You'd be forgiven for watching the first 88 minutes of Ireland's match at Kazakhstan and thinking the Boys In Green picked up right where they left off after last summer's disastrous Euro 2012 showing.
"Our boys are going to lose to Kazakhstan," they were shouting in Dublin. "There's no way we'll score a last-minute goal. Not on the road."
The naysayers were right. The Irish didn't score a last-minute goal.
They scored two.
The Guinness is flowing like water tonight in the streets of Galway, Cork and Kilkenny—because Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle pulled Ireland out of the depths and into a three-point start on their World Cup 2014 qualification hopes.
Ireland's first goal—Keane's penalty shot in the 89th minute—was nothing spectacular. The Irish captain has done it dozens of times before, and although he followed through in a tough spot on the road, it wasn't the highlight of the night. It wasn't even close.
Nope. The spotlight tonight belongs to Doyle, who came on for an ineffective Simon Cox in the 57th minute and provided the spark Cox couldn't on offense.
The long-time Wolverhampton striker hit an incredibly good right-footed shot high, through the middle, and from close range. It was a beautiful finish off an equally beautiful pass from Stephen Ward.
Don't believe me?
Check out the video and let me know what you think about the goal Doyle—and the Kazakhstan national team—will never forget.