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Nov 14, 2011

Keane staying for 'special night'

Robbie Keane has refused to miss out on the Republic of Ireland's big night after resisting a request to return the United States ahead of the MLS Cup Final.

Keane, 31, who plies his trade at LA Galaxy, struck twice in Friday night's 4-0 Euro 2012 play-off rout of Estonia in Tallinn, prompting club boss Bruce Arena to suggest he could head back to Los Angeles to prepare for Sunday's showdown with Houston Dynamo.

However, Keane was not about to pass up the opportunity to celebrate qualification for a major tournament finals for the first time on Irish soil against Estonia at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesay night.

The Ireland captain said: "They requested could I come back to LA, but obviously the manager and myself and everyone have said 'No', because it's still halfway.

"Even though it would be a tragedy if we didn't qualify now, the job is still not done yet. We have to be professional and do the job properly.

"They requested me to come back with the final on Sunday, but this could be one of the greatest moments in Irish history for me playing for my country, and to miss a special night - hopefully - like this tomorrow night, it wouldn't feel right.''

Asked if Galaxy had been annoyed at the decision, Keane insisted they had understood. He said: "No, no, because I am with the national team. It would be disrespectful to the players and everyone associated thinking that the job is 100% done.

"We know in football anything can happen. They requested it and they were happy with what the manager and the Association said, so believe me, it's no problem.''

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