Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ireland destroy the North in Carling cup rout

Robbie Keane grabbed a double as Ireland destroyed Nigel Worthinton's IFA side 5-0 in the Carling Nations Cup in Dublin.

Already Ireland's all-time record goalscorer, Keane claimed his 47th and 48th goals in his 106th appearance for the national team.

It proved to be a shockingly poor display by the North, who were cheered on by a sparse band of supporters numbering less than 300.

The home side took the lead with 24 minutes gone. Keith Treacy played a one-two with Cox from a short corner before whipping into the goal-mouth. Goalkeeper Blayney threw himself at the ball but spilled in front of Ward who rifled home the opener from close range.

Ireland doubled their lead after 37 minutes when Keane pounced on a dreadful pass-back by Lee Hodson before lofting over the goalkeeper and seeing the shot nestle in the bottom corner.

There was further misery for the North when Coleman's ball across the face of goal was forced into the back of his own net by Cathcart a minute before the interval.

Nine minutes after the restart Alan Thompson was deemed to have fouled Keane in the box and was given a straight red card by Scottish referee Craig Thomson, before the Tottenham striker dusted himself off and slotted low past Blayney from the penalty spot.

Keane was then replaced by Andy Keogh to rapturous applause from the crowd.

A commotion then followed in the section housing the North's fans, however order was quickly restored by the stewards.

But Blayney was left picking the ball out of the back of the net again when Cox raced into the box and sent an angled drive past the goalkeeper to complete the rout, before Stephen Hunt's free-kick crashed off the post late on.

The victory puts Ireland at the top of the Nations Cup table ahead of Scotland's game against Wales tomorrow night.