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Pearce and Kelly play in Portugal defeat

11 June 2014

Alex earns fourth Ireland cap

Royals duo Alex Pearce and Stephen Kelly played for the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night, as they were beaten 5-1 by a superb Portugal side.

Academy graduate Pearce made his fourth international appearance for the Emerald Isle while Kelly is now just one game away from picking up his 40th international cap.

A brace from striker Hugo Almeida and a Richard Keogh own goal gave the Portuguese a commanding 3-0 lead at half-time, though James McClean (congratulated by Kelly, above) pulled one back after the break.

2104 Ballon D'or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, playing his first game since the Champions League Final, was impressive while Wolfsburg's Adelino Vieririnha and Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao got on the scoresheet late on to secure a 5-1 win.

Pearce played the full 90 for Ireland, while Kelly was substituted in the 76th minute for former Royal Simon Cox, while ex-Reading strikers Kevin Doyle and Shane Long also made late cameos.

Republic of Ireland: Forde; Kelly (Cox 76), Keogh, Ward (Quinn 67), Pearce; McGeady (Doyle 76), Hendrick, Meyler, McClean (Pilkington 67); Hoolahan (Keane 64); Walters (Long 63).

The Irish will join up once again in September to begin their European Championship Qualifiers, their first game will be away to Georgia.

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