Newcastle United Irish pair of Shay Given and Damien Duff played a major role in helping Ireland to win their game in Dublin last night against a surprisingly good Cyprus side.
Damien Duff – set up first goal after just 5 minutes
Ireland’s Italian manager Giovanni Trapattoni had talked about how important Duff was to the side before the game, and and it took just five minutes for the Newcastle winger to set up Ireland’s first goal for Robbie Keane.
So it was a great start for the Irish but then surprisingly Cyprus took control of the play and right at the end of the game the Irish had Newcastle goalkeeper Given to thank.
Shay made a brave save from striiker Christofi, when it looked like the Cypress man had to score.
But the win is a vital one for the Irish and they are now second in Group 8, just three points behind leaders Italy but with one game in hand. It’s a tough task for Ireland, but it would be great to see them get through to the finals in South Africa in 2010.