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Doyle determined to keep momentum going for visit of Russia

JOB DONE against the two bottom seeds in Group B -- now Ireland have to follow that up by beating top seeds Russia when they come to Dublin in just a month's time, according to Ireland's star man against Andorra last night, Wolves forward Kevin Doyle.

Doyle picked up the man of the match award for his display, and another international goal, the ninth in his Ireland career, and a thing of beauty that goal was. Doyle fired a stunning shot past keeper Josep Gomes which kids all over Ireland will be trying to copy all around the country today.

The win last night, on top of the work done in Yerevan last week, means that Ireland top the group today, one of 10 teams with maximum points from the opening bouts of qualification.

But Doyle says that Ireland have to maintain that momentum by taking another three points at home to Russia next month before that crucial trip to Zilina in Slovakia, also in October.

"We're delighted with the win but the other results last night were OK for us. On paper Russia are probably the strongest team in the group but Slovakia and ourselves are surprising people. We knew beforehand that we had a chance of topping the group. We're in a great position after two games and we hope that continues," said Doyle, well aware that Russia -- still bruised by a shock defeat to Slovenia in the World Cup play-offs -- had another bad night against some fellow Slavs last night, going down 1-0 to Slovakia in Moscow.

"It's hard to know how Russia will approach their game in Dublin now. They could be low on confidence after the defeat or they might be like a wounded animal coming here and really up for the game.

"A draw last night from that game would probably have been a better result for us. Russia may still be favourites going into it but we have shown what we can do and playing Russia at home is a great chance for us to get three points and that's the aim," added Doyle. "Two wins from the first two games is a great start for us. This is only my third campaign I know, but it's the first time we started with two wins and that's a great boost for confidence ahead of the two big games in October.

"For us last night it was a stop-start game. I think the ambulance crew were on the field more than I've seen before, but we won the game and that's the most important thing, we're top of the group.

"They had a bit of the ball too. There were a lot of 'nearly' moments in the game, but overall it was so stop-start it was unbelievable. It was hard to get into any rhythm.

"Andorra have perfected that sort of game, stopping us and trying to not concede," added the former St Pats and Cork City man, who claimed the ninth -- and maybe the nicest -- goal of his time as an international.

"I enjoyed the goal last night but sometimes I enjoy the scrappy ones more than the classy goals, as long as they go in I don't care."


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