Josh Cullen said his senior debut for the Republic of Ireland was a “dream come true” as he was voted the man of the match in their 3-1 win against Bulgaria.

The Charlton midfielder, on loan from West Ham United, started and finished the game, as the Irish scored twice in three minutes to seal the friendly win in Dublin.

After an Ivelin Popov penalty cancelled out Alan Browne’s opener in the second half, Kevin Long restored their lead before James Collins, also making his debut, made sure of the victory.

Cullen’s first cap for the Bhoys in Green comes after he represented both Ireland and England at youth level.

READ: This year will be crucial for Jonathan Leko, according to England under-20s boss

He told Virgin Media Sport his debut was a “dream come true”, before adding: “To get my debut, a win and a man of the match, it doesn’t come much better than that. I’m delighted. I’m over the moon.

“The gaffer [Mick McCarthy] named the team on Sunday. I had a couple of days to prepare for it and I’ve just been looking forward to it.

“I’m grateful to be regularly playing for Charlton, against good sides and for a good team. That will only stand me in good stead to get more caps for my country.”

Cullen returned to Charlton for a second loan spell after impressing last season during their promotion-winning campaign from League One.

Since starting in their second Championship game, he has played every minute of their league campaign as the Addicks have emerged as the league’s surprise package.

Read our round-up of how Charlton’s players got on during international week here.