Sean Maguire will go into Ireland's crucial Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark with a weight lifted from his shoulders after finally scoring his first senior international goal.

The 25-year-old forward opened his account in Thursday evening's 3-1 friendly victory over New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium more than two years after making his debut.

A succession of injuries and a lack of opportunities have limited Maguire to just seven appearances - two of them against European minnows Gibraltar - during that period, but his 52nd-minute strike came as a huge relief.

He said: "I did put a bit of added pressure on myself before the game thinking, 'I need to put a performance in tonight' and thankfully I thought I did and to top it off with a goal...

"It's a dream come true, scoring for your country. When those caps keep building and you don't see those goals going in, it gets really frustrating. It's a weight off my shoulders, massively.

"I made my debut two and a bit years ago and to finally get that goal is a dream come true.

"Normally I have a celebration or two in me, but tonight, I felt all emotions. Scoring for your country is what you dream of doing when you start playing football from a young age and I'm really delighted."

Maguire was one of three men to claim maiden goals for Ireland on the night as they had to come from behind to see off the All Whites, who were playing for the first time under new head coach Danny Hay.

Blackburn defender Derrick Williams cancelled out Callum McCowatt's opener before Maguire struck from 17-year-old debutant Troy Parrott's lay-off, and there was still time for Callum Robinson to come off the bench and head home Lee O'Connor's cross with the full-back winning his first senior cap at the age of 19.

Parrott's elevation from the Under-21s a month after 19-year-old Aaron Connolly made the same step up has increased competition for places in attack, but Maguire is relishing added pressure.

He said: "It's brilliant. The way Troy has come in this week and for 17 years of age, the build and the stature he's got - I thought at times he bullied their two centre-halves, made runs in behind, dropped short.

"He put in a proper number nine's performance and I was really pleased for him. Aaron unfortunately picked up a niggle and he missed out on these couple of games, but the competition just gets fierce. But it's healthy competition."