Tuesday 28 January 2020

Robbie Keane's most memorable moments in a Republic of Ireland shirt

Robbie Keane will make the 146th and final appearance of his senior Republic of Ireland career against Oman on Wednesday evening.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at some of his more memorable moments in a green shirt.

Czech Republic 2 Republic of Ireland 1, March 25, 1998

Manager Mick McCarthy handed a then 17-year-old Keane his debut in a friendly in Olomouc, in the process fulfilling a childhood dream. Keane said: "I was confident coming into the squad that I belonged there, and that was from day one. But did I ever imagine that I was going to win 145 caps?"

Republic of Ireland 5 Malta 0, October 14, 1998

Seven months later, Keane, now 18, opened what was to become a national record goals account with a double in a Euro 2000 qualifier against Malta in Dublin. He said: "Nothing will ever beat the first goal you scored for Ireland against Malta when we won 5-0 and I scored two. A year and a half before that, I was playing on the streets in Tallaght and here I am on the big stage at Lansdowne Road scoring my first goal in front of the Irish crowd. People like Niall Quinn and Steve Staunton, Gary Kelly and people like that who you respected as a young kid growing up, and then you're there with them, you're playing with them. It was a surreal moment."

Republic of Ireland 1 Germany 1, June 5, 2002

If Keane is remembered for nothing else, his late equaliser against the mighty Germans in Ibaraki at the 2002 World Cup finals has gone down in Irish sporting folklore. Running on to substitute Quinn's flick-on, he smashed the ball past helpless keeper Oliver Khan to claim a famous draw. Keane said: "The Germany one at the World Cup will always stand out for me."

Republic of Ireland 3 Sweden 0, March 1, 2006

Keane was appointed captain for new manager Staunton's first game in charge and scored in a 3-0 friendly victory over Sweden in Dublin. He said: "The defining moment in my career, definitely, was when I was given the captain's armband when I was 26 years of age. It changed my perception of how you deal with things. Before that, my talking was done on the pitch, but that's not the reality. Even though you have to do your talking on the pitch, with that there comes responsibilities and the responsibilities I have had as a captain have changed that."

France 1 Republic of Ireland 1, November 18, 2009

Everyone remembers the World Cup play-off second leg in Paris for Thierry Henry's handball which denied Ireland their chance of a trip to the 2010 finals in South Africa. But it was also the night on which Giovanni Trapattoni's team threw off the shackles and gave the star-studded French the fight of their lives when Keane fired them into a first-half lead at the Stade de France. His memories of that night, however, are understandably tinged with regret. He said: "The France one doesn't really stand out as much because we lost the game. When you are a footballer, you try to remember the good things."

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