2010 World Cup: Robbie Keane lifts Ireland to victory; Mexico’s slump continues in America

Ireland 2 – Georgia 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, February 11, 2009) Within sixty seconds Ireland were behind, Kakha Kaladze launched a ball into the box, Stephen Kelly failed to clear and Alexander Iashvili prodded the ball past Shay Given. The hosts trailed until the 73rd minute, Kevin Doyle controversially won a penalty even though the offense occured outside the box and Robbie Keane levelled from the spot. Robbie Keane completed a vital comeback scoring the winner with his shoulder in the 78th minute.

Malta 0 – Albania 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, February 11, 2009) Albania could have gone top of the group with victory, but Malta held on to pick up their first point of the qualifying campaign.

***

USA 2 – Mexico 0 (CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, February 11, 2009) (Longer highlights here.) The USA continued their excellent record against Mexico on home soil and perhaps pushed Sven Goran Eriksson a little closer to a return to management in England. Michael Bradley claimed both goals whilst Rafa Marquez was sent off for a foul on Tim Howard.

El Salvador 2 – Trinidad & Tobago 2 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, February 11, 2009) Carlos Edwards scored in the 7th minute and Dwight Yorke added a penalty midway through the half to gave T&T an early advantage. But late on El Salvador rallied, earning a draw through Osael Romero’s brace in the final 11 minutes.

***

Japan 0 – Australia 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, February 11, 2009) Australia took a major step toward qualifying for the 2010 World Cup by hold Japan to a scoreless draw that keeps the Socceroos unbeaten in their qualifying and with a 2-point lead at the top of the group.

Iran 1 – South Korea 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, February 11, 2009) Osasuna’s Javad Nekounam thought he had given Ali Daei’s side victory after converting a free-kick on the hour mark. But the South Koreans salvaged a draw, Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung levelling with header nine minutes from time after an initial free-kick was only parried by the keeper.

North Korea 1 – Saudi Arabia 0 (2010 World Cup qualifier, February 11, 2009) North Korea kept their World Cup dreams alive in the Kim Il Sung stadium thanks to Mun in Guk’s winner on the half hour mark.

Uzbekistan 0 – Bahrain 1 (2010 World Cup qualifier, February 11, 2009) Bahrain’s faint dreams of reaching South Africa got an injury-time shot in the arm after Mahmood Abdulrahman crashed home an unstoppable 95th minute free-kick.