Daryl Murphy was back in action on Thursday night.

The Newcastle striker leading the line in a largely inexperienced line-up, as the Republic of Ireland faced Mexico in a friendly.

A healthy near forty thousand crowd in New Jersey saw an entertaining game, with the two teams closely matched early on.

However, goals on 16 and 25 minutes for Mexico changed the complexion of the game and put Ireland largely on the back foot for the rest of the night.

A disallowed goal from Duffy just on the stroke of half-time probably ended the game as a contest, as nine minutes into the second-half Mexico made it 3-0.

Having been starved of service, Daryl Murphy had a long-range effort deflected wide on the hour mark.

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.

With 14 minutes remaining, Stephen Gleeson scored a consolation for Ireland.

Mexico 3 Republic of Ireland 1

IRELAND (3-5-2): Randolph; Duffy, Keogh, Egan; Christie, Hourihane, Horgan, O’Dowda, McClean; Murphy, McGoldrick

MEXICO (4-3-3): Cota; Salcedo, D. Reyes, Moreno, Gallardo; Jorge Hernandez, Herrera, J. Dos Santos; Vela, Corona, Jimenez

Daryl Murphy now moves on with the rest of the squad to prepare for a friendly against Uruguay, who the Republic play at home on Sunday.

Ciaran Clark didn’t make the squad due to injury, whilst Rafa Benitez is waiting to see how serious Rob Elliot’s injury is.

Martin O’Neill revealed earlier this week that the Newcastle keeper wasn’t travelling to New Jersey for last night’s match, having suffered a reaction to the knee injury that kept him out of first team action for over a year.

Elliot stayed in Ireland for treatment and we await to see whether the keeper will be available on Sunday and stay with the squad, or whether he will come back to Tyneside for treatment.

These two friendly games are a build-up to a crucial World Cup qualifier at home to Austria on Sunday 11 June. Martin O’Neill’s team currently level on points at the top of the group with Serbia.

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