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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 August, 2003, 20:29 GMT 21:29 UK
Keane injury mars Irish win
Robbie Keane sustained suspected ankle ligament damage
Robbie Keane looks in real pain after sustaining the injury

Rep of Ireland 2-1 Australia

Robbie Keane is a doubt for Ireland's European Championship qualifiers against Russia and Switzerland after sustaining an ankle injury in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Australia.

Keane was stretchered off two minutes before half-time in the Lansdowne Road contest with suspected ligament damage.

The Tottenham striker appeared to fall awkwardly when firing a low shot at Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer from the edge of the six-yard box.

Keane was immediately substituted and is a doubt for the games against Russia (6 September) and Switzerland (11 October) as well as being sidelined for his Premiership club.

The Irish started with Damien Duff operating on the left wing but Australia were without star player Harry Kewell who had returned to Liverpool because of an Achilles injury.

After a quiet opening 10 minutes, the game opened up with both teams producing attacks in a lively five-minute period.

Firstly Stephen Carr made a dangerous break in the 10th minute but Stan Lazaridis got back to avert the danger with a fine interception.

The Irish then had a real escape with Marco Bresciano's 20 yard shot crashing off the crossbar with Colgan well beaten.

With the game continuing to open up, Gary Doherty was presented with a great chance in the 18th minute but he reacted late to Finnan's cross and headed over the crossbar.

A minute later, Danny Tiatto had an even better chance at the other end of the field after a long ball over the top but Colgan was able to save the Manchester City man's weak effort.

Damien Duff started on the left wing for the Irish
Damien Duff is challenged by Australia's Lucas Neill

By half-time, the Irish had lost the injured Keane and Matt Holland with David Connolly and Colin Healy the replacements.

The Irish withdrew centre-back Gary Breen at half-time and his replacement Andy O'Brien was immediately caught out four minutes after the break.

Lazaridis played a superb cross which O'Brien could not clear, leaving Viduka with the simplest of conversions from less than six yards.

Duff came close for Ireland in the 56th minute with a searing left-footed drive which was finger-tipped around his left-hand post by Schwarzer.

But at the other end of the field, Colgan kept Ireland in the game with a fine save from Viduka when the Leeds striker looked likely to grab his second goal of the night.

By that stage, Kerr was ringing the changes with Clinton Morrison and Ian Harte among those introduced.

Harte, earning his 50th cap, played a crucial part in Ireland's 74th minute equaliser with his cross diverted home by John O'Shea for his first international goal.

Four minutes later, Clinton Morrison missed a glorious chance with a free-header from five yards after great work by Harte and Duff.

However, Morrison made amends three minutes later with a glorious finish from a tight angle after he had taken the ball around Schwarzer.

The win means Brian Kerr remains unbeaten after seven matches in charge.


Republic of Ireland: Colgan, Carr, Breen, Cunningham, O'Shea, Holland, Kinsella, Finnan, Duff, Keane, Doherty. Subs: O'Brien, Dunne, Harte, Healy, Murphy, Quinn, Kilbane, Connolly, Morrison, Given.

Australia: Schwarzer, Neill, Popovic, Lazaridis, Emerton, Okon, Bresciano, Tiatto, Viduka, Chipperfield, Muscat. Subs: Vidmar, Skoko, Aloisi, Grella, Kalac, Foxe, Wilkshire.

Referee: Karel Vidlak (Czech Republic)






WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's John Murray
"The Republic came through this test admirably"


Republic of Ireland's Clinton Morrison
"The lads dug deep in the second half"



SEE ALSO
Duff back for Republic
07 Aug 03  |  Internationals
Republic arrange Turkey match
29 Jul 03  |  Rep of Ireland


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