The Republic of Ireland cruised to a five-nil win against Northern Ireland in their Carling Nations Cup clash at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday night. Shay Given returned to take his place in goals earning a record 111th international cap. The Lifford stopper had missed the March internationals due to a shoulder injury. Seamus Coleman who was named Everton’s Player of the year last week won his second cap for the Republic. The Killybegs lad played 55 minutes before being brought off with Liam Lawerence taking his place. Ciaran Clark who has family connections in Milford was not in Dublin having pulled out on Sunday with a hamstring injury.
Giovanni Trapattoni's men enjoyed a morale-boosting night as Robbie Keane ended his goal-drought with a brace bring his goal total to 48 while Stephen Ward and Simon Cox both celebrated their international debuts by joining him on the scoreboard. The victory moves the Republic three points clear at the top of the Nations Cup table with one game to play.