Ireland got a taste of just how tough their World Cup qualifying campaign could be after having to scrap all the way for a draw in Norway. Giovanni Trapattoni's side, who set out on the road to South Africa 2010 against Georgia next month, had to weather a storm both figuratively and literally as the Scandinavians completed their own preparations for the forthcoming qualifiers.
After a slow start the visitors assumed control and took a deserved lead through captain Robbie Keane's predatory 44th-minute strike. However, substitute goalkeeper Dean Kiely's error 16 minutes after the break handed defender Tore Reginiussen an equaliser and the Norwegians will feel aggrieved not to have gone on to claim victory after exerting intense pressure for the remainder of the game. But Ireland managed to hang on to extend their manager's unbeaten start, while at the same time leaving them in little doubt that there is work to be done before they meet Georgia and, four days later, Montenegro.
Keane cut inside from the right and fired past Jarstein to claim the 34th goal of his international career. The equaliser arrived on 61 minutes when Kiely missed Martin Andresen's left-wing free-kick, and when Kevin Kilbane could only head the ball back across goal, Reginiussen converted from close range.