Republic of Ireland 3 - 0 Algeria
Published: May 28, 2010
Ireland comfortably dispatched yet another team destined for the World Cup in South Africa next month, as they defeated Algeria 3-0 at the RDS on Friday night. A goal in the first-half from Paul Green and a second-half brace from Robbie Keane did enough to secure the win - their second in four days.
In his pre-match notes Giovanni Trapattoni told supporters “there is no such thing as a friendly” and this certainly proved to be the case as Ireland put on an excellent display against their highly regarded opponents, who reached the last four in the recent African Cup of Nations before booking their World Cup ticket via a play-off.
Ireland's first chance of the game came in just the third minute when Damien Duff's free-kick was met by Kevin Doyle but the Algerian goalkeeper, Faouzi Chaouchi, got down well to save from the Wolves striker.
Ireland's Algerian community came out in force to the RDS, making plenty of noise and colour throughout, but overall the attendance was a lot lower than what it was for Tuesday's 2-1 win over Paraguay, standing at just 16,800.
The opening 20 minutes of the game were largely uneventful. Constant blows of the whistle by the referee and not one, but two pitch invaders, did little to increase the pace of the game.
19-year-old Manchester City full-back Greg Cunningham settled into his Ireland debut very well and released Kevin Doyle through on goal with an excellent ball in the 10th minute, he also looked very assured against Algeria's captain Yazid Mansouri.
The home side took the lead in the 30th minute when, upon making only his second appearance for Ireland, Derby County's Paul Green fired Ireland into the lead. A cross from Liam Lawrence on the right-wing was met by the diving head of the youngster, who took a knock for his troubles.
Les Fennecs take on England in Cape Town on June 18th and Fabio Capello's coach, Franco Baldini, was in attendance. He'll probably be quite happy with what was on show as the Algerian defending was well below par for much of the game, especially struggling under the high ball. Peter Crouch may well start on that occasion.
John O'Shea left the game in the 36th minute due to an injury and his replacement, Darrren O'Dea, nearly gifted the Algerians a goal after he misjudged a long ball down field, but he was bailed out by a great challenge from Sean St. Ledger.
Ireland started the second-half brightly and doubled their lead in the 51st minute. Duff's cross was spilt by Chaouchi,allowing Robbie Keane to net his 42nd goal in a green jersey, on the occasion of his 99th cap.
Keane almost added two more to his tally when he was denied by Chaouchi and then the left-hand post in the space of two minutes. Great work in both moves by Keane's strike partner Doyle, created the opportunities
However, Keane was eventually to get his 43rd international goal after his side were awarded a dubious penalty in the 84th minute when Djamel Mesbah was adjudged to have fouled Keane inside the box. Keane himself got up to take the penalty which he coolly dispatched to make it 3-0.
The win caps a good week for Ireland. Although these victories might make people think what might have been if the World Cup was on our horizon, the training camp has proved a more than worthwhile exercise for Trapattoni's men.
Republic of Ireland: Westwood (J Murphy 86); Kelly, O’Shea (O'Dea 36), St. Ledger, Cunningham; Lawrence (Long 86), Green, Whelan (Andrews 75), Duff (Fahey 64); Keane, Doyle (Sheridan 71).
Unused substitutes: Foley, Stokes, Andrews, B. Murphy.
Algeria: Chaouchi (Mbolhi 67); Guedioura, Masbah, Hallich, Belhadj (Kadir 67); Mansouri (Boudebouz 67), Lacen, Ballaid, Ziani; Ghezzal ( Abdoun 77), Djebbour (Saifi 58).
Unused substitutes: Laifaoui; Mbolhi.
Referee: Eric Braamhar (Netherlands).
Extratime Man of the Match: Paul Green.
Frankie Lally writes for a number of publications. You can contact Frankie on Twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/FrankieLally">@FrankieLally</a><br /><br />