Having lost out to Mexico in America on Thursday night with a pared back squad, Martin O’Neill had many of his regulars back in action on Sunday for Ireland’s 3-1 victory over Uruguay.
The performance was an encouraging one after a lacklustre effort in the States, with Cyrus Christie’s display on the right side of defence standing out while Jon Walters finding the back of the net gives O’Neill at least some hope that he could yet prove pivotal next weekend. However, the less said about his miss from three yards out in front of an open goal the better.
Elsewhere, Kevin Long’s first start in an Irish shirt provides some positivity for the future of the Boys in Green’s defence.
Harry Arter also performed admirably, earning the Man of the Match award, and after captaining the side in America James McClean returned home with a bang, scoring a carbon copy of his goal against Austria away earlier in the campaign to seal the win. Let’s just hope he didn’t recreate the goal one match too early.
— eirSport (@eirSport) June 4, 2017
With a solid friendly win now under the belt, the main theme amongst Ireland fans following the game was one of confidence going into Sunday’s key qualifier at the Aviva.
Great Win And Great Performance From Ireland ??☘️ Play Like That Next Week And We’ll Have No Problem Against Austria Coybig ??☘️@FAIreland
— Paul Davison (@PaulDavison180) June 4, 2017
Excellent from Ireland today. Bring on Austria ?????????
— Phelim Warren (@Freewheeler12) June 4, 2017
What a performance by Ireland. Incredible result beating Uruguay. Bring on Austria! #COYBIG ??
— Seán O’Sullivan (@sean_osull00) June 4, 2017
FT Ireland 3-1 Uruguay. Huge improvement on Thursday and, though played at friendly pace, plenty of confidence with Austria next week.
— Dave Donnelly (@YeSecondPost) June 4, 2017
— stephen O C (@steveOc7) June 4, 2017
It really is the Republic of Harry Arter. Great performance, optimistic for Austria now
— Liam (@LHurlz) June 4, 2017
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena