|Republic of Ireland||Argentina|
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Argentina
A solitary goal from Ángel di María was enough to condemn the Republic of Ireland to a 1-0 defeat by Argentina in their opening game at the Dublin Arena.
The new 50,000-capacity stadium, built in place of Lansdowne Road, was staging international football for the first time ahead of Ireland's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers as well as the UEFA Europa League final in May. It was not to be a happy first outing for Ireland, though, Real Madrid CF summer signing Di María finding the net on 21 minutes.
Argentina, FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists in South Africa this summer, had begun in positive fashion in the Irish capital, with Lionel Messi first to threaten Shay Given's goal. The Manchester City FC goalkeeper was beaten midway through the opening period, Di María latching onto Romero's punt before executing a delightful lob over Given.
Argentina remained on top for much of the game, leaving Ireland captain Robbie Keane frustrated on his 100th international appearance. The Tottenham Hotspur FC forward did link up well with Damien Duff but the visitors stood firm. Ireland begin their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying campaign in Armenia on 3 September before returning to Dublin to face Andorra four days later. Russia, Slovakia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are also in Group B.
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