McClean and Larsson in action

by Ashley Houghton

James and Seb on international duty.

James McClean was a second-half substitute for the Republic of Ireland as Giovanni Trapattoni’s side lost 2-0 to Spain in New York.

McClean replaced Millwall’s Andy Keogh with 21 minutes remaining as Juan Mata and Roberto Soldado scored to give the world and European champions the win.

It was Ireland’s fourth game in two weeks and, despite the defeat, they’ll be pleased with their efforts as Sean St. Ledger’s second-half goal, from McClean’s corner, was unfairly ruled out.

Had the goal been given, Trapattoni’s side may well have got a result in the friendly.

Elsewhere, Seb Larsson’s Sweden went level on points with both Austria and Ireland in Group C as they beat the Faroe Islands 2-0 in Solna.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals for the Swedes as Larsson played 67 minutes on his 55th cap for his country.

Meanwhile, Connor Wickham played 90 minutes as England under-21’s lost their final group game of the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship to hosts Israel.

Ofir Kriaf’s 80th minute strike gave Israel a 1-0 victory and sent Stuart Pearce’s side home without a win in the tournament.