Keane keeps Nations Cup at home

Republic of Ireland 1 Scotland 0
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The Independent Football

Robbie Keane moved to within touching distance of an international milestone when he claimed his 49th goal for the Republic of Ireland in the win against Scotland.

The striker's goal was enough to ensure the host nation lifted the inaugural Carling Nations Cup. The win also hands the Republic the ideal boost ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier in Macedonia.

Scotland created the best of the chances early on when Charlie Adam raced onto a Scott Brown pass before unleashing a powerful shot that dipped just over the bar.

But it was the hosts who surged into the lead after 24 minutes when Keane collected from Paul McShane on the halfway line before bearing down on goal and slotting home from the edge of the area past goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who should have done better.

Scotland could have been back on level terms within seconds when Robson slotted into the path of Kenny Miller but the striker just failed to connect at full-stretch in front of goal and Shay Given was able to collect.

Ireland should have doubled their lead shortly after the restart when Stephen Hunt's free-kick found Simon Cox in plenty of space, but he fired wide.

The hosts were threatening again when Keane was tripped by Adam and Lawrence played a short free-kick to Keith Andrews but he blasted over. Scotland continued to push for a leveller and Steven Naismith fired wide before Miller's shot was clawed to safety by Given.

Keane's hopes of grabbing his 50th international goal in this match were dashed when he was replaced by Keith Treacy with seven minutes to go. Miller then squandered a great opportunity when he shrugged off Stephen Kelly, but he shot wide when it looked so much easier to finish.