David McGoldrick picked a great time to score his first goal for the Republic of Ireland.
The Sheffield United forward has been brilliant for the national team since he was restored to the side by Mick McCarthy earlier this year. The only thing lacking from his selfless performances was a goal, but that changed on Thursday night at the Aviva Stadium.
McGoldrick powered home a fantastic header into the top-right hand corner of the Switzerland net to rescue a 1-1 draw for Ireland. The goal was made all the more impressive given there was not a lot of pace on the ball, which looped in the air after James McClean’s cross was deflected.
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McGoldrick was understandably delighted following full-time. The 31-year-old forward admitted that the goal had been a long time coming, but said that it was “one of the best feelings” he has had in his career. McGoldrick also praised the effort of his teammates.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he told RTÉ following the game.
“I’ve hit the bar, hit the post, (had goals) disallowed. But it’s one of the best feelings I’ve had, scoring that first goal. It’s great for us to get the draw as well.
“We had to put in a shift today, they’re a good team. But we stuck through it, we knew it was going to be tight and it shows what we’re about. We’re 1-0 down against a good team and got a draw.”
Ireland are still top of Group D, with 11 points from five games. Next up is Bulgaria in a friendly on Tuesday – followed by two massive qualifiers away to Georgia and Switzerland in October.
McGoldrick said the point earned on Thursday night keeps Ireland in control of their own destiny in the group.
“We’re in the mix, you know? It’s obviously in our hands,” he said.
“We’ve got some tough games to come but if we play like that – we’re hard to play against – I think it will stand us in good stead.
“For the boys, we stuck together. The place was rocking tonight and it was great to reward them (the Ireland fans) with a goal and to get that point, which I think we deserved.”