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11.08.2010 at 19:30 Aviva Stadium Attendance: 45500
Republic of Ireland 0 - 1 Argentina
Referee: Peter Rasmussen (Denamrk) Friendly / Prog-match

None. Angel di Maria 20 mins;
Opening squads
Shay Given
John O'Shea
Paul Green
Richard Dunne
Paul Mc Shane
Kevin Kilbane
Keith Andrews
Keith Fahey
Cilian Sheridan
Damien Duff
Robbie Keane
Sergio Romero
Gabriel Heinze
Nicolas Burdisso
Martin Demichelis
Walter Samuel
Javier Mascherano
Angel di Maria
Ever Banega
Fernando Gago
Gonzalo Higuain
Lionel Messi
Keiren Westwood
Joe Murphy
Darren O'Dea
Greg Cunningham
Kevin Foley
Stephen Kelly
Darron Gibson
Keith Treacy
Anthony Stokes
Andrew Keogh
Mariano Andujar
Fabricio Coloccini
Emiliano Insua
Pablo Zabaleta
Rodriguez Maxi
Mario Bolatti
Jonas Gutierrez
Javier Pastore
Diego Milito
Ezequiel Lavezzi
Sergio Aguero
Carlos Tevez
Andrew Keogh -> Cilian Sheridan (56)
Greg Cunningham -> Kevin Kilbane (56)
Darron Gibson -> Keith Andrews (67)
Keith Treacy -> Keith Fahey (77)
Zabaleta for Burdisso 46 mins;
Milito for Higuain 46 mins; Lavezzi for Messi 58 mins; Insua for Heinze 72 mins; Gutierrez for Di Maria 75 mins;Coloccini for Samuel 84 mins.
Yellow cards
None. Gabriel Heinz
Red cards
None. None
Other statistics
0 Shots 0
0 Shots on goal 0
0 Offsides 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Free kicks 0
0 Penalties 0
Match report | Preview
Statto: Opening international match in Aviva Stadium
First Cap for Keith Treacy
First start for Cilian Sheridan
Robbie Keane wins his 100th Cap

Rep of Ireland 0 Argentina 1

Ireland suffered defeat in their opening game at the new Aviva Stadium with a 1-0 defeat to Argentina on Wednesday.

Angel Di Maria grabbed the first half winner amidst some suspicion of offside as he ran on to Sergio Romero's goal kick to lob Shay Given.

In a showpiece game to mark the re-opening of the newly refurbished Lansdowne Road, the watching crowd were treated to some good spells of possession by Argentina and some marvellous play by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

The Emerald Isle's own star Robbie Keane almost had the chance to level matters in the dying minutes with an overhead kick on his 100th cap, but he spurned his only real opportunity to walk away with the glory.

Rising star Di Maria can now add the opening international strike in the rebuilt Lansdowne Road to his list of credits while Keane barely came close to adding to his record haul of 43 for the Republic.

It was still at least an occasion for him to remember, even if the game was ultimately one to forget.

In many respects the football was almost secondary given the number of strands leading into and surrounding the match, the most significant of which related to the health of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who initially succumbed to a severe bout of food poisoning earlier this week.

The knock-on effect of that, however, was the 71-year-old Italian today requiring abdominal surgery after aggravating scar tissue from a prior operation.

It left Trapattoni watching the game from his hospital bed, handing over the managerial reins for the game to assistant Marco Tardelli.

The fact all 50,000 seats were not full in hosting such prestigious opposition will likely have raised a few eyebrows within the FAI hierarchy, but these are early days and this was only a friendly.

Then there was Keane's historic moment, becoming only the fourth Ireland player in history to achieve a century of caps.
Standing ovation

If the result did not go his way, the 30-year-old Spurs striker will always recall, with 15-month-old son Robbie Jnr in his arms, being given a standing ovation by the 45,200 fans before kick off as they honoured his achievement.

But this game was not all about Ireland, however, as Argentina were looking to pick up the pieces after their hopes and dreams of World Cup glory were shattered just 40 days ago by a harrowing 4-0 defeat to Germany in a quarter final.

That embarrassing loss led to the departure of Diego Maradona as manager while for now, temporary faith has been placed in Sergio Batista, a man who played alongside Maradona in Argentina's 1986 World Cup triumph in Mexico.

Batista's first starting line-up still included eight of the names who figured against Germany, including Messi. The Barcelona forward had the first chance in this game in the eighth minute of the 59 he played, unleashing a turn of pace after collecting a header from Richard Dunne that had fallen into his path.

After turning inside John O'Shea and then spotting Shay Given off his line, his eventual chip was sadly a little too high.

Di Maria winner

That would have been a more fitting opening international goal than what the crowd were eventually treated to in the 20th minute.

Gonzalo Higuain was 10 yards behind the last Ireland player when goalkeeper Sergio Romero boomed a long goal kick up field.

That was perfectly legitimate as Fifa laws dictate, although it seemed to be the main bone of contention as the Republic players vented their anger at one of the Danish assistants afterwards.

Higuain touched the ball on for an offside Di Maria to then loft a chip over Given, the ball crossing the line with help from the inside of the left-hand post.

Ireland's protests were perhaps a little lengthy for a friendly, but the goal was allowed to stand, after which they were second best for the remainder of the half to an Argentina side never in top gear.

There was a little more zest and zing from Ireland in a second half punctuated by a plethora of expected substitutions for both sides.

Keane, who had dragged one first-half shot well wide, displayed some magic early in the second that culminated in a cross through the six-yard box with no-one on the end to nod home.

Romero's only save then came in the 71st minute when he hauled down a curling shot from Damien Duff that was directed straight at him.

Given's most notable moment followed soon after when he stopped on the line a rasping effort from Fernando Gago.

There was late pressure from Ireland, with Andy Keogh flicking over the bar a Keith Treacy cross, but the home side lacked the nous to break down a comfortable-looking Argentina outfit.
Republic of Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli claimed that he did not want to talk about controversy after a 1-0 defeat by Argentina.

Republic of Ireland: Shay Given (Manchester City); Paul McShane (Hull City), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), John O'Shea (Manchester United), Kevin Kilbane (Hull City); Damien Duff (Fulham), Keith Andrews (Blackburn Rovers), Paul Green (Derby County), Keith Fahey (Birmingham City); Robbie Keane ('Spurs), Cillian Sheridan (Celtic).

Substitutes: Andy Keogh (Wolves) and Greg Cunningham (Manchester City) for Sheridan and Kilbane 56; Darron Gibson (Manchester United) for Andrews 67; Keith Treacy (Preston) for Fahey 77.

Argentina: Romero (AZ Alkmaar); Heinze (Marseille), Samuel (Inter Milan), Demichelis (Bayern Munich), Burdisso (Inter Milan); Messi (Barcelona), Gago (Real Madrid), Mascherano (Liverpool), Banega (Valencia); Higuain (Real Madrid), Di Maria (Real Madrid).

Substitutes: Zabaleta (Manchester City) and Milito (Inter Milan) for Burdisso and Higuain 46; Lavezzi (Napoli) for Messi 58; Insua (Liverpool) for Heinze 72; Gutierrez (Newcastle United) for Di Maria 75; Coloccini (Newcastle United) for Samuel 84.

Match Reaction
Tardelli's side were beaten by Angel Di Maria's solitary effort in the 20th minute after he lobbed Shay Given to give Argentina the lead despite appearing offside from Gonzalo Higuain's flick-on to Sergio Romero's goal kick.

The aftermath bore significant resemblance to that of Thierry Henry's clear handball in the build up to France's winner against Ireland last November that sent them to the World Cup, with Given berating the referee's assistant.

However, Tardelli insisted he wanted to talk about the performance of the team rather than the nature of the goal.

"My opinion was offside but I would prefer to speak about the players and the team," he said.

"I don't know but I think we paid attention during the match whether it was onside or not.

"We played very well in the second half, in the first half the team was afraid, I don't know why."
Important night

On a night of landmarks for the Ireland team, Robbie Keane won his 100th cap and looked to equal the record of England's record goalscorer Bobby Charlton by scoring 49 goals for his country.

It was not to be however on the country's first game in the newly refurbished Aviva Stadium; with Tardelli putting the size of the occasion down to his team's sloppy performance in the first period.

"I think maybe as it was a very important night for our captain (Keane)," he added.

"I'm very sorry because if he'd scored then maybe he would have reached Bobby Charlton's record.

"It would have been very important for him but I hope he will score next time."

Trapattoni recovery

Tardelli took the reins in light of manager Giovanni Trapattoni being taken to hospital, but insisted that he made the choices and that the veteran Italian was recovering well.

"I spoke with Giovanni before the match but he told me to decide what I want. I spoke with him before and he is very well and I am very happy because he's been operated on and he is ok," said Tardelli.

"This night I was in the chair beside Giovanni, my chair is beside him."

Keane also spoke of his disappointment not to get on the scoresheet, claiming that the quality of the opposition, which included World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, as the main factor why they failed to perform.

"It was one of those nights," he said.

"We couldn't get near them, to be honest. They're some of the best players in the world.

"We didn't really create a lot of chances.

"It wasn't the best game for us but we can take some positives."
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