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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Sunday, 18 May 2008 18:46 UK

Republic come from behind to draw

Stephen Keogh and Paul McShane
Stephen Keogh and Paul McShane celebrate the equaliser

The Republic of Ireland came from behind to draw 1-1 with Liga Vitalis side Portimonese in Portugal on Sunday.

Giovanni Trapattoni's reign began in modest style as a young side were made to work hard by Portimonese who took a 16th-minute lead through Gonzalo.

The striker fired a low drive past Dean Kiely from a short free-kick.

The Republic equalised when Andy Keogh pounced after Stephen Kelly had headed down Damien Delaney's cross at the far post five minutes after the break.

After Gonzalo's opener, Alex Bruce denied the frontman a second with a vital block eight minutes later.

Kevin Doyle, who started up front alongside Daryl Murphy, and Stephen Hunt both forced good saves from keeper Michael as the Republic pressed for an equaliser.

Following Keogh's leveller, substitute Sean Scannell, one of four uncapped players to figure in the game, almost won it in injury-time but Michael saved his initial shot and defender Andre cleared his follow-up header off the line.

606: DEBATE

An animated Trapattoni spent much of the game in the technical area passing on advice to his players and later declared himself satisfied with parts of what he had seen.

"It was a good opportunity to see the players in action," he said.

"At this stage after a few days together, the players are still thinking about things rather than playing instinctively.

"Their mentality is good, but there is still work to be done to change some of their habits.

"The pitch was not good and some of the passes which normally would have been accurate were not.

"But I didn't expect any more today because we were missing six senior players."

Trapattoni used seven substitutes, with Kevin Foley and Owen Garvan the only one of the 20 players who made the trip to the Algarve not to feature.

The Italian's side next face Lagos on Monday evening, before returning to Dublin for Saturday's friendly clash with Serbia and their meeting with Colombia at Craven Cottage five days later.

Trapattoni has indicated that those men who did not start on Sunday are likely to line up on Monday, when Carlisle keeper Kieran Westwood, who was called up to replace Colin Doyle, may figure.




see also
Republic call up Carlisle keeper
17 May 08 |  Internationals
Trapattoni expects trio to return
07 May 08 |  Internationals


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