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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Keane inspires Republic
Goalscorer Robbie Keane forces his way past Hannu Tihinen
Keane was in determined mood against Finland
Finland 0-3 Republic of Ireland

Robbie Keane scored and was in superb form as the Republic of Ireland recorded a comfortable victory against Finland in Helsinki on Wednesday.

Keane gave the visitors a 11th minute advantage, then proceeded to cause the Finnish defence numerous problems with his jinking runs and mazy skills.

Although the Leeds man could not add to his own tally, Colin Healy and Graham Barrett scored late goals, each finding the net on their debut international goal.

Keane's goal came thanks largely to the to graft and creativity of Mark Kinsella.

The Charlton midfielder broke up a Finnish attack deep in the opposition half and then deftly flicked the ball over the advancing defence.

Damien Duff latched on to Kinsella's pass and rolled the ball into Keane's path for the striker to stab home from short range.

Finland almost equalised through Jari Litmanen, but Dean Kiely made a superb reaction save.

But the Republic, with new boy Thomas Butler having a fine game on the left flank, controlled the first half.

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy
McCarthy will be happy with final warm-up game

Manager Mick McCarthy made five chances at the interval, Butler and Duff among those withdrawn.

And Finland looked dangerous on the break on the resumption, with Gary Kelly and Gary Doherty both defending well to deny the opposition scoring opportunities.

Liverpool's Litmanen was a constant source of danger for Finland and curled a shot just wide with Kiely beaten and clipped the top of the bar with another effort late on.

And after absorbing Finnish pressure, McCarthy's team took the match beyond doubt with two late goals.

Stephen McPhail looped a long ball to the far post which Rory Delap nodded back for Healy to smash the ball home.


Then Healy took Kilbane's cross-field pass in his stride and created a shooting for Barrett, which the Arsenal youngster converted.

Finland: Jaaskelainen, Pasanen, Saarinen, Hyypia, Tihinen, Jari Ilola, Nuorela, Tainio, Johansson, Litmanen, Kolkka. Subs: Niemi, Hietanen, Kuivasto, Riihilahti, Kuqi, Kottila.

Rep of Ireland: Kiely, Kelly, Harte, Cunningham, Breen, Carsley, McAteer, Kinsella, Duff, Keane, Butler. Subs: Kilbane, Doherty, Healy, McPhail, Given, Holland, Delap, Barrett, Goodwin.

Referee: Rune Pederson (Norway).

BBC Five Live's Jonathan Overend
"Ireland had some exceptional attacking moments"
Ireland defender Kenny Cunningham
"We want to keep winning games"
All the international action

Wednesday's games
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