International round-up

by Stuart Vose

Westwood and O'Shea help see off Kazakhs.

John O’Shea and Keiren Westwood helped the Republic of Ireland to a winning start in their World Cup qualifying group last Friday.

Both played the full 90 minutes in the Republic’s 2-1 win over minnows Kazakhstan.

But the three points were only secured late on in Astana with the Kazakhs leading 1-0 with just three minutes to go.

It looked as if Kairat Nurdauletov’s 37th-minute goal would be enough for the hosts only for Giovanni Trapattoni’s side to conjure up a late, late show.

Robbie Keane netted a last-gasp equaliser from the penalty spot before Kevin Doyle volleyed home the winner in the final moments.

The Irish now head to Fulham’s Craven Cottage to face Oman in a friendly tomorrow (Tuesday).

Meanwhile, three young stars could be in action at under-21 level tonight as Euro 2013 qualifying reaches its climax.

Danny Rose and Connor Wickham are in the England Under-21 squad to face Norway in a crunch clash at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium.

The Three Lions are two points ahead of the Norwegians at the top of their qualifying group ahead of tonight’s final game.

John Egan’s Republic of Ireland face Italy in Casarano tonight having already been eliminated.