Lansdowne Road’s Aviva Stadium was the venue for the Clash of the Irelands, which (thankfully) seems to have gone off without any trouble- as had been feared by local residents and others.
But the 5-0 result, even in the context of an end of season friendly-competition fixture played mostly by lower ranking squad members, will provide bragging rights in many workplaces tomorrow. The woodwork was also struck twice in an overwhelmingly one-sided clash.
Another double for Robbie Keane has moved him within two goals of the half century goal target at international level, an astonishing feat for any Irish soccer player (David Healy remains the second highest Irish international goalscorer, though his fall from grace would suggest there is little prospect of him emulating Keane’s achievement.) Mind you, neither has managed to match Joe Bambrick’s feat of scoring 6 goals in one game for Ireland at international level.
Northern Ireland will complete their poor showing in this tournament with a match on Friday evening against Wales, whilst the Republic will face off against Scotland on Sunday in what is likely to be the encounter which will decide who triumphs in this inaugural running of the Carling-sponsored competition.