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Page last updated at 20:24 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 21:24 UK

Rep of Ireland 1-0 South Africa

Kagisho Dikgacoi of South Africa in action against Ireland skipper Kevin Doyle
Kagisho Dikgacoi of South Africa in action against Ireland's Kevin Doyle

A fine free-kick by Liam Lawrence gave the Republic of Ireland victory over 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in Limerick on Tuesday night.

Stoke midfielder Lawrence hit a curling and dipping 37th-minute strike beyond the dive of goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez.

The decisive goal had come against the run of play as South Africa had created all the early danger.

However, the Irish could have doubled their lead in the second half but sub Leon Best's shot was well saved.

It was a sixth straight defeat for South Africa, their worst run for five years.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni had made a string of changes for the Thomond Park friendly.

Only Kevin Doyle, Keith Andrews and Sean St Ledger remained from the side which beat Cyprus in Saturday's World Cup qualifier in Nicosia.

And the new-look Irish were definitely second best in the early stages, South Africa dominating the first half with an impressive display which lacked only a cutting edge.

Ireland defended with characteristic commitment to ride out the storm in front of a crowd of 11,300.

Then came the decisive moment when Ireland got a free-kick 25 yards out.

Everton's Steven Pienaar was booked for encroaching as Lawrence took the set-piece.

Scottish referee Craig Gordon ordered a re-take and the right-foot effort sailed high past keeper Fernandez go give Lawrence his first senior international goal.

In the early stages of the match, South African defender Morgan Gould skied a first-minute effort high over the bar and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi saw an effort deflected wide.

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see also
Trapattoni focusing on Italy game
06 Sep 09 |  Internationals
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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