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Late double act rescues Ireland in Kazakhstan

Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 20.30CET
Kazakhstan 1-2 Republic of Ireland
Late goals from Robbie Keane and substitute Kevin Doyle undid all the hosts' good work and earned Ireland an opening win in Group C.
Late double act rescues Ireland in Kazakhstan
Ireland's James McCarthy (right) attempts to escape the attentions of Kazakhstan ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 7 September 2012, 20.30CET

Late double act rescues Ireland in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan 1-2 Republic of Ireland
Late goals from Robbie Keane and substitute Kevin Doyle undid all the hosts' good work and earned Ireland an opening win in Group C.

Two goals in the last two minutes earned Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland side a comeback victory away to Kazakhstan in their opening FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Ireland lost all three of their games at UEFA EURO 2012 and for a long time looked set to suffer another defeat in Astana after Kazakhstan captain Kairat Nurdauletov's 37th-minute effort. However, record goalscorer Robbie Keane equalised with a penalty with seconds of the 90 minutes remaining and there was still time for substitute Kevin Doyle to net a late winner.

Doyle's Wolverhampton Wanderers FC club-mate Stephen Ward conceded the free-kick from which Heinrich Schmidtgal crossed for Nurdauletov to head past Keiren Westwood. The visitors rarely looked like finding a way back into the contest until Keane was fouled in the area. He dusted himself down and converted from the spot for his 54th international goal.

The turnaround was complete when Doyle volleyed in Ward's lay-off from a Glenn Whelan free-kick. Kazakhstan go to Sweden on Tuesday, while Ireland resume their Group C campaign at home to Germany next month.

Last updated: 09/06/15 3.35CET

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