Thursday night saw disappointment for Newcastle’s Daryl Murphy, leading the line in a largely inexperienced line-up, as the Republic of Ireland lost 3-1 to Mexico in a friendly in New Jersey.
Having been starved of service, Daryl Murphy had a long-range effort deflected wide on the hour mark, then from the resultant corner, the Newcastle striker met it well but put his effort straight at the keeper. Four minutes later Wes Hoolahan replaced Murphy, with both sides making numerous substitutions.
Martin O’Neill revealed earlier last week that the Newcastle keeper wasn’t travelling to the USA for the Mexico match, having suffered a reaction to the knee injury that kept him out of first team action for over a year.
Instead, Rob Elliot stayed in Ireland for treatment and we waited to see whether the keeper would be available on Sunday for a home friendly with Uruguay and stay with the squad, or whether he will come back to Tyneside for treatment.
Last night’s match in Dublin saw Daryl Murphy drop down to the bench as Martin O’Neill made eight changes to the team that faced Mexico, giving as many people as possible game time ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifier at home to Austria on Sunday 11 June. the Republic currently level on points at the top of the group with Serbia.
However, despite naming a 17 man bench against Uruguay, there was still no sign of Rob Elliot. No further news as yet of what condition the Newcastle keeper is in.
On 27 minutes Walters gave the Republic a deserved lead, before Gimenez levelled on 38 minutes.
Walters should have made it two and restored the lead just before half-time, only to somehow miss an open goal from two yards out and hit the bar.
Only six minutes after the break though Christie made it two, whilst after Daryl Murphy replaced Walters with half an hour to go, the Newcastle striker grabbed an assist when sending McClean clear in the 77th minute to make the final score 3-1.
A great result for Daryl Murphy and the rest of the Republic of Ireland squad but concerns grow with the ongoing absence of Rob Elliot.
Ahead of the Uruguay friendly, Daryl Murphy gave an idea of the demands these days if playing international football as well as for your club:
“The Championship players finished up early so we needed to work on our fitness and the Mexico game was a good exercise from that point of view.
“In my case I kept ticking away after the club season ended.
“I had a week off but you can’t really take a rest at this level, so I had the few days break but was back into it then, training in Fota Island and then the training and match in the US. It was a matter of keeping ready.