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Andrews left stunned by a four-star performance

TEN years and 113 international games -- that's how long it's been since Ireland last did what they did last night in Estonia, went away from home and scored four goals with no reply in a competitive away game.

It's so long ago that seven of the Irish side which gained that 4-0 win in Cyprus back in March 2001 have since retired from the game, so it's no wonder that Keith Andrews (pictured) -- the first of Ireland's goalscorers last night -- almost had to rub his eyes in disbelief.

"It hasn't fully sunk in yet. It was an amazing feeling to walk off the pitch and see the scoreboard at 0-4, it's hard to believe," said Andrews, a key player on the night for Ireland, not just for his crucial 13th-minute goal which paved the way for an Irish success, but also for his overall display, which one of his best performances in a 25-cap career.

Andrews has been in good form in front of goal with Ipswich this season, but he rarely uses his head when it comes to scoring goals, so last night was a real milestone for the Artane man as he hit his third international goal from Aiden McGeady's clever cross.

"I don't score many headers but I saw Aiden go down the wing and I thought I'd take a gamble and thankfully it came off," he said.

"It was brilliant, so good to get an early goal to get us up and running. We said we wanted to get at them and put them under pressure, the pitch was very hard to play on. But we wanted to have a right go and in the first 15-20 minutes we did that.

"It was tough to play out there, a lot of mistakes and a lot of sloppy passes which you'd expect with that surface, but I thought we were fantastic last night.

"Being honest, we didn't make the most of the fact that they had 10 men in the second part of the first half, we didn't really take advantage of it until the second half.

"But we did our homework. For the third goal, we had worked hard all week on what Estonia do and don't do, so we tried to pepper their keeper and try to force something and thankfully we got our rewards.

So how to approach Tuesday's game now as 4-0 seems like the most solid of leads possible?

"We have to be professional and do a job, it would be some hell of a game if we didn't go through but it should be a great night. Hopefully we can go through, there's no reason why we can't win the game," added Andrews.


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