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Niamh Reid-Burke failed to heed the old adage that you must play to the whistle during a pre-World Cup friendly with Team USA – resulting in comedy gold.

Goalkeeper blunders are a surprisingly regular occurrence in the world of football, but one female ‘keeper turning out for the Republic of Ireland put a rather unique spin on proceedings with her latest gaffe.

Turning out for the Green Army against Team USA in a special warm-up game organised ahead of the World Cup, Niamh Reid-Burke was responsible for one notable error on the night – though we can kind of understand her mistake.

Defending a corner from the USWNT, an American player unleashed a fierce shot from close range that smashed straight into one of the Republic Ireland’s defenders, who was on the goal line for that specific reason.

The contact is wince-inducing to say the least, but while the viewers at home were entitled to feel sorry for the stricken stopper, her teammate and goalkeeper should have perhaps focused on the game instead.

No-one offered such advice to Reid-Burke though, who rushed to see if her defender was okay, with the match still going on around her and the Ireland goal gaping.

Abby Wambach was somewhat less sympathetic, duly putting the ball into the empty net for her 179th international goal.

Remember: always play to the whistle!

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