Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi was in magnificent form for the visitors, helping his country keep the score down against Giovanni Trapattoni's rampant charges
Republic of Ireland comfortably beat Oman 4-1 in an international friendly at Craven Cottage.
Giovanni Trapattoni tried an experimental, youthful side with Manchester United youngster Robbie Brady and Sunderland midfielder David Meyler making their senior debuts, whilst leaving James McClean on the bench following his Twitter outburst on Friday night.
Meyler was industrious throughout and deserved of his chance in the starting line-up after Darron Gibson refused his call-up, whilst the former got on the scoresheet in fantastic style and had a hand in the other two.
Ireland started the brightly of the two and were almost ahead after only three minutes when Kevin Doyle cut the ball back from the byline. The ball took a wicked deflection and Oman captain Al-Habsi did well to get down and acrobatically tip the ball round the post.
And four minutes later Trapattoni’s charges made the breakthrough. A free kick by Brady was whipped in deep and long to the far post where Sean St Ledger was waiting to head the ball back into the path of Shane Long to score his eighth international goal.
Andy Keogh should have doubled the lead not long after but he shot straight at the impressive Al-Habsi.
However, the Wigan goalkeeper could do nothing about Ireland’s second. Kevin Doyle got on the end of another deep free kick to flick the ball back to debutant Brady to volley home from 20 yards.
Brady was only called up to the team on Saturday and he was tormenting the Oman full-backs every time he was on the ball and he further justified his first senior start by delivering a free kick after 36 minutes Doyle duly headed in from six yards out.
The first half saw Oman restricted to long-range efforts and that was the same again in the second. Al Farsi’s shot from distance after 57 minutes was Darren Randolph’s first test in goal after coming on at the break and he tipped it over brilliantly.
But Randolph’s opposite number was continually outshining everyone on the pitch, despite conceding three. Al-Habsi saved magnificently from Keogh’s curled effort and tipped James McClean’s free kick around the post.
The resulting corner from the save saw the captain called into action again, this time blocking substitute Alex Pearce’s goal-bound effort.
James McClean could have had two in eight minutes after coming on. The second chance he had was a lovely left-footed volley which sliced just over the bar and they immediately paid the price for not putting the ball in the back of the net themselves.
Oman got a deserved goal back through their undying resolve when the ball fell to the feet of a composed Al Farsi after a bout of pinball in the area.