Republic of Ireland 1-1 Estonia (5-1 agg)

Stephen Ward scores for the Republic in the second leg against Estonia
Stephen Ward scores for the Republic in the second leg against Estonia

The Republic of Ireland sealed their place in the Euro 2012 finals after a draw in Dublin secured a 5-1 aggregate victory over Estonia in the play-off.

Robbie Keane wasted two early chances before Stephen Ward fired in from close range to put the hosts ahead.

Estonia rarely threatened but they levelled on 57 minutes when keeper Shay Given failed to keep out a powerful Konstantin Vassiljev strike.

Richard Dunne missed out with a header as the Republic cruised through.

The Republic made a blistering start and Keane should have given the hosts an early breakthrough.

The LA Galaxy striker was put through by a Kevin Doyle flick-on after five minutes but keeper Pavel Londak raced out to block before Keane was able to strike the dropping ball.

Keane had no excuse 60 minutes later when he shot wide from three yards after Londak failed to hold Damien Duff's shot.

Estonia were toothless in attack and they were forced into a change with Sander Puri replacing the injured Dmitri Kruglov.

Ward calmed any remaining Irish nerves on 31 minutes, firing low and hard into the net after Londak could only push a Doyle header into his path.

Given was called into meaningful action for the first time five minutes later, easily saving an effort from Vladimir Voskoboinikov.

Ward was first to threaten in the second half but the full-back's weak shot failed to trouble Londak.

A rare mistake from Given gifted Estonia a 57th-minute equaliser, with Vassiljev's 25-yard strike flying in after escaping the grasp of the the Aston Villa keeper.

Dunne wasted an excellent chance to restore the Republic's lead when the big defender headed straight at Londak from a free-kick.

Republic skipper Keane received a rapturous ovation from the Aviva Stadium crowd as he walked off after being substituted.

Estonia were buoyed by their goal and Given had to be alert to punch clear a fierce shot from Martin Vunk.

The game fizzled out in last 15 minutes with the tie over as a contest.

Rep of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, Duff (Fahey 79), Whelan, Andrews, Hunt (McGeady 59), Keane (Cox 67), Doyle. Subs Not Used: Westwood, McCarthy, O'Dea, Walters.

Goals: Ward 32.

Estonia: Londak, Jaager, Rahn, Klavan, Kruglov (Puri 18), Teniste, Vassiljev, Vunk, Lindpere (Kink 54), Saag, Voskoboinikov (Purje 72). Subs Not Used: Kotenko, Sisov, Dmitrijev, Barengrub.

Booked: Rahn, Vunk.

Goals: Vassiljev 57.

Att: 51,151

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland).

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