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Keane vows to battle on in Paris

Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane shows his frustation at Croke Park

Robbie Keane insisted that the Republic of Ireland's World Cup hopes remained alive despite the 1-0 first leg play-off defeat by France at Croke Park.

Nicolas Anelka's deflected effort makes France favourites to qualify ahead of the second leg but the Irish skipper refused to throw in the towel.

"We have to be confident for Wednesday and believe we can win," said Keane.

"There's no question we can do it on Wednesday. We've been to big teams like Italy and got results."

Keane added:"It's not going to be easy but we have to believe.

"We have to go there, we have to get a goal and hopefully we can get two and not concede."

Reflecting on where the first leg was won and lost, the Tottenham striker added: "They didn't create too many chances but the one that counted cost us a little bit.

"We created a few chances, maybe not clear-cut chances but certainly half chances."

The Irish played very well and are very much able to react so we must be vigilant

France coach Raymond Domenech

Kevin Doyle, named man of the match after leading the line bravely, echoed his skipper's thoughts.

"We go to France needing a goal. If not two goals, then one to get into extra time and then we'll see what happens.

"It was so close tonight. Their goal was not even a half chance, it was a lucky deflection.

"We had a few chances we made ourselves but just couldn't score.

"It's half-time and we have another game to go in Paris.

"We have gone to Italy against the world champions and we got a goal so why not in France?"

France coach Raymond Domenech said that the play-off remained alive despite his team's away victory.

"I feel we are only halfway through," said Domenech.


"There are 180 minutes. Ninety to go. The Irish played very well and are very much able to react so we must be vigilant."

Barcelona forward Henry is also taking nothing for granted ahead of the second leg.

"It is an advantage for the second leg in Paris but we have seen that the Irish team is very difficult to beat," Henry said.

"You have to give credit to Ireland. They played pretty well in the first half and didn't give us any room to play our game.

"It was a bit better for us in the second half."

Henry played down a bust-up between Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews and France's Lassana Diarra after the final whistle.

Players from both teams had to separate the pair, while Henry appeared to be involved in a heated discussion with Ireland's Richard Dunne.

"I don't know (what happened). I wasn't involved," said Henry.

"I went back to see what was happening."

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see also
Republic of Ireland 0-1 France
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Saturday football photos
14 Nov 09 |  Football
World Cup play-offs round-up
15 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Saturday football as it happened
14 Nov 09 |  Football
Can Ireland give France Les Bleus?
13 Nov 09 |  Football
Lawro on the Republic
10 Nov 09 |  Football
Pick your Rep of Ireland XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals

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