He may be only 22 but there was a sense of second coming for Robbie Brady last night after his brace gave Martin O’Neill a much-needed boost at the end of a mixed year.
Much was expected of the Dubliner when he made a goalscoring debut against Oman two years ago, yet Giovanni Trapattoni soon cooled on the winger — infamously leaving him out of a World Cup qualifier against Sweden six months later at the 11th hour.
Injuries conspired against his progress, too, as his stellar start to life in the Premier League for newly-promoted Hull City last season came to an abrupt halt because of a troublesome groin injury.
Yet, after an extensive pre-season regime, the former Manchester United trainee has regained his place in the Tigers side by starting the last three top-flight fixtures.
And, four days on from a cameo role against Scotland, Brady was back in his groove for the visit of the USA.
That his pair of goals — bringing his international tally to three in 10 appearances — came from left-back rather than his customary advanced role was all the more admirable.
Brady’s second from a free-kick was arguably the best scored at the Aviva in 2014.
“There is no greater feeling than playing for Ireland, so it doesn’t bother me what position I’m asked to play,” the man-of-the-match said afterwards.
“I tried to get forward as much as possible and that allowed me get the first goal.
“As for the second, once the free-kick was awarded, I fancied it. I practise those in training so I felt confident and thankfully it came off.
“It was a good result after the Scotland defeat and hopefully I can now push towards a starting spot when the qualifiers start back again against Poland in the new year.”
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