John O’Shea received the hero’s send-off he deserved on Saturday night as his Ireland career came to a close.
The Sunderland defender was named as captain in the side’s international friendly at the Aviva, his final appearance with 117 caps under his belt in 17 years.
The 37-year-old had been solid and dependable in defence against a largely inexperienced American side – nonetheless, manager Martin O’Neill had decided that O’Shea’s race was run by the 34th minute.
The centre-half came off to a huge ovation, to be replaced by Blackburn’s Darragh Lenihan.
On 33 minutes, John O’Shea exits the pitch to a tremendous ovation.
What a servant.
3 international goals.
— eir Sport (@eirSport) June 2, 2018
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) June 2, 2018
As if to hammer home just how important O’Shea had been to the Irish cause, even in this match, USA took the lead on the stroke of half time. Poor Irish defending allowed Bobby Wood to ghost into the penalty area and he was able to poke home past Colin Doyle to give the visitors the lead.
Ireland had been creating a number of chances up until that point so will fancy their chances of getting back into the match. However, it’s another half of football in which the Boys in Green have failed to hit the back of the net.