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Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 21:38 UK

Rep of Ireland 0-3 Australia

Tim Cahill (right) and Sean St Ledger
Tim Cahill hammers in his second goal at Thomond Park

Australia dented Republic of Ireland confidence for next month's World Cup qualifier in Cyprus with a thumping win in the friendly at Thomond Park.

Mark Schwarzer denied Robbie Keane early on but Tim Cahill netted on 38 minutes after slack Irish defending.

The Everton man hammered the second goal six minutes later after Shay Given had blocked Rhys Williams' fierce shot.

Keith Andrews hit a post and Sean St Ledger went close for the Irish before David Carney's late Australian strike.

Giovanni Trapattoni had all his main players available but the Irish never recovered from a sloppy first half.

The Socceroos produced some neat early passing as the Irish struggled to find fluency.

Harry Kewell tested Given from a long-range free-kick in the ninth minute after a clumsy Richard Dunne challenge on Cahill.

As the home side continued to concede free-kicks in dangerous areas, Given reacted brilliantly to save Patrick Kisnorbo's pointblank header in the 22nd minute.

Against the run of play, the Irish fashioned a chance a minute later as Keane jinked his way into the Aussie penalty area but Schwarzer produced a great pointblank save.

Keane's brilliant run into the Australian penalty area in the 32nd minute wasn't spotted by Gibson as his attempted pass failed to find Kevin Doyle instead of the completely unmarked Spurs striker.

After a brief lull in their performance, the Australians took a decisive grip on the contest as Everton star Cahill hit two goals in the seven minutes before half-time.

Kevin Doyle and Patrick Kisnorbo
Kevin Doyle fights an aerial duel with Patrick Kisnorbo

With the Irish defenders standing off, Cahill struck a precise low shot past Given in the 38th minute after he had combined superbly with Scott McDonald.

Cahill doubled the Socceroos lead a minute before the break after Given had blocked Williams' fierce shot, with the home defending once again far too slack.

McGeady was at fault in the build-up to the Australians' second goal as he had been easily robbed by Williams.

It could have been worse for Giovanni Trapattoni's side as Harry Kewell had headed over from six yards a minute after Cahill's opening goal.

Cahill did not reappear for the second half but he had already done enough to land the man of the match award.

The inevitable plethora of second-half substitutions gave the Irish a more threatening look and the introduced Stephen Hunt fired across the face of goal on 60 minutes after a delightful Keane backheel.

Keane then turned his marker in the area but his goalbound shot was blocked by Carney.

The Republic had a penalty shout on the 77 minute but it would have been a harsh call after the ball was headed directly at Mile Jedinak's hand.

Late Irish huff and puff put the Australians under some pressure and substitute Keith Andrews hit the woodwork with three minutes remaining.

Sean St Ledger then headed straight at Schwarzer a minute later when it seemed easier to score.

But the Aussies, who have already qualified for next year's World Cup finals, produced the final act as Carney hammered in a glorious strike from 25 yards two minutes into injury-time.


Rep of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Kilbane, McGeady, Whelan, Gibson, Duff, Keane, Doyle. Subs: Westwood, Nolan, Foley, Keogh, Andrews, Hunt, Folan, Miller, Long, Lawrence, Kelly.

Australia: Schwarzer, Carney, North, Williams, Kisnorbo, Jedinak, Wilkshire, Cahill, Bresciano, McDonald, Kewell. Subs: Covic, Rukavytsya, Mooy, Holman, Spiranovic, Vidosic, Madaschi, Carle, Holland, Bozanic.



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see also
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Ireland remains out for Republic
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Ireland remains out for Republic
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Ireland sorry after Republic lie
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Pick your Rep of Ireland XI
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