Keane makes sure Ireland go top after Andorra scare

Republic of Ireland 3 Andorra 1

Ireland duly went top of Group B last night, thanks to a workmanlike goal tally at Lansdowne Road and Slovakia's surprise 1-0 win in Moscow, but there were red faces for the home defence en route as Andorra – rated 201th of the 207 countries in Fifa's world rankings – pulled back to 2-1 with a fine goal from Christian Martinez on the stroke of half-time.

As the little pocket of land tucked between France and Spain had managed only three draws in their 14-year qualifying history, an upset was never a betting proposition. But Irish nerves in the 40,283 crowd were not really settled until the 53rd minute when a sweet passing move involving Paul Green, Kevin Doyle and Aiden McGeady ended with the Spartak Moscow midfielder sliding the ball through to Robbie Keane, who cleverly chipped Jose Antonio Gomes for his 44th Ireland goal.

While the hoped for goal feast never materialised, Ireland were two up and cruising on 40 minutes thanks to Kevin Kilbane and Kevin Doyle. Kilbane's first international goal in nearly four years was a thumping header from a corner on 14 minutes – a corner he had set up when his cross was almost headed in by Doyle only for goalkeeper Gomes to punch away.

Ireland took charge then but struggled to create clear-cut chances, with Keane in particular becoming frustrated as a series of tight offside decisions went against his side. It might have been 2-0 on the half-hour when Liam Lawrence hurried Marc Bernaus in possession in the penalty area and the full-back – Andorra's sole full-time professional – gifted him the ball, but the midfielder could only hit the side-netting as the keeper advanced.

Lawrence was in the thick of the action once again five minutes before the break when he and man of the match Doyle combined to rob Sergio Moreno wide on the Irish right. What followed was all the striker's own work as he cut inside before blasting a left-foot shot into the top corner.

But the quality of his strike was matched by Martinez at the other end within five minutes when the midfielder dispatched an opportunist half-volley past Shay Given.

Ireland Given; St Ledger, Kilbane, O'Shea, Dunne, Whelan, Lawrence, Green, K Doyle, Keane, McGeady.

Andorra Gomes; Bernaus, Silva, I Lima, Pujol, Vieira, Gomez, Moreno, Martinez, Ayala, Escura.

Referee L Trattou (Cyprus).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London