SEANIE MAGUIRE, the ex Sligo Rovers striker, made his debut for Ireland in the Aviva Stadium last night, Friday.
He was introduced as an 83rd minute substitute for long-time first choice, Shane Long.
The pair embraced warmly as the team change was made by manager Martin O'Neill in Ireland's 2-0 win over Moldova.
Ireland's match on Monday night in Cardiff against Wales has become a 'must win' cup tie.
In the corresponding fixture in Dublin, Seamus Coleman, another ex Sligo Rovers star, suffered an horrific broken leg injury.
Coleman hasn't been able to play since for Ireland, although he was the country's captain.
This morning, the top two teams in Ireland's group are on 18 and 17 points, with the Republic on 16 points. See table.
It was Ian Baraclough, Sligo Rovers most successful ever manager, who gave Maguire a 'second start' in his football career.
Maguire came to the Showgrounds on loan in 2014 from London side, West Ham United.
Sadly, the player was somewhat undervalued in his time here and usually was introduced as a late substitute.
The new Ireland star scored just one goal in competitive games for Sligo Rovers.
Maguire' 2014 club career at Sligo Rovers included the Setanta Cup, the Europa League and the SSE Airtricity League.
Meanwhile, Sligo Rovers themselves face a ''must win'' showdown in the Showgrounds tonight, Saturday.
Only a win will suffice in the SSE Airtricity League clash between the Bit o' Red and Bohemian, kick off 7.45pm.
Rovers are facing automatic relegation later this month unless they can
climb clear of their current tenth position in a 12-club league.
The RTÉ panel discussed Maguire for five minutes last night without
once mentioning his time at Sligo Rovers, or Waterford United where he
was a prolific scorer.
Result Update Sunday 8 October
Rovers bounced one point clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win
over Bohemian in the SSE Airtricity League at the Showgrounds last
The all-important score came as early as the ninth minute, from Vinny Faherty.
His header after a Regan Donelon corner was enough to collect all three points.
The Bit o' Red were buoyed up with three other match results all turning in their favour yesterday.
Their chances were further helped last night too as Bohemian were reduced to ten men in the Showgrounds.
Their player of the season Keith Ward got a straight red after an altercation off-the-ball with 65 minutes remaining.
overall competitive nature of the ''must Win'' encounter is underlined
by Sligo Rovers collecting five yellow cards last night.
booked included: Craig Roddan, Vinnie Faherty, Kyle Callan-McFadden,
Regan Donelon and as the clock ticked by '90' goalkeeper Shaun Patton.
1. Earlier, Finn Harps lost 2-0 at home to Dundalk and now all but doomed to join Drogheda in the lower league next season.
final spot in the drop zone remains a real ding-dong; with teams
stepping and stepping out of the relegation zone like Lannigans Ball.
2. Galway United missed a last-minute penalty against Bray, with the scores locked at 3-3.
Meanwhile, fellow strugglers St Patrick's Athletic dropped two points
with the last kick of the ball in their game with Limerick.
All three of those results were massive boosts to Sligo Rovers even before a ball was belted in the Showgrounds last night.
Sligo now face Shamrock Rovers away, Derry City at home and Drogheda United United away.
Shamrock Rovers are still chasing a spot in European football for next season.
However, if they win their Irish Daily Mail FÁI Cup semi final replay tilt with Dundalk that pressure may be off the Dubliners.
For once, Sligo Rovers own fate is back in their own hands.....but they must keep winning. See table.
The big concern for Sligo will remains finishing level on points with Galway United whose goal difference is much superior.