Football

Watch: Michael Obafemi Gets A Piece Of The Irish Goalscoring Action

Watch: Michael Obafemi Gets A Piece Of The Irish Goalscoring Action

With the Euro 2020 play-off trip to Slovakia just around the corner, Mick McCarthy will be fairly pleased with the current form of some of his attacking options.

Last weekend was a cracking weekend for Irish goalscorers with Shane Long, Enda Stevens, Callum Robinson, Scott Hogan and Alan Browne all finding the net.

So with Southampton starting today's trip to West Ham with an all-Irish strike partnership of Shane Long and Michael Obafemi, hopes were high that we might see that trend continue.

It only took 31 mins at the London Stadium for those hopes to be realised when Michael Obafemi equalized for Southampton to make it 1-1.

James Ward-Prowse broke through the right-hand side of West Ham's defence and played a nice cut-back for the oncoming Obafemi to loft the ball high beyond the reach of Fabianski into the far corner. Obafemi's movement was clever to create the space and the deft side-foot contact was enough to beat the keeper.

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Obafemi's first-team opportunities this season have been limited by injury and the form of Danny Ings, so it is great to see him taking advantage of a start while Ings was on the bench.

The Southampton line-up included Ireland youth international Will Smallbone in midfield, making his first start in the Premier League. Unfortunately for Southampton's Irish contingent, the Obafemi goal wasn't enough on the day as West Ham claimed a vital 3-1 win to boost their survival hopes.

Saturday's action also saw a brace from Scott Hogan and Derby's Jason Knight got on the scoresheet in the Championship, so there are plenty of encouraging signs to suggest this play-off may be coming around at a good time for Ireland.

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Emmet Bradshaw

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