Belfast Telegraph

Cool Keith Fahey puts his name on the game for Republic

By David Kelly

The Republic of Ireland's small pocket of supporters hailed timely goalscorer Keith Fahey as their newest hero last night — but the former St Pat’s man admitted that Giovanni Trapattoni can call him what he likes.

Trapattoni struggles with pronunciation at the best of times and Fahey revealed that he struggles with him too. “In fairness, I don't care what he calls me, he can call me what he wants,” he said.

Fahey's substitution may have been inspired or merely lucky as the Republic toiled in the heat of Yerevan, but the Birmingham City man was the coolest man in the stadium as he calmly stroked home the priceless winner just four minutes after his arrival.

“The manager just told me to get involved in and around the front men because we were putting in a few high balls which were causing them a bit of trouble. I think the goal came from a long ball, didn't it?” said Fahey.

“There was a bit of a scramble in the box and the ball kind of bounced kindly for me and I was fortunate enough to be able to stroke it in the corner. It's been a long time coming for me.”

Captain Robbie Keane had an indifferent night, as did most of his team-mates, although he insisted that it was a great performance from his men, a result which now ensures that, unless calamity strikes on Tuesday, the Republic will have a perfect haul from their opening Group B brace.

“It was a great performance by the team I think, the lads deserve a lot of credit,” said Keane.

“It doesn't matter who you play away from home, it's always tough. They're not a bad team, it was a difficult game but we definitely deserved to win.

“In the first-half we had a few chances, I think we were the better team, we deserved it. In the second-half I hit the post, we were unlucky on a few occasions, but we were patient and eventually got the goal we deserved.

“But when you hit the post and have a have a couple of chances that don't go your way, and a shout for a penalty in the first-half what we could have got, you wonder.

“The most important thing is to get off to a good start and we got off to a great start today. It's important that we continue that. These are the games we usually slip up in. Three points, I think everyone has to be delighted with that.”

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