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Wednesday 15 August 2018

Keane: We can finish top

ROBBIE KEANE insists that Ireland can still finish top of the Group B table in the Euro 2012 qualifiers after a dramatic night of football.

ROBBIE KEANE insists that Ireland can still finish top of the Group B table in the Euro 2012 qualifiers after a dramatic night of football.

It was a case of history being made and records being broken all over the group.

It was Ireland's fourth visit to Moscow but the first time we avoided defeat, and our run of successive clean sheets was extended to seven games, while a thousand miles away, in Bratislava, Armenia enjoyed their biggest\[Daniella Matar\] and best-ever win as a nation with a 4-0 trouncing of sorry Slovakia.

Always hard to predict, is this group, and captain Keane promises that Ireland, who could even end up finishing in fourth place, depending on how the final two rounds of games pan out, should carry on dreaming of something we haven't done since the Euro 88 campaign – top the group in the qualifiers.

“Top spot in the group is up for grabs, Slovakia are a good side, I can see them getting something at home to Russia so we'll see how it finishes up,” Keane said last night, the Ireland captain speaking to the media before the astonishing result from the Armenia game came through.

“Look at the games that Russia have to play, they have to go to Slovakia so we'll go into the next two games looking for six points and see what else happens, it's certainly not over yet.

“It's a point gained, the way the game started and went on, Russia were certainly the better team, no question about that,” added Keane, quick to pour some very heavy praise on

his team-mates, not just front-line heroes Richard Dunne and Shay Given, but the whole side.

Commitment

“Sometimes you have to dig deep and give a good team performance, and we did that last night. It was a team performance, the effort and commitment shown by the players was immense, you could not have asked for more.

“We defended as a group and earned that as a team. A few years ago, if Ireland had come to Moscow and gone home with a point and a clean sheet after a performance like that, people at home would have been jumping for joy with that display, the way the team performed.

“Shay and Richie were brilliant with what they did but the other lads who came in were outstanding too, Darren O'Dea put in some great blocks and Stephen Kelly was excellent, defensively we were superb.

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