One of the best nights of Jamie McGrath’s career came against Azerbaijan, now he is hoping for a repeat of that when Qarabag come to Dundalk on Wednesday.
The midfielder scored a superb brace for Ireland U-19s in their 6-0 win over Azerbaijan in Tallaght Stadium in February 2015.
Two members of the current Qarabag side, defender Rahil Mammadov and attacker Mahir Emreli, featured that night and while Gurban Gurbanov’s side will be a tougher opponent, McGrath is hopeful of making an impact.
“I think I played 70 or 80 minutes that night and I remember bagging two. It was an unbelievable night.
“I played as a false nine and we ended up winning well. The first goal was a deflection and the second was one of the best goals I’ve scored in my career so far.
“I was played through and managed to dink the ball over the keeper’s head. It was a surreal moment to score two that night because it was one of the first games I’d played for Ireland and I hadn’t scored for my country before apart from for the Ireland schools’ team.
“I remember most of my friends and family and my girlfriend being there and going over to them afterwards to celebrate was a great feeling. It’s definitely up there as one of the best nights of my career,” he said.
Now the 22-year-old Athboy man is hoping to repeat the feat.
“I wouldn’t mind bagging another two on Wednesday,” he laughed.
“We’ve looked at them in recent days though and they’re a very good side with really good European pedigree. Hopefully the fact I’ve scored against a side with two of the players in it is a good omen but it won’t be easy,” said McGrath.