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BBC Sport's Simon Bortherton
"The green wall held firm for a heroic victory"
 real 14k

Ireland boss Mick McCarthy
"The players were almost beyond belief"
 real 14k

Former Irish manager Jack Charlton
"Mick's team battled like hell"
 real 14k

Saturday, 1 September, 2001, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Republic claim incredible win
Damien Duff (left) and Phillip Cocu
Damien Duff beats Holland's Phillip Cocu to the ball
Republic of Ireland 1-0 Holland

Ten-man Ireland claimed an incredible 1-0 victory over Holland to stay on course for a place in next year's World Cup Finals.

After Ireland had been fortunate to go in 0-0 at half-time, their qualification hopes seemed remote when full-back Gary Kelly was sent off in the 58th minute after picking up his second yellow card.

But Blackburn reserve Jason McAteer fired the Irish ahead 10 minutes later when he found himself unmarked 12 yards from goal.

Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert had late chances for the Dutch, but a combination of poor finishing and inspired defending enabled Shay Given to keep a clean sheet.

Ireland are now certain of at least earning a play-off berth although there is a mathematical chance they could still pip Portugal to win the group.

The play-off would be against the winners of the Asian World Cup group play-off which could be the likes of China, Iraq, Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Roy Keane (right) and Marc Overmars
Roy Keane (right) challenges Marc Overmars
The tension made for an explosive opening and within 45 seconds Roy Keane was in a face-to-face confrontation with Overmars after digging into him near the halfway line.

Seconds late Patrick Kluivert was clean through on goal after a Gary Kelly mistake but the Dutch star pulled his shot wide with only Given to beat.

Holland tried to exploit the pace of Overmars, and time after time he raced past a nervous Gary Kelly to put in a stream of crosses that were scrambled away.

Ireland's first decent effort on 13 minutes saw Robbie Keane's snapshot from 14 yards require a sprawling save from Edwin van der Sar.

Holland kept carving out chances, though, and Zenden should have done better than lob a tame effort at Given when well placed in the 15th minute.

Robbie Keane headed wide from Kilbane's cross in the 22th minute and fiercely protested he was pushed but failed to impress either the referee or a linesman.

Damien Duff and Kevin Hofland
Duff (left) is felled by Kevin Hofland

Ireland, although they looked nervous at the back, came into the game more in the second quarter clearly with an excellent Robbie Keane battling manfully against the Dutch defence.

However, Overmars showed his pace again in the 37th minute and Kelly's foul saw the Leeds man picking up his first yellow card.

Zenden arrowed in the free-kick from the left but neither Kluivert nor van Nistelrooy could make contact with the Ireland defence all at sea.

Harte tested Holland with two long-range free kicks early in the second half but van der Sar comfortably collected the first and saw Arthur Numan clear the second.

Van Nistelrooy had a chance in the 53rd minute when Harte carelessly gave the ball away but the Manchester United striker fired straight at Given.

Then an error by Richard Dunne ruined his marvellous interception of a pass directed at Kluivert and allowed Overmars a low drive which Given pushed away at full stretch.

Ireland were right up against it when Kelly fouled Overmars again in the 57th minute and was sent off for his second bookable offence.

Kelly could have few complaints about piling into the back of the former Arsenal star.

Mario Melchiot (left) and Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane tries to evade Mario Melchiot

Holland had already sent on Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for Zenden and now the Irish had to withdraw Robbie Keane to let Steve Finnan take Kelly's place in defence.

And they had a major let-off in the 62nd minute when Staunton's back-pass drifted past Given and seemed certain to allow van Nistelrooy an open-goal tap-in.

Given, in desperation, flung himself at the Manchester United striker and both went down in the area but referee Krug waved aside Holland's seemingly justified claims for a penalty.

It was real backs-to-the-wall stuff for the 10 men as Holland sent on another big striker Pierre van Hooijdonk in place of defender Numan.

Amazingly, though it was Ireland who took the lead when Finnan's cross lofted over the Dutch defence in the 68th minute and found McAteer who half-volleyed into the far corner.

The Dutch had three great chances for an equaliser but Kluivert, twice, and van Nistelrooy all missed the target.

Republic of Ireland - Shay Given, Gary Kelly, Richard Dunne, Steve Staunton, Ian Harte, Jason McAteer, Matt Holland, Kevin Kilbane, Roy Keane, Robbie Keane (Steve Finnan 58), Damien Duff.

Holland - Edwin Van der Sar, Mario Melchiot, Jaap Stam, Kevin Hofland, Arthur Numan (Pierre van Hooijdonk 62), Phillip Cocu, Mark Van Bommel, Boudewijn Zenden (Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 55), Marc Overmars (Giovanni van Bronckhorst 70), Patrick Kluivert, Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Referee: H Krug (Germany)

See also:

01 Sep 01 |  World Cup 2002
Clockwatch: Rep of Ireland 1-0 Holland
06 Jun 01 |  World Cup 2002
Irish extend group lead
02 Jun 01 |  World Cup 2002
Republic's Portugal deadlock
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