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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 23 February, 2020

Keane laments 'bobbly' pitch but result matters little ahead of bigger tests

The LA Galaxy striker is more concerned about getting his match fitness right for the start of the MLS season and Ireland’s upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier.

Keane salutes fans as he walks off the pitch.
Keane salutes fans as he walks off the pitch.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

ROBBIE KEANE MAY not have lit up Tallaght Stadium with his performance tonight but the LA Galaxy captain is not too worried.

A 1-0 win over Shamrock Rovers was sealed by Mika Vayrynen’s deflected effort late in the first half, with Keane proving fairly ineffective before being substituted in the 89th-minute.

Far more important games are on the horizon for both club and country as the Galaxy open their MLS Cup defence against Chicago Fire on 7 March, while Ireland’s bid to reach Euro 2016 continues three weeks later when the Boys in Green meet Poland in Dublin.

The surface at Tallaght Stadium proved problematic for both sets of players at times and, speaking to the media after the final whistle, Keane admitted that the pitch wasn’t ideal.

“We were a much better team,” he said. “We kept the ball and at times they couldn’t get near us. They didn’t have a shot on goal and we could have had three or four goals.

“It was tough conditions, the pitch wasn’t great and it was very bobbly. We like to play and we still tried to get it down and pass it. The first half was windy and with a lot of balls over the top you thought you were in a couple of times but the ball just took off.

Tough conditions but as I’ve mentioned all week, the result doesn’t really matter. It’s about getting the minutes under your belt and getting yourself fit.

“The more games you play and the more fitness you get is always good. That’s why I wanted to get at least 80 minutes today, and the next game will be 90 minutes and then come 6 March I’ll have another four or five games under my belt. So I’ll certainly be ready.”

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Ben Blake

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