a weird one because the moment it’s left my foot I knew it was going in. I usually have a celebration or two in me but this time it was all the emotion rolled into one and I didn’t know what to do.

“You dream of these moments scoring for your country. I’m absolutely over the moon.”

It was a brilliant occasion for Maguire but he wasn’t the only striker who got off the mark for the Boys in Green with his former Preston team-mate Callum Robinson heading home Ireland’s third goal and his first at international level.

“I was delighted for Robbo, he was in the same boat as me,” said Maguire.

“You just keep seeing those caps rack up and you don’t see those goals. It was important for both of our confidence to grab a goal each.

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Author: Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here oisin@punditarena.com