James McClean scores well executed goal to give Ireland the lead against Qatar

James McClean

Ireland took the lead against Qatar.

Stoke City winger James McClean opened the scoring for the Republic of Ireland during their friendly game against Qatar on Tuesday night.

Just over three minutes into the game, Stephen Kenny‘s men executed a well-worked short corner with McClean finishing off the move to nab a goal on his 80th cap for his country.

The Republic of Ireland.

Ireland were coming into this game on the back of two straight defeats to Serbia and Luxembourg during the ongoing international break.

The men in green have been subject to intense criticism over their recent lacklustre results, with some calling for Kenny to be replaced as the Ireland manager.

“There is an element of criticism there that is justified,” Kenny said before the Qatar game.

“That we need to be more creative in that final third and have better combination play between our attacking players and our wing-backs and I accept some of that criticism.

“Michael’s Northern Ireland had a long unsuccessful run, and lost to Luxembourg as well, in 2013, and that was a turning point as well. We want to be much better.

“We hit a low the other night, and we’ve got to take that on the chin, but I want to build a team that really exhilarates Irish football people. Some of our play against Slovakia and Serbia has been nothing short of brilliant and we’ll continue to build on that and get better again.”

Kenny made eight changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Luxembourg for Tuesday’s clash against Qatar. Only Seamus Coleman, Gavin Bazunu and Dara O’Shea have retained their places from the loss at the Aviva Stadium.

And it would appear that the changes have worked given Ireland’s early lead.

Social media reaction.

Following McClean’s crisp strike, plenty of social media users shared their thoughts on the goal.

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