Keane nets double as Irish thrash dire Estonia in Tallinn

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Robbie KEANE struck twice as Ireland took a giant step towards Euro 2012 yesterday by beating Estonia 4-0 in a playoff first leg where the hosts ended the game with nine men.

The visitors had already gone ahead with a 13th-minute header from Keith Andrews when their cause was further helped by the dismissal of Estonia defender Andrei Stepanov 11 minutes before the break.

Ireland made their man advantage count midway through the second half when Jon Walters headed in a second, four minutes before Keane’s 71st minute strike put them firmly in control before Tuesday’s second leg in Dublin.

Estonia’s fading dream of reaching the finals of a major tournament for the first time was dealt another blow with captain Raio Piiroja’s 77th minute dismissal and more indiscipline gave Ireland a late penalty which Keane converted.