Euro 2012 qual. - Ireland see off Andorra challenge

Eurosport - Tue, 07 Sep 22:01:00 2010

The Republic of Ireland maintained their 100 per cent record in qualifying with a 3-1 win over Andorra at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

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Giovanni Trapattoni's side made it two wins out of two to top Group B thanks to goals from Kevin Kilbane, an absolute cracker from Kevin Doyle and Robbie Keane.

Starting with the same team that beat Armenia four days previously the Irish were too strong for their opponents despite a shock Andorran goal with the score at 2-0.

Kilbane opened the scoring for Ireland after 14 minutes.

Liam Lawrence swung over a whipped corner from the left and Kilbane, arriving late, rose to flick home a header to get the Irish up and running.

If Kilbane's goal was timely then Doyle's strike was sublime. The forward fought to win a tackle on the right edge of the Andorran penalty area with five minutes left in the first half.

He played the ball out from under his feet before sending a stunning left-footed effort from 25 yards into the far top corner of Josep Gomez's net.

Ireland had pressed from the first minute, knowing a win would more than likely put them top of Group B, and Trapattoni's team looked to expose the Andorran flanks at every opportunity.

Lawrence and Aiden McGeady were constant threats throughout although McGeady will be far from happy with his performance.

The Spartak Moscow winger found himself in good positions time and time again but his final cross was severely lacking.

Andorra's lone reply, just before the break, was well worth the wait.

Twenty-year-old Christian Martinez latched on to a headed clearance just outside the Irish penalty box.

Taking the chance in his stride the midfielder unleashed a stunning volley into the top right-hand corner of Shay Given's net.

After half-time Ireland continued to control the match and slowly ground down Andorra's brave resolve.

The game was wrapped up nine minutes into the second half as a sweet four-man move involving McGeady, Lawrence, Doyle and Keane ended with McGeady playing Keane in behind the Andorra defence.

The forward kept his cool to calmly lift the ball over the advancing goalkeeper and into the net.

Ireland had chances to extend the lead with Kilbane, Andy Keogh and Darron Gibson all going close.

The win sets up the Irish for the visit of Russia, a match which is set to put one or other team in charge of qualifying from the group.

Mark Applin / Eurosport

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