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Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Sunday, 6 September 2009 13:40 UK

Trapattoni focusing on Italy game

Giovanni Trapattoni
Giovanni Trapattoni watches Saturday's game in Nicosia

Giovanni Trapattoni is already focusing on the World Cup clash with his native Italy after his Republic of Ireland team's 2-1 win over Cyprus on Saturday.

Robbie Keane's winner kept the Irish on course for a play-off spot and automatic qualification could be on the cards if they beat Italy on 10 October.

"With that result, we can think Italy in Dublin," said Trapattoni.

"Italy are strong, experienced. I know all their players, I know they are great, but 90 minutes is 90 minutes."

The 70-year-old added: "At the press conference before the first game in Bari, I said, 'We are David and Italy is Goliath'. I think the same.

"I am not presumptuous, but why not? It is possible. Football is like that. Never say never."

The Irish struggled for most of Saturday's game in Nicosia despite getting off to the best possible start when Kevin Doyle rifled home a fifth-minute opener.

Cyprus levelled on the half hour through Marios Elia and although both sides had chances, the game looked to be heading for a draw.


However, with seven minutes remaining, Keane made a trademark run to head home Damien Duff's cross for the 40th goal of his Republic career.

Trapattoni acknowledged that Keane had not produced one of his better Irish display but he lauded his captain's persistence.

"He is not only our captain, he understands our players, he understands the team.

"He is a good personality on the pitch and I had a feeling he would score a goal."

But while the Irish were delighted at the result, Cyprus manager Angelos Anatasiades was less than impressed with the visitors.

"They didn't play organised football. All they did was try to hit long high balls at us," said the Cypriot coach.

"It was our worst performance, not just in the qualifiers, but for a long time. It was very indisciplined."

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

Marcello Lippi's men face the Bulgarians in Turin on Wednesday and Trapattoni will travel home to watch the game.

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see also
Trapattoni hails 'important' win
05 Sep 09 |  Internationals
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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Irish World News Trapattoni: we can beat Italy - 17 hrs ago
Yorkshire Post Cyprus 1 Republic of Ireland 2: Trapattoni looks ahead to crunch meeting with Italy - 18 hrs ago
UTV Internet Trapattoni turns attention to Italy clash - 27 hrs ago
The Scotsman Trapattoni relishing Italy's visit to Dublin - 34 hrs ago
Times Online Keane sets up Goliath task - 37 hrs ago