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Page last updated at 21:06 GMT, Thursday, 29 May 2008 22:06 UK

Rep of Ireland 1-0 Colombia

Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane celebrates his winning goal at Craven Cottage

Robbie Keane's early goal earned the Republic of Ireland a fortunate victory over a slick Colombia outfit in Thursday's friendly at Craven Cottage.

The Republic started well with Keane's deflected effort beating goalkeeper Robinson Zapata in the third minute.

However, the classy Colombians dominated the remainder of the first half and Republic goalkeeper Dean Kiely produced a series of outstanding saves.

Colombia were not as dominant after the break as the Republic held on to win.

Damien Duff was a late withdrawal from the Republic side because of injury but they did not have to wait long to take the lead as Keane struck after some sloppy Colombian defending.

Liam Miller won possession on the edge of the box and fed Keane, whose snapshot deflected off Gonzalez and beat goalkeeper Robinson Zapata with full-back Cristian Zapata unable to hack it off the line.

However, the Colombians regrouped to totally boss the remainder of the first half with Freddy Guarin pulling the strings.

In the eighth minute, Macnelly Torres' ball over the top caught Richard Dunne flat-footed and Paul McShane made a great last-ditch tackle to dispossess Edixon Perea.

Perea and Juan Carlos Escobar then missed glorious chances to level during a frantic goalmouth scramble.


The Republic had a rare attacking opportunity in the 25th minute but Damien Delaney wasted a glorious opportunity after hapless Colombian attempts to play the offside trap after a free-kick.

Kiely then denied Escobar twice in five minutes with the West Brom goalkeeper's second save a brilliant point-blank stop to push a bullet-header wide.

But Kiely then needed the help of first Miller and then Dunne as Falcao Garcia and Guarin were denied.

Kiely had to pull off a superb double save in injury-time to deny first Garcia and then Edixon Perea.

Giovanni Trapattoni didn't make any changes at the break but his team were much more organised in the third quarter.

Aiden McGeady got himself into a promising position with 55 minutes gone after cutting inside from the left, but his right-foot shot was well blocked by Cristian Zapata.

Colombian boss Jorge Luis Pinto made six changes in the second half and the substitutions appeared to make the South Americans lose much of their first-half fluency.

However, Colombia did have a chance on 62 minutes when Edixon Perea's left-foot shot was well saved by Kiely.

The Republic endured a few more nervous moments but they held on to give Trapattoni his first victory since taking over as boss.

Rep of Ireland: Kiely, O'Shea, Dunne, McShane, Delaney, McGeady, Miller, Whelan, Keogh, Keane, Doyle. Subs: Joe Murphy, Kelly, McPhail, Long, Daryl Murphy, Scannell, Foley, Hoolahan, O'Dea, Westwood, Bruce, Garvan.

Colombia: Robinson Zapata, Cristian Zapata, Bustos, Luis Amaranto Perea, Gonzalez, Guarin, Sanchez, Escobar, Torres, Edixon Perea, Garcia. Subs: Julio, Walter Moreno, Motta, Amaya, Hernandez, Polo, Armero, Valencia, Vallejo, Soto.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (England)

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Republic of Ireland's Dean Kiely (7.07 on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

see also
Rep Ireland Player Rater
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Serbia draw satisfies Trapattoni
25 May 08 |  Internationals
Rep of Ireland 1-1 Serbia
24 May 08 |  Internationals

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