Round-up: Keane's late winner leaves Trapattoni speaking Italian
Victory over Cyprus has Republic coach anticipating world champions' visit
Monday 07 September 2009
Giovanni Trapattoni, the Republic of Ireland coach, was able to look forward to their next World Cup qualifier against his native Italy in confident mood after a late Robbie Keane goal earned his side a 2-1 victory over Cyprus on Saturday.
The away win keeps alive Ireland's hopes of topping Group Eight and Trapattoni said: "With that result, after this evening, we can think about Italy in Dublin. Italy is strong, experienced. I know all the players, I know they are great, but 90 minutes is 90 minutes."
Kevin Doyle had put the Irish ahead in the fifth minute but Marios Elia equalised after half an hour only for Keane's near-post header in the 83rd minute to gain some revenge for their 5-2 defeat in Nicosia three years ago. They next face Italy, who won 2-0 in Georgia on Saturday thanks to two Kakha Kaladze own goals, at Croke Park on 10 October. When asked about the chances of beating the world champions, Trapattoni replied: "I am not presumptuous, but why not? It is possible. Football is like that. Never say never."
Northern Ireland earned a 1-1 draw with Poland in Chorzow but came away disappointed after conceding a Mariusz Lewandowski equaliser with 10 minutes to go. "Everyone to a man was fantastic," said manager Nigel Worthington. "We have got a very good point and the other game [in Group Three] has finished in a draw as well. So I think it makes our point even better."
Kyle Lafferty had given Worthington's side the lead eight minutes before half-time and despite growing Polish pressure it looked as though the visitors would hold out until Lewandowski struck. They next face group leaders Slovakia, who drew 2-2 with the Czech Republic, in Belfast on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, France's hopes of winning Group Seven were hit by being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Romania, Julien Escude's own goal cancelling out Thierry Henry's close-range finish. The French, who started with Franck Ribéry on the bench, travel to face group leaders Serbia on Wednesday trailing them by four points.
Liedson's 87-minute header earned struggling Portugal a 1-1 draw against Denmark, for whom Arsenal's Nicklas Bendtner scored just before half-time. European Champions Spain thrashed Belgium 5-0 in La Coruña to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group Five, David Villa and David Silva both scoring twice. Russia kept up the pressure on Group Four leaders Germany by beating Liechtenstein 3-0, Tottenham's Roman Pavlyuchenko scoring twice from the penalty spot.
Latest in Sport
Preston fan who appeared to snatch Jermaine Beckford's shirt from eight-year-old boy identified and says: 'the truth will come out'
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup following Fifa arrests
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Manchester United season player ratings: Grading Louis van Gaal's entire squad
Psychic penguins have made their pick for Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the FA Cup final...
- 1 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 2 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity