It was the sort of goal that you would expect the team leading 2-1, rather than those chasing the game at the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline, to get. Catching the opposition out on the break with a swift counter-attack in the 90th minute to put the gloss on a convincing 3-1 triumph. However, this is Ireland we are discussing here, and for the old habit of magically turning wins into draws has again reared its ugly head. But from the slick move that resulted in Vincenzo Iaquinta setting up Alberto Gilardino for Italy’s equaliser, there are valuable lessons to be learned. And one’s that Giovanni Trapattoni must teach his players before next month’s play-offs.
Robbie Keane divides opinion on this island more than most of our sporting icons. Everyone can appreciate Padraig Harrington’s recently acquired nerves of steel, Henry Shefflin’s beautiful touch and poise with a hurley in his hand, or Colm Cooper’s unerring accuracy with either foot However, it seems the Tallaght native cannot seem to convince everyone of talents. Whilst some see him as the shining beacon of the Ireland set-up, who has consistently proved his worth in the toughest league in the world, the other half see him as a flat-track bully, only scoring against lower class opposition, who tries too many flicks and tricks, and failed miserably at Liverpool. But on Saturday, after a largely infuriating display, he came up trumps for Ireland again.