Jonathan Walters relieved after glaring miss against Uruguay

Jonathan Walters relieved after glaring miss against Uruguay

Jonathan Walters went from the sublime to the ridiculous as the Republic of Ireland secured a morale-boosting 3-1 friendly victory over Uruguay.

The Stoke striker fired home a superb 28th-minute opener, but was then guilty of a glaring miss from just three yards when he guided Robbie Brady's volleyed cross on to the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Walters said with a smile: "Don't worry about that, I'll beat myself up about that more than anybody else. Look, I'm there to miss them, I'm there to put them in.

"I'm just glad I got the one before."

The one before was a much more assured finish, with Walters accepting Glenn Whelan's pass before shifting the ball on to his right foot and thumping it past helpless keeper Esteban Conde.

Manager Martin O'Neill said: "You would've thought it might have been the other way around. It was a great, a great goal. I'm delighted for Jon.

"Then it hits the bar. How close was he? Two yards? He's not the only one that's missed from that distance. He won't be the last one either."

Defender Jose Gimenez levelled seven minutes before the break after making the most of keeper Darren Randolph's error, but Ireland were not to be denied.

Full-back Cyrus Christie's second international goal restored the lead within six minutes of the restart before substitute James McClean wrapped up the win with a well-taken third 13 minutes from time.

Asked what he was thinking as he scored, Walters said: "I was thinking, 'I've scored a goal, great finish!'.

"Look, I got it caught under my feet - I thought Glenn was going to take it. He didn't, they just backed off.

"It was just about hitting the target and I'm delighted that it went in.

"Then Cyrus, it was a great goal from him, just like the Gibraltar one away, and then it was great for James to come on and score a screamer again.

"We are delighted with the win and how we won, but it's all eyes on next week now."

O'Neill was happy with the game as preparation for the clash with Austria, in which he is looking for a similarly progressive approach.

He said: "We've got to go and take some risks in the match. We're at home, we've got the crowd, we've got to try to win the game. I know it's very important for Austria, but it's equally important for us."

More in this Section

Ferguson steps in after Everton give Silva bulletFerguson steps in after Everton give Silva bullet

Arsenal’s winless streak continues as Brighton pull off stunning winArsenal’s winless streak continues as Brighton pull off stunning win

Chubby champ Andy Ruiz a 21st century Cinderella ManChubby champ Andy Ruiz a 21st century Cinderella Man

Paudie Murray backs new rules but says ending league semi-finals a ‘joke’Paudie Murray backs new rules but says ending league semi-finals a ‘joke’


Lifestyle

Sating the festive appetite is what Christmas is all about, here Joe McNamee takes us through the best culinary delights that are produced right here on our doorstep.Want to give local this Christmas? Joe McNamee rounds up the the country's very best food produce

Architect and artist Harry Wallace tells Eve Kelliher how his style has evolved.How a lifetime as an architect has inspired Cork artist Harry Wallace

Don’t let present stress ruin your run-up to Christmas. Pat Fitzpatrick has done all the hard work with this tongue-in-cheek gift guide for every budget, so you can tick everyone off your list and get down to enjoying yourself for the festive season.Gift stressbuster: We sort out who gets what and why

It’s not what you have that makes you happy, it’s what you do. And what better time to be proactive than during the season of goodwill, says Margaret Jennings.Joy to the world: Strategies to increase your happiness during the season of goodwill

More From The Irish Examiner