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'The most important thing was the three points' - Keane hat-trick keeps Ireland in contention

'The most important thing was the three points' - Keane hat-trick keeps Ireland in contention

David Maher

The Republic of Ireland captain marked his record international appearance with three goals but is fully focused on helping his country reach the 2014 World Cup

Robbie Keane took his international tally to a record 126 appearances and 59 goals, after scoring a hat-trick in the Republic of Ireland's 3-0 World Cup qualification win over the Faroe Islands at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night. The Irish captain was delighted to receive the match ball, but remains focused on guiding his team to next summer's World Cup finals.

Speaking to RTÉ after the match, Keane spoke of his delight at the win. "It was nice to get the goals, but the most important thing was the three points," Keane admitted. "All in all, it's been a good day for us."

Ireland took the lead after just five minutes when Aiden McGeady crossed for Keane who was in a good position in the area. "Aiden was on fire for the first half especially, he was killing the full-back," Keane said. "I just anticipated the pull back, and lucky enough for me, I was there and managed to get the first goal. It's always important when you're playing against these teams to get the first goal early enough, and we managed to do that.

"I've been lucky enough in my career to score a few like this, you get used to being in certain positions. Thankfully for me and the team the first goal came early, and we kicked on from there."

The Boys in Green sit in third-place in the Group C table, behind Austria on goal difference, and Keane feels that goal difference could prove crucial to separate the sides after the final game. "That's what I said at half-time, we can't stop," Keane revealed. "It's important to keep going and get as many goals as we can. I think Austria have plus nine, so it's important to get as many goals as possible. We got three, so hopefully we can worry about getting points against other teams rather than goals."

Keane now his his sights set on qualifying for Brazil, and adding to his 126 international appearances with another championship finals appearance. "I keep saying, it's a privilege and an honour to play for your country. Pulling this green jersey on means a hell of a lot to me, and long may it continue."

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