ROBBIE KEANE scored a 23rd minute goal to enable the Republic of Ireland beat Scotland 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium to capture the Nations Cup, their first trophy in 25 years.
While the lead-up to the tournament left a lot to be desired with a number of players not turning up, coach Giovanni Trapattoni was more than pleased. Earlier in the week, the Irish side had thrashed a young Northern Ireland team 5-0 in their opening game.
It was never going to so easy against a much more experienced Scotland outfit, with stars like Charlie Adam. In the end, it came down to the ability of who made the best of their chances.
Keane, who has had a difficult end to the season with relegated West Ham, came good, firing home a low shot which went under the goalkeeper. Importantly, the win puts Ireland in a good frame of mind for their European Championship away qualifying game against Macedonia.
A decent crowd of 25,161 turned up. Besides seeing Keane score his 49th goal for his country, they witnessed Stephen Hunt giving a man of the match performance on the wing.
Keane, somewhat controversially, also made his feeling felt about some of the Irish players who didn't make it to Dublin. They included the highly rated James McCarthy from Wigan.
"He [Trapattoni] has to decide between the players who turned up this week and those who just want to pick and choose their games. It you don't want to play for Ireland, then don't declare for us," stressed the Irish skipper.
Wanderers take Rovers
THE Airtricity League Premier Division is turning out to be one of the closest in years following Bray Wanderers surprise 1-0 home success over leaders Shamrock Rovers.
The winning goal came in the 64th minute from Jake Kelly. Shamrock Rovers are now two points clear of Sligo Rovers at the top of the table with no fewer than five teams, Derry City, St Patrick's Athletic, Dundalk, Bohemians and Bray Wanderers, a point further back.