Robbie Keane gets the perfect send-off as his goal helps Ireland ease past Oman

He appeared for just under an hour and received a deserved standing ovation at the Aviva Stadium

BY Raf Diallo 21:34 Wednesday 31 August 2016, 21:34 31 Aug 2016

Ireland's Robbie Keane celebrates scoring his goal ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Robbie Keane marked his final appearance for Ireland with a goal in a fitting ending to a golden international career.

His 68th goal for the country came in the first half of a near-hour long cameo as other goals from Jon Walters (2) and Robbie Brady saw the Boys in Green cruise past Oman in the international friendly at the Aviva Stadium. 

The first three minutes briefly went against the script as Oman enjoyed the early pressure with set-pieces from the left flank. The final almost resulted in a goal but Kieren Westwood was able to tip Al Muqbali's far post header away.

Normal service resumed thereafter as Ireland took control of the fixture and chances fell fast.

The first major one resulted in goal as Robbie Brady stepped up to take a free-kick from the inside right position and beat the Oman goalkeeper with an inch-perfect effort to make it 1-0.

Ireland's Robbie Brady celebrates scoring the first goal of the game ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Keane came close to a goal on his final night by the 20th minute mark with one effort blocked off the line when Jon Walters left it for him at the far post and another when Walters' near-post flick from a Cyrus Christie cross rattled off the post and almost into Keane's path - only for goalkeeper Faiz Al Rushaidi to rush off his line and gather the ball.

But his goal finally came on the half hour mark as Keane flicked a knock-down past a defender and then smashed in his 68th international goal with a classy finish. 

With Ireland on the front foot, Walters added Ireland's third as he rose high to direct Brady's left-wing cross into the net. 

The pace of the game dropped off in the second half but the stadium rose as one on 55 minutes as it became clear what was about to be witnessed.

As Wes Hoolahan arrived on the touchline to be substituted on, Keane removed the captain's armband and walked off one final time to the sounds of a passionate and much merited standing ovation which reverberated around the stadium.

That was the end of an all-time great Ireland career.

Another goal came shortly afterwards as Jon Walters got on the end of a nicely-weighted Harry Arter ball, rounded the keeper and slotted into the net to make it 4-0. 

Arter almost made it 5-0 with a quarter hour to go after errors in the Oman defence allowed James McClean to tee him up and Hoolahan also had a near post effort tipped away 10 minutes later as Ireland warmed-up for their competitive clash against Serbia in the World Cup qualifiers next week. 

Raf Diallo


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