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In Pictures: Doyle and Lawrence pounce as Republic beat Paraguay

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Kevin Doyle was delighted with the Republic of Ireland's 2-1 win over Paraguay in Dublin last night.

Doyle and Liam Lawrence scored in the first-half as the Republic recorded a victory against their World Cup-bound opponents.

“It's a win, they're going to the World Cup and we're not so it's a good win for us,” said Doyle.

“They're going to be well trained and we beat them pretty convincingly. We looked pretty solid and played well.”

Paraguay pulled a goal back through Lucas Barrios in the second-half and became more of a threat, with Doyle admitting the home side perhaps began to feel the pace.

“It's been a good few weeks since some of us had a game and maybe it started to show a little,” said the Wolves striker.

“They're the opposite and they were probably a bit sharper come the end, but it was a chance for us to be together again, it was another good performance and a good win. It all will hopefully count when the European Championship qualifiers come round.”

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Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni said: “Before the game I told the players to remember the last three games we played, against France, Italy and Brazil, to remember we are a good team and played at the same level as these teams.

“I think they believed me.”

Doyle capitalised on a seventh-minute error by Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz to head the Republic in front at the RDS, and Lawrence added a second six minutes before the break in front of a delighted crowd of 16,722.

The South Americans, who beat Brazil and drew with Argentina in Buenos Aires during their qualifying campaign, flattered to deceive before the break, but were more of a threat after it and reduced the deficit through Barrios' fine 58th-minute strike.

Despite a late flurry, they were unable to claw their way back as Trapattoni's men claimed a creditable victory.

Their opening goal arrived with just seven minutes gone.

Damien Duff and Lawrence worked a free-kick move before the Fulham man delivered the ball into the box, where defender Paul McShane failed to execute and hugely ambitious overhead effort, but the ball reared up off the turf and Santa Cruz instinctively headed it on to his own crossbar, allowing Doyle to pounce on the rebound and score.

The Republic extended their lead six minutes before the break when Doyle chested down Stephen Kelly's cross to Lawrence, who thumped it past goalkeeper Aldo Bobadilla with the help of a deflection off defender Denis Caniza.

Trapatonni’s men might have killed the game off within minutes of the restart after creating two good chances in quick succession. First Doyle tested Bobadilla with a left foot shot on the turn from distance, and then the goalkeeper blocked Duff's shot with his chest after the winger had escaped Da Silva on the left.

However, Paraguay reduced the deficit with 58 minutes gone when Gamarra and Claudio Morel played their way around McShane for the former to slide a pass to Barrios, who dispatched it right-footed past Keiren Westwood.


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