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Irish Fans Take Positives From New Faces As Iceland End Aviva Run

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 28: Hordur Magnusson (R) of Iceland celebrates scoring the opening goal with Aron Sigurdarson of Iceland during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Iceland at Aviva Stadium on March 28, 2017 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Following Ireland’s hard-fought draw with Wales on Friday night, Martin O’Neill rang the changes for this evening’s friendly encounter with the Iceland.

The visit of the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists gave the management team the chance to give some minutes, for the first time in some cases, to the squad’s fringe players.

Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan, Stephen Gleeson, Johnny Hayes, John Egan, Callum O’Dowda and Eunan O’Kane all saw action against the Nordic side. The fact that tickets for the Welsh game had been sold along with tonight meant there was a relatively decent crowd in the Aviva to watch it.

Despite the result really not meaning a great deal in the grand scheme of things, O’Neill would have been hoping to preserve his superb record in the new stadium. However, a lovely first-half free-kick from Hörður Björgvin Magnússon was enough for the team that knocked out England last June to end the unbeaten run on Lansdowne Road.

Despite the defeat, there was some positives from an underwhelming night for the boys in green.

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Ireland are next in competitive action in June as they take on a faltering Austria side knowing a win could go a long way to securing their passage to the 2018 World Cup.

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Author: The PA Team

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