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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 21:32 GMT
Ireland earn flattering win
Rep of Ireland 3-0 Canada

A wonder goal by Damien Duff and two Robbie Keane strikes earned the Republic of Ireland a somewhat flattering success over Canada at Lansdowne Road.

Damien Duff was outstanding for the Irish
Damien Duff scored a stunning individual goal for the Irish

Duff's first half solo effort was by far the highlight of a largely lacklustre contest.

In addition to Duff and Keane, debutant Andy Reid impressed for the home team but the Irish defence looked hesistant on occasions and the Canadians will wonder how they failed to score.

Graham Kavanagh's first start for the Irish lasted less than 10 minutes with a heavy tackle by Marc Bircham resulting in ankle damage for the Cardiff player.

Kavanagh attempted to run off the injury after the third minute tackle but to no avail and Matt Holland was introduced.

The first chance fell to the John O'Shea in the sixth minute but the unmarked Manchester United player glanced the header wide.

A minute later, Stephen Carr's underhit backpass almost let in Tomasz Radzinski but Shay Given sprinted off his line to avert the danger.

Andy Reid, earning his first cap after some superb recent displays for Nottingham Forest, threaded a delightful ball through to Robbie Keane in the 18th minute but the Tottenham striker failed to get enough elevation on the shot.

However, the Republic did take the lead five minutes later thanks to Duff's sensational goal.

The Chelsea star picked up possession just outside his own penalty area and after running unchallenged to just outside the Canadian box, then beat two tackles before steering the ball under Lars Hirschfeld.

It was Duff's sixth international goal and surely his best.

Andy Reid set up Ireland's second goal for Robbie Keane
Andy Reid (centre) impressed for the Irish on his debut

Canada should have been on terms within four minutes but Radzinski produced a weak shot with only Given to beat after a superb pass from Peschisolido.

On the half-hour, Radzinski was left unmarked again in the Irish area but Peschisolido's cross was a fraction high and the Everton striker headed over the crossbar.

A rare Kenny Cunningham mistake then gifted the Canadians another chance but both Radzinski and full-back Richard Hastings miskicked with the goal at their mercy.

Irish boss Brian Kerr introduced Clinton Morrison and Ian Harte at half-time with Doherty and Stephen Carr withdrawn.

However, the changes did nothing to inject urgency in the Irish performance with some sloppy passing from the home side a feature of the 10 minutes after half-time.

The Canadians thought they had levelled in the 55th minute when Jason De Vos stabbed the ball to the net from close range but the effort was ruled out for offside.

On the hour, the Irish notched a second goal which they scarcely deserved with Andy Reid's superb cross headed over the line by Keane despite the combined efforts of De Vos and Hirschfeld.

With substitutions breaking whatever little pattern the game had, the final quarter saw little incident.

However, Robbie Keane delighted the home crowd by producing some trickery in the Canadian box six minutes from time to notch Ireland's third goal.


Rep of Ireland: Given (Colgan 82), Carr (Harte 45), O'Shea (Kilbane 88), Dunne, Cunningham, Steven Reid (Delap 61), Kavanagh (Holland 11), Duff (Thompson 88), Andy Reid (McPhail 73), Keane, Doherty (Morrison 45).
Subs not used: Murphy.

Canada: Hirschfeld, Bent, Hastings (Fenwick 87), Bircham (Nash 79), De Vos (Rogers 82), McKenna, Stalteri, Imhof, Radzinski, Peschisolido (Bernier 75), Jazic.
Subs not used: Dasovic, Stamatopoulos.

Booked: Bircham.

Attendance: 30,000.

Referee: M Whitby (Wales).






SEE ALSO
Reid's debut delight
18 Nov 03  |  Rep of Ireland



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