IBARAKI - Robbie Keane has scored an equaliser deep into injury time to keep Ireland's World Cup hopes still alive in a 1-1 draw with Germany.

The Irish looked to have lost, sending Germany through to the second round, after striker Miroslav Klose scored his fourth goal of the tournament to give the Germans a 1-0 lead at the end of normal time in group E.

But with seconds of injury time left, a nod-on by giant substitute Niall Quinn left Keane clear and he rapped jubilantly home for a memorable equaliser.

Earlier, Klose, who fired a hat-trick in Germany's record-breaking 8-0 win over Saudi Arabia, had confirmed he could become one of the revelations of the tournament by scoring from a Michael Ballack cross in the 19th minute.

After overcoming the departure of captain Roy Keane for a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in their first game, Ireland lived up to their fiery reputation.

But they looked short of ideas and were hampered by defensive mistakes, most notably when Ian Harte failed to challenge Klose as he beat goalkeeper Shay Given for his fourth goal in the finals, the highest tally so far.

Germany recovered from a nervous start to control the game from midfield despite Ireland's best efforts to take the game to their opponents.

Striker Keane missed a bicycle kick just before the break, blowing what would have been a spectacular equaliser.

The combative Irishmen kept trying after the interval and were denied in the 57th minute by a brilliant save by Germany goalkeeper and captain Oliver Kahn from an close-range effort from striker Damien Duff.

Germany, who relied on a faultless performance from defence marshal Carsten Ramelow to shrug off Ireland's spirited but often clumsy challenge, came close to doubling their advantage when Jancker lobbed Given in the 58th minute, but the ball landed wide.

Klose remained dangerous, as he proved in the 77th minute with a header that flew over the bar, but failed to inflict further punishment on Ireland.



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