Baldini looks on as Algeria suffer Ireland thrashing

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The Independent Football

Algeria may have qualified for the World Cup but on the basis of last night's match in Dublin, Ireland are far more worthy of that honour. The Africans were beaten 3-0 and that flattered them. Fabio Capello will not be losing any sleep over these particular opponents.

The first goal of Paul Green's international career and the 42nd and 43rd of Robbie Keane's handed the Republic a deserved victory. The World Cup finalists never looked like recovering from Green's 32nd-minute header on his first start for Ireland, and Keane's strike seven minutes after the break was little more than Giovanni Trapattoni's men deserved.

Keane, who had earlier forced two fine saves and hit a post, completed the job when he converted an 85th-minute penalty after being tripped by defender Djamel Mesbah.

The sizeable Algerian contingent delivered a fine atmosphere, and the attendance of 16,800 included two notable spectators, with England general manager Franco Baldini there to inspect the visitors, while new Russia boss Dick Advocaat was present to monitor Ireland ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Baldini won't have witnessed the Algerian XI that will encounter England in Cape Town on 18 June, with coach Rabah Saadane shorn of some first team regulars. However, six of the team which figured from the outset here started the famous victory over Egypt which booked their spot in the finals.