Republic held by New Zealand as McClean retires

 

Adam Idah of Republic of Ireland scores the team's first goal during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland failed to end a disappointing year on a high as they were held by New Zealand on a night when James McClean brought down the curtain on his international career.

Adam Idah's 28th-minute strike put the Republic in the driving seat at the break in the Dublin friendly.

But New Zealand hit back through Matthew Garbett just before the hour.

McClean then bid farewell to the Irish fans in what may also prove to be Stephen Kenny's final match in charge.

Kenny's contract is up, with the Dubliner's fate expected to be decided at next week's Football Association of Ireland board meeting.

If it does end up being Kenny's farewell, he will be left to reflect on yet another frustrating night as his side were unable to finish 2023 with a morale-boosting win, having failed to qualify for next summer's European Championship.

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