Keane and Dunne back for Ireland

Keane and Dunne back for Ireland

Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane and experienced defender Richard Dunne were both able to start this evening’s opening Euro 2012 qualifier in Armenia after recovering from injury.

The match is scoreless as yet.

Keane won his 101st international cap after recovering from a knee problem which has dogged him for several weeks, while Dunne reached 60 despite missing several days training with a thigh muscle strain.

It is Ireland’s first competitive game since their heartbreaking World Cup play-off exit in France, and nine of the men who started that game in November did so again with Derby midfielder Paul Green and Aiden McGeady drafted in for the injured Keith Andrews and Damien Duff.

Armenia boss Vardan Minasyan included star man Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who made a £5.8m transfer window move to Shakhtar Donetsk last week, in his side.

Armenia: Berezovsky, Hovsepyan, Arzumanyan, Karlen Mkrtchyan, Arakelian, Grigorian, Artur Edigaryan, Malakyan, Pachajyan, Movsisyan, Mkhitaryan.

Subs: Kasparov, Hambardzumyan, Pizelli, Goharyan, Manoyan, Manucharyan, Mkoyan.

Rep of Ireland: Given, O’Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Kilbane, Lawrence, Whelan, Green, McGeady, Keane, Doyle.

Subs: Westwood, Fahey, Kelly, Gibson, Cunningham, Keogh, Sheridan.

Referee: Zsolt Szabo (Hungary)

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