Celtic 2 Ireland 2
On a green day in Glasgow, the Republic of Ireland prepared for the forthcoming friendlies against France and the United States with a 2-2 draw against Celtic in Scott Brown’s testimonial.
Alan Browne and Callum O'Dowda scored the Irish goals. Browne's came after three minutes, a lovely side-foot curling finish from around 15 yards. O'Dowda's came near the hour, a hard 20-yard shot hitting the bar and then ricocheting in off the back of the young Celtic substitute keeper, Ross Doohan.
Celtic's goals came from Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts.
The first of those was scored past Colin Doyle, the second past Conor O'Malley. O'Malley was one of seven players – Derrick Williams, Shaun Williams, Enda Stevens, Graham Burke, Darragh Lenihan, Callum Robinson and O'Malley – who got their first taste of senior football in an Irish shirt. It may not represent a cap for those players but it will mean something.
Parkhead looked around 80 per cent full to its capacity for Celtic captain Brown and while a portion of the football was played at the appropriate pace – 24 hours after Celtic won the Scottish Cup at Hampden Park – the sense of occasion was enough to provoke some effort, particularly from the Irish team.
James McClean was clearly enthused to playing at a stadium where he was given a reception second only to Brown's until Henrik Larsson made an appearance 15 minutes into the second half. The 46 year-old Swede remains the King of Kings in these parts.
Like McClean, Seamus Coleman was another Irishman not taking things lightly and up front, Jon Walters put in a shift. Those were some of the experienced names in otherwise experimental line-ups from O'Neill – virtually two different teams from the first hour to the last half-hour following a raft of substitutions.
Celtic (4-3-3): De Vries; Hendry, Simunovic, Mulgrew, Miller; Kouassi, Brown, Johnston; Roberts, Sinclair, Griffiths.
Republic of Ireland (4-4-2): Doyle (O'Malley 59); Coleman, Egan (Doherty 60) Lenihan (Stevens 73), D Williams (Cunningham 59; O'Dowda, Browne, S Williams (Burke 60) McClean; Maguire, Walters (Robinson 59).