Ireland have beaten South Africa 1-0 at Thomond Park in Limerick. Read how it happened here with Ed Leahy's minute-by-minute matchtracker.


92 mins - Ref blows up for full time and Ireland will be happy enough with the victory even if the performance wasn't up to much. A good night for Liam Lawrence and a few other newbies if nothing else. Roll on Italy next month.

90 mins - Corner to SA - tame header drifts wide again. Cannot see Ireland conceeding one now against this attack.

89 mins - An awful attempt squirts off the outside of the boot and goes about 20 yards wide. Would have been an idea to get at least one shot on target all night. Westwood yet to make a save.

88 mins - Free kick to SA about 15 yards outside the box after a very soft foul by Andrews. Can't see this causing Westwood any problems.

85 mins - Best turns well on the edge of the box and gets a decent shot away but just wide. Best has been very impressive since he came on. Can see the twin towers Best and Folan playing a big part in Trap's plans should we qualify for the World Cup or even get into the play-offs.

84 mins - Best & Lawrence do well out the right and Ireland have a couple of good efforts blocked. Best cracks the second one with his left foot that was blocked by the defender. It looked like it was flying into the top corner.

80 mins - Great ball across the box by Kelly - who has assumed the captain's armband - and Folan attacks with his head but just mistimes his jump and the ball goes wide.

78 mins - Nice ball by Nolan up the left wing for Duff but the Fulham winger loses the ball. Steady night for Nolan so far with very little coming down his side of the pitch to deal with. Trap should be happy enough with his performance. O'Dea also looks steady, making his senior international debut.

77 mins - SUB IRL - Duff for Keogh SA Thwala for Masilela

75 mins - Another chance for SA to test keeper but they try to play their way through the solid wall that is the Irish defence. Again St Ledger does well to block and Ireland clear.

72 mins - More SA pressure and Pienaar almost skips in to score but his shot is well blocked by St Ledger.

68 mins - SA enjoy a half chance but cleared for a corner. Westwood collects the corner with no problems - probably the first thing that he has had to do all night.

67 mins - Subs seem to have re-invigorated SA as they pile forward looking for the equaliser.

64 mins - Not sure which is more annoying - 80,000 of those blow horn things that we witnessed at the Confederations Cup or three or four on their own that we have tonight at Thomond.

63 mins - SUB SA - Tshabalala for Parker

60 mins - SUB IRL - O'Dea for McShane.

59 mins - Great chance for Ireland as Best through on goal but blocked. Good play by Lawrence who nearly gets a second. Looked like the ball was deflected by Gould's hand. Another penalty shout not given by the ref.

58 mins - SUBS - IRL - Best for Doyle, SA - Khenyeza for Khenyeza

57 mins - Irish string about six passes together down the right and Kelly goes for a run down the wing. Wins a throw-in near the corner flag.

55 mins - Keogh tries to catch the keeper off his line from 50 yards. Ambitious to say the least.

53 mins - Game slowed down again with more of the same from the first half.

47 mins - Ireland look to have a bit more intensity about their game, closing the ball down a lot quicker than the first half. It's still all SA on the ball but again when the ball is played into the box there is no one there. An easy night so far for the centre-halfs and the keeper.

46 mins - No changes at half time by the looks of things. South Africa had a whopping 73% possession in the first half. That has to be a concern for the Trap.


45 mins - Half-time whistle and Ireland go into the break one goal to the good. Lawrence the definite shining light of the first half in a green jersey. Folan and Keogh have also done well but the South Africans are getting way too much time on the ball in midfield. Unable to test the Irish yet though, so maybe the Irish are happy to sit and soak up the pressure.

44 mins - Sure enough, just as I praise Lawrence for his defensive work, the left-back Masilela breaks into the box and crashes one into the side-netting. Should have squared or at least tested Westwood.

43 mins - Lawrence back defending again and Houghton empathises with him having played that position for Ireland, tracking the full-back's forrays forward.

40 mins - Ray Houghton is commentating here and challenging Ireland to go and get a second and maybe even a third. Can't see that happening myself but you never know.

38 mins - Another chance for Ireland as Doyle's effort is blocked as is Lawrence's effort. Irish buoyed by the goal, which came against the run of play, it has to be said. But as always with following an Ireland team, we'll take it... Folan has to take great credit for winning that free for the goal as he really had no right to win it against four defenders.

36 mins - GOAL - Lawrence fires a Beckham-esque free into the top left corner of the net leaving the keeper with no chance. The free was from about 32 yards out, dead centre in front of the goal so perfect place for Lawrence to show what he can do.

34 mins - Folan expected to win the long ball against four SA defenders. Amazingly he wins the ball and a free kick is earned about ten yards outside the box.

33 mins - More lovely play by SA as Pienaar and Gaxa exchange a couple of fancy flicks. This time they make their way into the box but cannot get a shot off.

29 mins - SA passing their way through the Irish at will - nice to watch but not making any inroads into the last third of the pitch. Lawrence back defending in front of Kelly so good to see that he's putting in a bit of a shift even if he's not getting much ball.

26 mins - Is it me or is the stadium a lot fuller now than it was ten minutes ago. Maybe they've opened the gates outside - or it could be just the Dubs arriving, late, as usual...

24 mins- Folan back on the pitch and Ireland suddenly get some possession. Lawrence again on the right whips it to the back post - this time Keogh gets on the end of the cross and knocks a good ball back across the goal. SA clear. Looks like a bit of a game plan with Keogh attacking the back post. At least it appears that Trap appreciates Lawrence's ability to deliver good ball.

22 mins - SA corner causes problems in the Irish box. Doyle back defending and blocks a shot that would have been on target. Back come the visitors and Paul McShane allows a dangerous ball to go across his goal. No one there for SA and Ireland clear.

21 mins - More possession football from SA but not going anywhere with Westwood still not tested. 83% possession for SA in the last ten mins.

18 mins - Pienaar whips a nice ball over the wall but about two yards over the crossbar as well.

17 mins - Soft free kick on the edge of the box as Andrews puts his arm across Pienaar. Great position to test the keeper here just to the left of the D, three yards outside the box.

15 mins - Corner to SA cleared by St Ledger. Folan has left the pitch for some quick stitches on the wound. Ireland playing with ten men at the moment.

12 mins - Penalty shout for Ireland as Folan is barged out of the way by Gould. Ball may have reached the keeper before Folan got to it but certainly a decent shout of a penalty all the same. Ref not interested as Folan leaves the pitch with what looks like a bad gash on his face after a clash of heads there.

11 mins - Pienaar sneaks around the back on the right and pulls a decent ballback to Parker who snatches at it and micues his shot. No trouble for Westwood

9 mins - Nice bit of possession for the Africans but end up running the ball out of play. Nice and composed all the same.

Reminder - Extended highlights of this game on RTÉ Two at 10.25pm.

5 mins - Long ball (what else) over the top for Folan to run on to - does well and feeds Lawrence on the right wing who clips a lovely ball into the back post for Andy Keogh to attack. Good move but easily cleared. Quinn or Cascarino would have loved that one.

2 mins - Nolan clips a nice ball in the corner for the skipper Doyle who wins a fee. Lawrence into the box but dealt with and cleared for a throw-in.

19.30 - We're up and running. South Africa break forward straight away and try a long-range effort. Gould's effort is high and wide.

19.29 - Personally looking forward to see how Eddie Nolan and Liam Lawrence perform and Westwood in goal can show if he's a serious contender to Given's number one shirt.

Pienaar is playing for South Africa so it's all likely to go through him - Benni McCArthy is still out of favour with the gaffer

19.28pm - Look at that, it's a full house in Thomond... Oh wait a sec, it's actually almost empty just the clever seat design gives the impression that the stands are full.

A terrible crowd have turned out and while it's not the most glamourous of fixtures, it should be enough to bring football fans out to see a level of football that is rare in this neck of the woods.

Maybe we should replace South Africa and play the Liverpool schoolkids... just a thought.

19.20pm - Well there's just ten minutes to go to this vital World Cup, eh, warm-up, reserve-team kickabout in Thomond Park. Will the Limerick natives be tempted out to see Trap's seconds?

Can the FAI's dangled carrott of Italy tickets ensure that the home of Limerick rugby is more than half full for the visit of the team that are so good they named them twice, Bafana Bafana...

19.11pm You can listen to live RTÉ radio commentary with Gabriel Egan and Eoin Hand and keep up with everything pre-match with the Sport @ 7 team.

Ireland: Westwood, Kelly, McShane, St Ledger, Nolan, Lawrence, Gibson, Andrews, Keogh, Folan, Doyle (capt).
Replacements: Murphy, Duff, Miller, Best, McCarthy, Long,
Whelan, O'Dea.

South Africa: Fernandez, Gaxa, Mokoena, Gould, Masilela,
Van Heerden, Mhlongo, Dikgacoi, Pienaar, Mphela, Parker.
Replacements: Baloyi, Ngobeni, Davids, Tshabalala, Mashego,
Fransman, Thwala, Nkosi, Henyekane, Khumalo, Ngcongca, Khenyeza.