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joys in green Callum Robinson's double helps Ireland to first competitive win under Stephen Kenny

Azerbaijan 0 Ireland 3

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9 October 2021; Callum Robinson of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Azerbaijan and Republic of Ireland at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

9 October 2021; Callum Robinson of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Azerbaijan and Republic of Ireland at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

9 October 2021; Callum Robinson of Republic of Ireland celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match between Azerbaijan and Republic of Ireland at the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

After a week in which Callum Robinson dominated the headlines with his words, this evening in Baku he let his feet do the talking with a memorable brace to hand Ireland a valuable World Cup qualifying win over Azerbaijan.

Robinson, who caused somewhat of a storm in midweek by revealing that he refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19, scored a first-half double to set Ireland on their way to their first competitive win under manager Stephen Kenny.

The West Brom striker put Ireland ahead after only eight minutes with a powerful drive that flew into the top left corner of the Azerbaijan net.

Following a sustained spell of pressure from the home side, Robinson was again on hand with his shot taking a deflection before finding the right side of the Azeri goal.

A VAR check followed, but the goal was given much to the delight of Kenny.

With Jamie McGrath replacing Daryl Horgan at half-time, and Chiedozie Ogbene coming on for Adam Idah in the 58th minute, Ireland had numerous chances to increase their lead.

Robinson had a great chance to complete his hat-trick on 65 minutes, but his shot was blocked.

Gavin Bazunu was called upon in the 79th minute to produce a tremendous reflex save to push Garayev's powerfully-hit long-range effort onto the crossbar and maintain Ireland's two-goal lead.

Ireland had to deal with a series of Azerbaijan attacks in the closing minutes, however, Shane Duffy came close to extending Ireland's lead in the 85th minute with a close-range header but goalkeeper Magomedaliyev was equal to it.

Magomedaliyev again denied man-of-the-match Robinson his hat-trick a minute later.

Chiedozie Ogbene finally got Ireland's third goal on 90 minutes after he headed home Josh Cullen's corner - another memorable moment for the forward who was making his competitive debut.

There was further drama when Troy Parrott was denied a penalty, but Kenny and his squad will be happy with a very positive evening in Baku.

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