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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Holland's delight at Ireland triumph

PUBLISHED: 11:29 12 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:49 03 March 2010

SOCCER: Town skipper Matt Holland described Iran as being "no mugs" after the Republic of Ireland's 2-0 World Cup qualifying play-off win in Dublin on Saturday.

TOWN skipper Matt Holland described Iran as being "no mugs" after the Republic of Ireland's 2-0 World Cup qualifying play-off win in Dublin on Saturday.

The central midfield man and his international team-mates now go for a second leg in Tehran's Azadi Stadium on Thursday, a game that will be watched by a crowd of over 100,000.

An Ian Harte penalty in the first half and a Robbie Keane goal after the break gave Mick McCarthy's side their first game advantage.

Holland said: "We were delighted to score twice but the big bonus was the clean sheet. We know if we score just one in Iran then they have to score four times.

"It was a decent result and a decent performance. But we know that there is still a lot of hard work left to be done.

"They showed that they are no mugs and can be dangerous up front. There will be an intimidating atmosphere for the return leg."

Holland is now set for a 15th cap on Thursday in a match where his captain and central midfield partner Roy Keane is likely to be ruled out with an injured knee.

Charlton's Mark Kinsella is set to replace him.

There were two other Town players in international action over the weekend.

Reserve left-back Amir Karic played for Slovenia as they took a step nearer qualifying. His team achieved a 2-1 advantage over Romania at the Olympia Stadium in Ljubjana. The second leg is in Romania on Wednesday.

Blues front man Pablo Counago was in scoring action for Spain Under-21's as they beat Portugal at home 2-1. Counago scored after 25 minutes and also had a second-half goal disallowed.

He will be taking part in the return game on Wednesday in Faro.

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