Republic of Ireland fans loved what they saw at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday night as the Boys in G̶r̶e̶e̶n̶ Blue ran out 4-0 winners against Qatar.
A Callum Robinson hat-trick and a headed goal from Shane Duffy gave Stephen Kenny’s side their second victory of this international break after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Azerbaijan.
Ireland, who were playing in a blue jersey to celebrate the FAI’s centenary, took just four minutes to force their way in front, and again it was Callum Robinson, who scored twice in Baku, who did the trick.
The West Brom striker exchanged passes with Jamie McGrath and Conor Hourihane to work his way in from the left and then unleashed a shot which clipped defender Bassam Hisham Alrawi and looped over keeper Meshaal Barsham and into the net.
Then, with just 13 minuets gone when, after McGrath had been tripped by Karim Boudiaf inside the box, referee Keith Kennedy pointed to the spot.
Robinson made a beeline for the ball and sent Barsham the wrong way from the resulting penalty to make it 2-0.
Robinson completed his hat-trick eight minutes into the second-half when he ran on to Jeff Hendrick’s through-ball and slotted past Barsham to make it 3-0.
The fourth goal arrived six minutes later when defender Shane Duffy climbed highest to power a header home from Hourihane’s corner.
Fans loved the passing and attacking style of football that Ireland played, which was much different to what supporters have been used to over the years.
Commentator Con Murphy tweeted: “I’ve said it all along. This Irish team under SK are playing some of the best football I’ve seen from an Irish team in yonks. We could have been passing all those years if we had had managers who trusted the players.”
One said: “Well done #Ireland. Only a friendly but playing a good brand of football and wins lift spirits. Definitely a team building.”
Leon Blanche of Boylesprts commented: “We really need to keep giving Stephen Kenny time he is trying to change the whole mentality and structure of the Irish football setup.”
Another person added: “I’m absolutely delighted to see Ireland playing so fluently, and 4-0 ahead after just an hour. Very encouraging for Stephen Kenny’s long-term vision for the team.”
One other comment read: “Win lose or draw this Stephen Kenny brand of football is what every Irish football fan should want to see.”
Someone else tweeted: “Yes, Qatar are poor – but Ireland look really well coached. Really pleasing to see the progress under Stephen Kenny.”
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