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Page last updated at 22:00 GMT, Saturday, 5 September 2009 23:00 UK

Trapattoni hails 'important' win

Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane celebrates after the final whistle in Nicosia

Giovanni Trapattoni insisted that his Republic of Ireland team deserved its 2-1 World Cup qualifier win in Cyprus after Robbie Keane's late winner.

The win keeps the Republic's World Cup hopes on track and Trapattoni was delighted after the game.

"It was very important to win because Bulgaria and Italy won today," said the Republic manager.

"We began very well but after 15 minutes lost the midfield. But I think in the second half we deserved to win."

The Irish head into their remaining games - against the Italians and Montenegro at Croke Park next month - knowing second place is there for the taking, and top spot is not beyond them.

We have put ourselves in a good position and we just need to keep going now

Robbie Keane

Trapattoni's side have played a game more than both Italy and the Bulgarians but remain just a point adrift of the world champions and five ahead of the third-placed outfit.

The Republic manager added:"It was important to remain in our position in the group."

After his team's "good start", Trapattoni felt that both the Nicosia heat and "fear" had inhibited the Irish.

The Italian will travel to his native country to see the world champions in action against Bulgaria on Wednesday evening.

"It's important to see Italy's physical condition and I will be able to see their new players as well."

Trapattoni acknowledged that he will be hoping for a draw in Wednesday's game.

Republic captain and goalscoring hero Keane accepted that the visitors had "made hard work" of the contest.

"When you go a goal up early on, you need the second goal to secure it but we didn't get that," said Keane.

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"They got the goal and it was a good strike but we knew in the dressing-room at half-time that we were kind of on top and that if we dug deep, we would get the result.

"You have to give Cyprus credit. They are a decent side."

Keane's headed the Republic's 83rd-minute winner after a Damien Duff cross.

"We were always a threat from crosses because they are not the biggest team," continued Keane.

"I was lucky enough to get on the end of it.

"We have put ourselves in a good position and we just need to keep going now."



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see also
Cyprus 1-2 Republic of Ireland
05 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Trapattoni keeps same Irish squad
21 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Republic boss unfazed by defeat
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Rep of Ireland 0-3 Australia
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Ireland remains out for Republic
30 Jul 09 |  Internationals
Bulgaria 1-1 Republic of Ireland
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Pick your Rep of Ireland XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals


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