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26th May 2024

Corkman Jake O’Brien scores against PSG in French Cup final

Ronan Calvert

Jake O'Brien

Jake O’Brien was on the scoresheet against PSG

Republic of Ireland squad member Jake O’Brien had a bittersweet time in last night’s French Cup final against PSG.

The towering Cork centre-back scored in the second half to make the scoreline PSG 2-1 Lyon but that was how it ended at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, with his team unable to find a late equaliser.

O’Brien, 23, has been a revelation for the Ligue 1 outfit this season. Having signed from Crystal Palace last summer, he started the campaign as a substitute but hasn’t looked back since being given a chance in the team in November.

Lyon, despite boasting well-known names like Alexandre Lacezette, Dejan Lovren and Corentin Tolisso, found themselves in a relegation scrap around that time but went on to qualify for the Europa League as O’Brien’s introduction coincided with a dramatic upturn in form.

Macron wins the presidential race.

With big games come big names, so before the match started O’Brien had the chance to meet French president Emmanuel Macron.

And a clip surfaced online showing the Youghal man being introduced to him in kind terms by a Lyon staff member:

“Jake O’Brien, he did a two-week trial just to see if he was good enough and now he’s a starter”

Strangely, however, O’Brien is yet to shake the hand of Irish President Michael D Higgins.

Despite being named in interim manager John O’Shea‘s Ireland squad for friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland back in March, O’Brien didn’t feature in either game, with Dara O’Shea, Nathan Collins and Andrew Omobamidele all preferred in defence.

That leaves the weird situation where O’Brien has played and scored in a French Cup final before he has played a minute for the World’s 60th-best-ranked country.

You would have to think his wait for a first cap will end next month when Ireland takes on Hungary at home and Portugal away in two more friendlies.

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