Ireland defeat Andorra to top group

DUBLIN - Ireland matched Slovakia as early undefeated Group B pace-setters on the road to Euro 2012, seeing off Andorra 3-1 in the first competitive match played at the new Avivi Stadium on Tuesday.

Andorra took a shock lead the only other time they came to Dublin but Ireland's Kevin Kilbane - who equalised in the hosts' eventual 3-1 win at the old Lansdowne Road nine years ago - nodded in Liam Lawrence's 14th minute corner to ease nerves.

Striker Kevin Doyle, superb in Ireland's hard fought opening win in Armenia last week, drove home a cracking second on 41 minutes only for Andorra defender Cristian Martinez to pull one back four minutes later with an even better long range effort.

Captain Robbie Keane dinked in a third eight minutes into the second half after a neat set-up by new Spartak Moscow winger Aiden McGeady but Ireland were unable to move any further ahead of the Slovaks on goal difference in a flat last half hour.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men face two testing matches next month, hosting Russia on October 8 before travelling to Slovakia - victors over the Russians on Tuesday - four days later.

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