Eurosport - Tue, 25 May 21:44:00 2010
Kevin Doyle scored one and set up another goal as the Republic of Ireland ended a five-match winless streak with a deserved 2-1 victory over World Cup-bound Paraguay in Dublin.
Doyle headed Ireland into an early lead and created the second for Liam Lawrence as Giovanni Trapattoni's men won for the first time this year.
Paraguay pulled a goal back after the break but could not force an equaliser.
Still coming to terms with a controversial defeat to France in the World Cup play-offs, Ireland started positively and were denied a clear opportunity when the linesman incorrectly flagged Doyle offside.
Any sense of injustice did not last long as Doyle gave the hosts the lead just moments later. An innocuous-looking free-kick from Damien Duff caused confusion in the Paraguay defence, and after Roque Santa Cruz headed against his own bar Doyle was there to head into an empty net.
Lawrence appeared to be felled inside the box after half an hour, but Swiss referee Jerome Dalapierre ignored Irish appeals for a penalty.
But the Stoke midfielder did not wait long to double Ireland's advantage. Doyle flicked on into the path of Lawrence, who drilled past Aldo Bobadilla into the far corner via a deflection.
The below-par South Americans gradually improved after the break.
After Duff and Robbie Keane squandered chances to make it 3-0, Argentine-born debutant Lucas Barrios pulled a goal back, much against the run of play, as Gerardo Martino's men finally sparked into life.
A teasing cross from Rodolfo Gamarra eluded everyone, but drifted narrowly wide of the far post, and Paul McShane made a crucial sliding intervention to ensure Ireland's lead remained intact.
A flurry of late substitutions slowed the game's rhythm - and Ireland won for the first time in six matches.