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Thrilled Keogh answers call with first goal for Ireland

INTERNATIONAL duty with the Republic of Ireland caused some minor domestic problems for Richard Keogh, but the Derby County man could not stop smiling after he marked his first international start with a goal in the 4-0 rout of Georgia.

By rights, Keogh should have spent yesterday with his wife, Charlie, as it was their first wedding anniversary but Ireland called, Keogh answered and delivered the first goal in a 4-0 win.

Keogh will probably drop back to the bench for the competitive game at home to the Faroe Islands on Friday as John O'Shea and Seán St Ledger come back into contention, but June 2 is a date now seared in his memory for another reason.

"I couldn't have written a better script than yesterday, I got married a year ago to the day and to start for Ireland and score my first international goal was amazing, a fantastic day," Keogh told the Herald.

"I probably owe my wife a nice break away now after being away for our anniversary but it was very important for me to be here in Dublin, she's very proud of me, she knows what that goal and that performance means to me and to my family. I remembered to get her a card and present before I came away so I don't think I am in the dog house," he joked.



"That was probably the proudest moment of my career so far, scoring for Ireland in Dublin, and down the road if anyone asks me what was the best day in your football career, I think I'd find it hard to top that – even though it wasn't the best of goals, it just came off the side of my head.

"But it's not about me, it's all about the team and the fact that we got a good win with a clean sheet against a decent side, Georgia had some very good players. The manager showed a bit of faith in me to give me a start and I think I have repaid that with my performance and to top it off with a goal was amazing.

"Georgia started well, they have some good attacking players and they looked quick on the ball, but I think we'd started to get into the game just before the sending off and then the game just went for us.

"We dominated then, and Robbie gave us that added bit of quality when he came on and scored a couple of goals. So to score four goals and keep a clean sheet was great," added Keogh.

A number of cross-channel bosses were in Lansdowne Road yesterday and if Derby County boss Nigel Clough had been in town he'd have been most pleased with the day's work by his Rams players. Derby men scored one goal (Keogh) and two more had assists – Conor Sammon for Robbie Keane with Keane's other goal set up by Jeff Hendrick. "It's great for the club that we were all here for Ireland and that will be good for Derby, to see three players do so well," says Keogh.