International Friendlies
R. of IrelandRepublic of Ireland3UruguayUruguay1

International friendly: Republic of Ireland 3-1 Uruguay

The Republic of Ireland's Jonathan Walters battles with Uruguay's Jose Gimenez
Jose Gimenez (right) and Jonathan Walters both scored in the Dublin friendly

The Republic of Ireland warmed up for next weekend's World Cup qualifier against Austria by beating Uruguay.

Jonathan Walters superbly struck the Irish ahead on 28 minutes only to produce an extraordinary miss from two yards after Jose Gimenez had levelled.

Gimenez's goal came after an unwise dash off his line by Darren Randolph.

Cyrus Christie restored the Irish lead on 51 although his effort appeared an attempted cross before sub James McClean lashed in a late third goal.

Republic good value for win

The Uruguayans were without Luis Suarez while in-form Paris St Germain striker Edinson Cavani lasted only 11 minutes as he was forced off following a challenge from Burnley's Kevin Long, making his first start for the Irish.

Martin Cacares also headed against the Irish woodwork but the home side were good value for their win as Walters contrived to hit the crossbar from two yards just before the break with the goal gaping.

Bournemouth's Harry Arter produced an excellent performance in the Republic's midfield with right-back Christie proving an effective replacement for injured skipper Seamus Coleman as the Irish ended a run of two successive defeats following reverses against Iceland and Mexico.

Randolph came off at half-time after his ill-advised attempt to catch an out-swinging Carlos Sanchez free-kick allowed Atletico Madrid's Gimenez to float a header into the net and replacement Republic keeper Keiren Westwood made a fine second-half save to deny the Uruguayan goalscorer a second.

Harry Arter (right) battles in Sunday's friendly in Dublin
Harry Arter was named man of the match after an impressive midfield display

O'Neill makes eight changes from Mexico defeat

Republic manager Martin O'Neill made eight changes from Thursday's chastening 3-1 defeat by the Mexicans in New Jersey with Randolph, Christie and Shane Duffy the only players retained.

With influential performers Walters, Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick recalled, it quickly became evident that this was going to be a much-improved Republic display.

Arter was also an all-action presence both offensively and in terms of tracking back and his performance must put him in the frame to start against Austria, with Wes Hoolahan now possibly under pressure for a midfield jersey.

Walters curled a brilliant opening goal from just outside the box on 28 minutes for his 13th international strike as the Uruguay defence stood off.

However, Uruguay were quickly on terms as Gimenez punished Randolph's charge off his line moments after Cacares had headed against the Irish woodwork.

Jonathan Walters looked stunned after he hits the crossbar from two yards
Walters hit the crossbar two minutes before half-time when he seemed certain to score a second goal

Incredible Walters miss

Walters will surely take an unmerciful ribbing from his team-mates for his incredible miss from two yards on 43 minutes after Brady had hooked back a deep Christie cross into an otherwise empty six-yard box.

However, the Irish were back in front six minutes after the restart as another Christie cross flew all the way to the net with centre-back Sebastian Coates' hapless attempt to clear appearing to confuse keeper Esteban Conde.

At the other end, Sheffield Wednesday's Westwood advanced his claims for inclusion next weekend as he pushed away Gimenez's 68th-minute header before McClean surged clear of the Uruguayan defence and hammered past Conde 10 minutes later.

Manager's view

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill: "I was very pleased (with the performance) I must admit. I think the two games, this one tonight, and the game against Mexico will really have helped us for the Austria match.

"Cyrus Christie is doing fantastically well considering he is trying to replace an iconic figure in Seamus Coleman."

What's next?

The Republic face a crucial home World Cup qualifier against Austria in Dublin next Sunday.

Martin O'Neill side's are level on points with Group C leaders Serbia, with both Wales and Austria four points off the pace at the halfway point in the campaign.

Uruguay, meanwhile, face Italy in a friendly in Nice on Wednesday while their next World Cup qualifier is at home to Argentina on 31 August.

The Uruguayans are third in the South American group and on course to qualify for Russia but their qualification is by no means secured.

Line-ups

R. of Ireland

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 23RandolphSubstituted forWestwoodat 45'minutes
  • 2Christie
  • 20DuffySubstituted forPearceat 61'minutes
  • 18Long
  • 17Ward
  • 6WhelanSubstituted forHoolahanat 45'minutes
  • 22Arter
  • 10Brady
  • 13HendrickBooked at 67minsSubstituted forMcCleanat 74'minutes
  • 25HayesSubstituted forMcGeadyat 60'minutes
  • 19WaltersSubstituted forMurphyat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Westwood
  • 3Pearce
  • 4O'Shea
  • 5Keogh
  • 7McGeady
  • 8O'Dowda
  • 9Murphy
  • 11McClean
  • 12Boyle
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 15Hourihane
  • 16Doyle
  • 21O'Kane
  • 24McGoldrick
  • 26Egan
  • 27Horgan
  • 28Browne

Uruguay

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 12Conde
  • 2Giménez
  • 19Coates
  • 22Cáceres
  • 16Pereira PáezSubstituted forRiccaat 62'minutes
  • 15Vecino
  • 17Arévalo RíosSubstituted forGonzálezat 45'minutes
  • 6LaxaltSubstituted forSilvaat 45'minutes
  • 5SánchezSubstituted forNándezat 45'minutes
  • 8Urretaviscaya
  • 21CavaniSubstituted forStuaniat 13'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Ricca
  • 4Silva
  • 9Rolan
  • 11Stuani
  • 13G Silva
  • 14Nández
  • 18Corujo
  • 20González
  • 23Guruceaga
Referee:
Craig Thomson

Match Stats

Home TeamR. of IrelandAway TeamUruguay
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home9
Away12
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Republic of Ireland 3, Uruguay 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 3, Uruguay 1.

  3. Post update

    Hand ball by Cristhian Stuani (Uruguay).

  4. Post update

    Corner, Uruguay. Conceded by Alex Pearce.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Matías Vecino (Uruguay) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high. Assisted by Nahitan Nández.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alejandro Silva (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Álvaro González.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alejandro Silva (Uruguay) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Federico Ricca.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland).

  9. Post update

    Álvaro González (Uruguay) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Hand ball by Wes Hoolahan (Republic of Ireland).

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Republic of Ireland 3, Uruguay 1. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Daryl Murphy following a fast break.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Daryl Murphy (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Republic of Ireland. James McClean replaces Jeff Hendrick.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Alejandro Silva (Uruguay) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Federico Ricca.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Federico Ricca (Uruguay) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Urreta with a cross following a corner.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Uruguay. Conceded by Jeff Hendrick.

  17. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  18. Post update

    Delay in match Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) because of an injury.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. José Giménez (Uruguay) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Urreta.

  20. Booking

    Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Sunday 4th June 2017

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