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Tottenham outcast scores his 50th and 51st goals for the Irish as they record an important win to stay top of Group B ahead of Russia and Slovakia on goal difference

Robbie Keane fired a double to secure three precious points for the Republic of Ireland away at Macedonia on Saturday with his 50th and 51st goals for his country.

The first came early when the striker's 30-yard drive caught a fortunate deflection that saw it err into the bottom-corner of Martin Bogatinov's net on eight minutes.

Keane finished his double on 36 minutes with a sprightly right-footed finish - this time unaided - into the same bottom corner of the Macedonia keeper's net.

However, Ireland weren't yet out of the woods then.

Just minutes later, Manchester United defender John O'Shea fouled Inter striker Goran Pandev inside the box.

However, Ivan Trickovski hit his shot off Shea Given's crossbar to let the Irish off the hook.

Giovanni Trappatoni's side held on throughout the second half to maintain the 2-0 scoreline and now lead Group B, ahead of Russia and Slovakia on goal difference, each side having 13 points from six qualifying matches.

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