Lynden Gooch

Irish debut for youngster

by Stuart Vose

Gooch plays in friendly defeat.

Sunderland youngster Lynden Gooch made his international debut for the Republic of Ireland last night.

The American, who is a first-year scholar at the Academy of Light, qualifies for the Irish through his mother and was called up to the under-18 squad for their trip to Switzerland.

The stylish forward appeared as a 74th-minute substitute in the first of two friendlies against the Swiss as Ireland went down 1-0.

"There had been horrendous rain in the build-up which made for a very heavy pitch and it was close to being called off a few hours beforehand,” coach Paul Doolin told the FAI's official website.

"Overall we deserved a draw and I was very happy considering it was the first game with a group of players who haven't played together for over a year.

"It was a first game for us to see them and for them to see what we want. It wasn't bad. I was happy enough with some players."

The two sides will meet again on Thursday.