McClean scores first Ireland goal against Ronaldo’s Portugal

Derry man James McClean goes shoulder to shoulder with 'World Player of the Year', Real Madrid and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during the Republic of Ireland's International Friendly at the Met Life Stadium, New Jersey. �INPHO/Donall Farmer
Derry man James McClean goes shoulder to shoulder with 'World Player of the Year', Real Madrid and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo during the Republic of Ireland's International Friendly at the Met Life Stadium, New Jersey. �INPHO/Donall Farmer
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JAMES McClean was ‘over the moon’ to register his first goal for Republic of Ireland against World Cup finalists, Portugal as he scored a superb second half consolation goal in the international Friendly in New Jersey.

The Creggan man scored the Republic’s only goal in a ‘devastating’ 5-1 defeat at the Met Life Stadium in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Trailing 3-0 at half-time, the Wigan winger showed great composure to leave former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder, Raul Meireles in his wake inside the Portugal penalty area before drilling the ball home into the bottom corner with a cool finish on 52 minutes.

It was his first goal in the Green jersey on his 23rd appearance!

Portugal, who kick-off their World Cup campaign in Brazil against Germany next Monday night, went on to secure a comfortable win over a makeshift Ireland side, with two further goals.

It was a tough lesson for Martin O’Neill’s side and, despite the disappointment of the heavy loss against a team ranked fourth in the world, McClean was delighted to get his first goal and test himself against 2014 Ballon D’or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

The former Derry City man tweeted: “Devastated to be beating by a big margain in the end, over the moon to get my first international goal for my country tho meant everything.” [sic]