Reading defender Alex Pearce proud with Ireland debut
Reading defender Alex Pearce described his goalscoring debut for the Republic of Ireland in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Oman as a "proud" moment.
Oxfordshire-born Pearce, 23, came on at half time, and scored a late goal to round off a special night for him.
"I was very proud. All the family were there to watch me, it was a very proud night," Pearce told BBC Berkshire.
"I was not even expecting to get on, so to play the second half and win and also score a goal was very pleasing."
“It was a bit like a Reading reunion, it was great to see the lads and that made me feel very welcome”
Goals from Shane Long, Robbie Brady, Kevin Doyle and Pearce sealed victory for Giovanni Trapattoni's under-strength side at Craven Cottage.
"I got the nod as the whistle blew for half-time, the assistant manager [Marco Tardelli] said 'get warm you're coming on'," added Pearce.
"I didn't have too much time to worry about it. I was just nervous and excited. You just want to get your debut out the way and make sure you do alright and show why you are there really."
Despite scoring and winning, Pearce said he was disappointed to concede a goal with Eid Al Farsi scoring for the Asian side.
"It was pleasing to get on but the only negative was conceding that goal," he said.
"Thankfully we managed to finish on a high with me getting the fourth. But you can't have everything."
The Republic included former Reading players Long, Doyle and Simon Cox, and Pearce said that helped him settle in.
"It was a bit like a Reading reunion, it was great to see the lads and that made me feel very welcome," he said.