Keane double in record-equalling outing
Robbie Keane marked his record-equalling 125th appearance for Ireland with a double to see off 10-man Georgia 4-0.
The 32-year-old climbed off the bench to draw level with keeper Shay Given, and will go top of the list if, as expected, he leads Ireland into their World Cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands on Friday evening.
Keane claimed his 55th international goal from point-blank range with 13 minutes of the game remaining and then took his tally to 56 three minutes from time to seal a comfortable victory with the Georgians labouring after keeper Giorgi Loria's 20th-minute dismissal. Richard Keogh had opened the scoring three minutes before the break, and Simon Cox extended the home side's lead three minutes after the restart.
In the lowest of low-key friendlies, manager Giovanni Trapattoni will have been pleased with the efforts of his under-studies with midfielder Wes Hoolahan turning in an impressive individual display and full-back Marc Wilson proving his fitness after a niggling hamstring injury. There was even a 25-minute cameo from fit-again defender Richard Dunne.
Trapattoni's team took control early on and never looked like surrendering it. They were aided and abetted in no small part by the premature departure of Loria, who trudged off the pitch with just 20 minutes gone after racing from his goal and upending striker Shane Long to prompt Romanian referee Sebastian Constantin Coltescu to produce a red card.
Loria had earlier kept the visitors in it with a fine save from skipper-for-the-day Long, who showed an impressive burst of pace to leave central defender Akaki Khubutia in his wake, only to be denied by a solid block.
James McClean almost broke the deadlock with 23 minutes gone. The Sunderland winger took charge of the free-kick awarded for Loria's misdemeanour and curled the ball towards the top corner. However, as the Ireland fans behind the goal waited for the net to ripple, substitute keeper Omar Migineishvili threw out a hand and managed to claw his effort away.
Georgia's resistance was finally broken three minutes before the break after Khubutia was penalised for a foul on Long wide on the right. McClean curled the resulting free-kick into the box and Keogh climbed highest to send a downward header past Migineishvili and into the net.
Trapattoni sent on Keane at the break, but it was Cox who made an impact within three minutes of the restart when, having been moved to the right wing to accommodate the LA Galaxy frontman, he turned up in the right place at the right time to side-foot home McClean's driven cross.
Hoolahan split the Georgian defence wide open with 58 minutes gone as he slid Long in, but the striker was once again denied. Keane eventually got in on the act with 13 minutes remaining when substitute Conor Sammon's low cross handed him a close-range tap-in, and he helped himself once again at the death when he made the most of Jeff Hendrick's well-weighted pass.