They may not have scored in this convincing 4-1 victory for the Irish but they went a long way towards making it happen.
David McGoldrick on his debut was responsible for getting the Irish on their way with an exquisite through ball to the onrushing Anthony Pilkington, who deftly chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper.
In a fairly evenly balanced first half it was Daryl Murphy who had the best chance to put the Irish further ahead and would have done, had it not been for the reflexes of U.S. keeper Hamed, who somehow managed to deflect a goal bound close range effort away from danger when a goal seemed certain.
It was all square at the break after Mix Diskerud had leveled things with a neat finish from close range and the Americans also came close with shots that struck the post and bar in what was a pulsating first half that ebbed and flowed.
Irish boss Martin O’Neill had made an astonishing 11 changes for this match and by pairing Ipswich striking duo Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick, he reasoned that in the attacking quarter at least there was no need to get to know each other!
David McGoldrick was also responsible for laying on Ireland`s second goal early in the second half when he played in Robbie Brady with another delightful through ball. He said afterwards that he would have preferred to get on the score sheet himself but to create two goals for his team mates was the next best thing.
Both forwards were finally substituted with just over ten minutes left on the clock but manager Martin O’Neill will have seen enough of this particular partnership to know that it is well worth pursuing again in the future.
Daryl Murphy may have failed again to score his first goal for the Irish in 14 attempts but he came agonizingly close on a couple of occasions and also gave his all.
For Ipswich Town football club and Ireland this is very good news.
Maybe in the years to come this pair could do it for the Emerald Isle as well as they have for Town over the last few months.
Frank Weston – Editor Vital Ipswich