Sheffield United star John Egan's memorable night for Republic of Ireland

Sheffield United’s John Egan captained his country for the first time and led the Republic of Ireland to victory in Dublin.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 12:13 am
Republic of Ireland's Alan Browne (centre) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team mate John Egan during the International Friendly at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Niall Carson/PA Wire.

The Blades defender was one of 10 changes to the Irish line-up as boss Mick McCarthy followed through on his promise to use the friendly against Bulgaria to test the depth of his squad following their European Championships qualifier with Switzerland on Thursday.

And the fringe players showed their worth, notching up a 3-1 success with three firsts arriving on the night.

Luton striker James Collins added his name to the score sheet with four minutes remaining as Mick McCarthy's under-studies finally made the pressure tell with a late surge.

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Republic of Ireland's John Egan in action during the International Friendly at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Alan Browne and Kevin Long had both earlier scored first senior goals for their country either side of Ivelin Popov's 66th-minute penalty as Ireland hit three in a game for the first time since they beat Uruguay by the same score in June 2017.

McCarthy, who is now unbeaten in six games since launching his second spell in charge, will have to make at least one change when the Republic play Georgia next in Tbilisi in October with United full-back Enda Stevens suspended, although it is unlikely that anything he saw on Tuesday evening will present him with genuine selection dilemmas.