13.10.2004 at 19:30 Lansdowne Road
Republic of Ireland
2 - 0
Referee: Romans Lajuks (Latvia)
World Cup Qualifier / Prog-match
Republic of Ireland 2 Faroe Islands 0
It proved to be Robbie Keane's night, but there was the underlying feeling it should have been so much more for the Republic of Ireland.
Keane duly took his place in his nation's record books with a first-half brace, taking his tally to 23 to become Ireland's all-time leading goalscorer.
But, undoubtedly, manager Brian Kerr's side should have had many more goals to show for their superiority in this World Cup qualifier at Lansdowne Road against the group's minnows, who had been hammered 6-0 in their opening clash in Switzerland.
Despite Keane's double, he and strike partner Damien Duff, who played up front for the opening 75 minutes in the absence of Clinton Morrison, will wonder how they did not manage hat-tricks.
But on a night like this, and given the calibre of the opposition, it was perhaps inevitable Keane would make his mark, coming in the 14th minute.
He will surely hand Duff a big pat on the back for the goal which set him apart from the man he previously and jointly held the record with in Niall Quinn.
It was Duff's mazy, jinking run into the area that mesmerised the Faroes defence before Jon Roi Jacobsen finally brought the Chelsea star's surge to a halt with a crude tackle.
Latvian referee Romans Lajuks had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and you could sense the buzz that suddenly enveloped Lansdowne Road when he placed the ball on the spot.
His drive was accurate, if not exactly true as goalkeeper Jakup Mikkelsen dived the right way and managed to get a faint touch on the ball, but it was not enough to deny Keane his moment of glory.
The Irish fans erupted, Keane did his customary cartwheel and what must be for the first and only time at this venue, Cliff Richard's 'Congratulations' belted out across the tannoy system.
It took 18 minutes for Ireland to score again, with Duff again playing his part in a one-two with Roy Keane who had reacted smartly to steal a Poi Thorsteinsson throw off Julian Johnsson.
After the exchange with Duff, the Manchester United midfielder drove towards the area and fired in a cross which caused confusion between Jon Roi Jacobsen and Mikkelsen, with Keane taking advantage by sliding home his and Ireland's second into an empty net.
But the other opportunities that went astray were remarkable, with Mikkelsen pulling off several fine saves, with his first as early as the third minute when he tipped away low to his right-hand post a 25-yard free-kick from Liverpool's Steve Finnan.
After Keane's two goals, he should have had his hat-trick in the 33rd minute, guiding goalwards a Duff centre from the right with a powerful downward header, but Mikkelsen was again on hand to pull off a fine low save.
Mikkelsen then denied Duff seven minutes later, launching himself to his left to beat away a rising left-foot drive from 15 yards before Andy Reid then somehow skied over the bar a clear chance with the goal gaping moments later.
Following the break the chances continued to come and go with first Duff slicing a shot after being played through by Kevin Kilbane.
Duff had his head in his hands soon after following an 18-yard drive that skimmed the crossbar, before Mikkelsen then twice produced close-range blocks to further deny Keane the prospect of a hat-trick.
But the Republic, after the euphoria of their goalless draw against France in Paris on Saturday, lost their way in the second half and there will undoubtedly be disappointment at that fact.
Gary Doherty arrived in the 76th minute and he was almost immediately denied by the exceptional Mikkelsen.
Liam Miller, a 57th-minute replacement for Manchester United team-mate Roy Keane, soon blazed over following a pull back from Duff, while Robbie Keane was then left one on one with Mikkelsen.
But, instead of rounding the Faroes goalkeeper, he opted for the direct route with a shot that spun off the body of Mikkelsen and, although the ball trickled goalwards, Jacobsen hacked off the line.
Rep of Ireland Given, Carr, O'Brien, Cunningham, O'Shea (Miller 56), Finnan, Roy Keane, Kilbane, Duff, Robbie Keane, Andy Reid.
Subs Not Used: Breen, Holland, Kavanagh, Kenny, Barrett, Doherty.
Booked: Andy Reid, Cunningham.
Goals: Robbie Keane 14 pen, 33.
Faroe Islands Mikkelsen, Thorsteinsson, Oli Johannesen, Jon Roi Jacobsen, Olsen, Borg (Danielsen 85), Johnsson, Benjaminsen, Rogvi Jacobsen (Lakjuni 58), Frederiksberg (Flotum 83), John Petersen.
Subs Not Used: Elttor, Knudsen, Nielsen, Berg.
Booked: Benjaminsen, Rogvi Jacobsen.