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Page last updated at 22:50 GMT, Saturday, 26 March 2011

Damien Duff relieved after victory over Macedonia

Damien Duff tries to keep track with Macedonia's Ivan Trickovski
Damien Duff tries to keep track with Macedonia's Ivan Trickovski

Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff was delighted and relieved after beating Macedonia 2-1 in the Euro 2012 qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.

He said: "I was cramping after an hour, showing what a shift we had to put in.

"There's no easy games in Europe anymore. Macedonia put up a great fight but it's a massive three points.

"We believe we can do it. We went close to the last World Cup and we're going to put in a big effort to get to Ukraine and Poland."

The result leaves the Republic level on points at the top of Group B with Slovakia and Russia, who were held to a 0-0 draw in Armenia.

Duff added: "We knew the Russia result coming in so that gave us a little lift.

"We have to make this (Aviva Stadium) a fortress like Lansdowne Road used to be and this result goes a long way to that."

Republic keeper Keiren Westwood kept the score at 2-1 thanks to a fine save to deny Ivan Trickovski with 15 minutes.

Westwood, who was making his competitive debut and deputising for the injured Shay Given, said it was a "massive" result.

"We've got a lot of key players out but we worked hard and I thought we deserved it," he added.

"I'm just happy to be involved. Sometimes you don't really want to touch the ball but I was delighted to make the save and happy to have contributed.

"Shay's been great to me since day one. I was only 23 when I got into the squad and he's been brilliant for me. He's dominated this position and he's a legend."

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