Wes Hoolahan scored for Republic of Ireland in their Euro 2016 opener with Sweden, labelling it as one of his career highlights to date.The Norwich City midfielder's brilliant, crisp half-volley handed the Irish a 1-0 lead over their Group E opponents. However, an unfortunate own goal from Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark meant the spoils were shared.
Hoolahan – later named Man of the Match for his display – wasn't too disheartened with the result however, telling canaries.co.uk: “It's up there in my career; to get a goal for Ireland at the Euros is a great achievement.
“Fair play to the boys, they were magnificent and we were unlucky not to get the three points in the end. Unfortunately in the last 20 minutes we let it get away but we'll take the point.”
Hoolahan linked up well with his club-mate Robbie Brady, while fellow Canary Martin Olsson lined up on the opposite flank for the Swedes. The display has given the squad confidence for their next match – a crucial clash with the tournament's highest-ranked nation.
“We'll take this result and look forward to playing Belgium next,” continued the 34-year-old. “The boys can be proud of ourselves because we put in a great performance.
“We started well in the first half and created a lot of chances, and we were excellent in the second half as well. It was end-to-end stuff and I'm sure it was a great game to watch.”