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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 November 2007, 17:05 GMT
Wales 2-2 Republic of Ireland
By Lyle Jackson

James Collins up against the Republic of Ireland's Kevin Doyle
Wales defender James Collins tangles with Kevin Doyle
Jason Koumas secured a draw for Wales with a late penalty against the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff.

The Irish, needing a victory in their attempt to come third in the group, had fought back to lead after Koumas had headed Wales in front on 23 minutes.

Robbie Keane quickly got the Irish level and Kevin Doyle netted on the hour to put them 2-1 up.

But when Paul McShane was ruled to have tugged down Welsh sub David Cotterill it gave Koumas the chance to level.

It means the Republic finish their campaign with 17 points from 12 matches and they will have to wait and see if they remain third in the group.

606: DEBATE
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They will be disappointed not to have closed out the victory in front of a third-full Millennium Stadium.

After a low-key opening Wales took the lead in the 23rd minute, with Koumas sending a well-directed header beyond Irish keeper Shay Given after Joe Ledley had beaten Steve Finnan to deliver an inviting cross from the left flank.

It was a sixth goal in 25 international appearances for Koumas who had been left free by a slack Irish defence.

The Republic, though, were behind for just eight minutes as skipper and record goalscorer Keane struck the equaliser.

Doyle set it up with a superbly-weighted through pass and Keane, displaying typical coolness, outpaced James Collins before chipping the ball over the advancing keeper Wayne Hennessey.

Republic caretaker boss Don Givens sent on replacement Hunt for the poor Liam Miller and the move paid instant dividends.

Within seconds Hunt sent in a low ball from the left and Doyle nipped in front of keeper Hennessey to flick home the fifth goal of his Ireland career.

Koumas scored his second from the penalty spot in the 89th minute after McShane's clumsy challenge on Cotterill to give Wales some slight comfort from a disappointing campaign.


Wales: Hennessey, Eardley (Cotterill 81), Collins, Gabbidon, Gunter, Ledley, Koumas, Robinson (Edwards 37), Fletcher, Simon Davies, Eastwood (Easter 59).
Subs Not Used: Price, Crofts, Morgan, Evans.

Booked: Koumas.

Goals: Koumas 23, 89 pen.

Rep of Ireland: Given, Finnan, McShane, O'Shea, Kilbane, McGeady, Carsley, Miller (Hunt 59), Reid (Potter 87), Kevin Doyle, Keane.
Subs Not Used: Joe Murphy, Stokes, Daryl Murphy, Bruce, O'Dea.

Booked: O'Shea.

Goals: Keane 31, Kevin Doyle 60.

Att: 24,619

Ref: Oleh Oriekhov (Ukraine).



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