Ireland drubs World Cup-bound Algeria

Robbie Keane scored twice Friday to help Ireland beat World Cup-bound Algeria 3-0 in a friendly in Dublin.

Robbie Keane scored twice Friday to help Ireland beat World Cup-bound Algeria 3-0 in a friendly.

Paul Green scored on his first start in the 31st minute and Keane added goals in the 52nd and 85th for a result that gives the Algerians much to think about before heading to South Africa.

Algeria plays Slovenia, England and the United States at the World Cup, which starts next month.

Ireland failed to qualify for the competition after losing to France in a playoff, where Thierry Henry's handball set up the goal that put the Irish out.

Algeria forwards Rafik Djebbour and Abdelkader Ghezzal caused problems for the Irish defence but goalkeeper Fawzi Chaouchi had to save a third minute volley by Kevin Doyle.

Green, who was a substitute on his debut in Ireland's 2-1 victory over Paraguay on Tuesday, marked his first start when he met a cross from Liam Lawrence with a brave diving header. The midfielder was accidentally kicked on the head by goalkeeper Chaouchi and had to leave the field for treatment but was able to return.

After Green had given the Irish a halftime lead, Djamel Mesbah's well-timed tackle prevented Lawrence from increasing the lead early in the second half.

Poor defending

But some poor Algeria defending handed Ireland a second goal in the 52nd minute. Adlene Guedioura let Damien Duff gain possession instead of clearing the ball and Chaouchi's weak punch from the winger's cross went towards Keane.

The striker had space and time to fire home for his 42nd goal in Irish colours.

Although Guedioura headed against the bar, Ireland added a third a minute later when Mesbah tripped Keane inside the area and the striker fired home from the spot.

Franco Baldini, one of the assistants to England manager Fabio Capello, watched the game at the Royal Dublin Showground to spy on the Algerians, who face the English June 18 in Cape Town at the World Cup.


Ireland: Kieren Westwood (Joe Murphy, 86), Stephen Kelly, Sean St. Ledger, John O'Shea (Darren O'Dea, 36), Greg Cunningham, Liam Lawrence (Shane Long, 86), Glenn Whelan (Keith Andrews, 75), Paul Green, Damien Duff (Keith Fahey, 65), Kevin Doyle (Cillian Sheridan, 72), Robbie Keane.

Algeria: Fawzi Chaouchi (M'Bohli Rais Ouhed, 66), Habib Belaid, Djamel Mesbah, Raffik Halliche, Nadir Belhadj (Riad Boudebouz, 66), Yazid Mansouri (Fouad Kadir, 66), Medhi Lacen, Adlene Guedioura, Karim Ziani, Abdelkader Ghezzal (Djamel Abdoun, 77), Rafik Djebbour (Rafik Saifi, 58).