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By ESPN Staff

Keane plays down caps record

Robbie Keane said the achievement of becoming Ireland's most capped player played second fiddle in his mind to getting all three points during the 3-0 win against the Faroe Islands on Friday.

Keane collected his 126th cap in Ireland's World Cup qualifier in Dublin to pass the record set by Shay Given, but the Los Angeles Galaxy striker said the most important thing for him was getting the victory.

And the 32-year-old ensured his side would be celebrating a triumph with a hat-trick, scoring in the fifth, 55th and 81st minutes to extend his tally as his nation's record goalscorer.

Keane told Sky Sports 1: "All in all it's been a great occasion for everybody, glad it's over now. There was a lot of fuss before the game, the important thing obviously was concentrating on playing football, we did that and got the three points so everybody's happy.

"There was a lot of talk about getting the record caps but for me that was almost in the back of my mind, it was about playing the game and playing in the right manner and getting the right result for the team.

"For me it was just another game. Certainly it was a special occasion for everybody involved, my family, for me I was just concentrating on the game and getting the result for the lads.''

Coach Giovanni Trapattoni reserved praise for Keane, insisting the striker is the best Irish player he has ever seen.

"I particularly wish to congratulate our captain because for 30 years, I have known the Irish team and the Irish players and for me, he is the best Irish player I have known in 30 years," he said.

"I wish to congratulate him because he scored. At the moment, he is in good form, but I repeat what I said yesterday, he is also one of the best players in Europe."

The victory lifts Ireland up to third place in Group C on 11 points, level with second-placed Austria and five behind leaders Germany.

They now face their two biggest challengers for second spot, Sweden and Austria, in their next two matches in September and Keane believes those could end up being decisive.

"It's a good thing we have to play Austria and we have to play Sweden, I think our main focus now is on ourselves rather than worry about the opposition,'' he said.

"We know exactly what we have to do, we have to win our games. The two games coming up are massive for us, it's probably make or break."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report


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