Paraguay falls in Ireland warmup
Kevin Doyle and Liam Lawrence teamed up to send Paraguay packing as the Republic of Ireland claimed a World Cup scalp with a 2-1 victory.
Doyle capitalised on a seventh-minute error by Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz to head the home side ahead at the RDS, and Lawrence added a second six minutes before the break in front of a delighted crowd of 16,722.
The South Americans, who beat Brazil and drew with Argentina in Buenos Aires during their qualifying campaign, flattered to deceive before the break, but were more of a threat after it and reduced the deficit through Lucas Barrios' fine 58th-minute strike.
However, despite a late flurry, they were unable to claw their way back as Giovanni Trapattoni's men claimed a creditable victory.
Ireland could have been forgiven for going into the game still smarting at not being able to join the Paraguayans in South Africa, but instead they chose to demonstrate that, regardless of Thierry Henry's illegal contribution to their downfall, they were good enough to be there.
They were indebted to Santa Cruz for their opening goal, which arrived with just seven minutes gone.
Damien Duff and Lawrence worked a free-kick move before the Fulham man delivered the ball into the box, where defender Paul McShane attempted and failed to execute and hugely ambitious overhead effort.
But the ball reared up off the turf and Santa Cruz instinctively headed it on to his own crossbar, allowing Doyle to pounce on the rebound and score.
However, Ireland extended their lead when Doyle chested down Stephen Kelly's cross to Lawrence, who thumped it past goalkeeper Aldo Bobadilla with the help of a deflection off defender Denis Caniza.
However, Paraguay reduced the deficit with 58 minutes gone when Gamarra and Claudio Morel played their way around McShane for the former to slide a pass to Barrios, who dispatched it right-footed past Westwood.
Both managers made changes as Trapattoni handed senior international debuts to Cillian Sheridan, Paul Green and Keith Fahey, while opposite number Gerardo Martino dispensed with three-quarters of his starting midfield.
In the meantime, Westwood was grateful to see Gamarra's teasing 70th-minute cross run harmlessly out of play and Lawrence intercept substitute Aureliano Torres' superb pass to Gamarra with the visitors making a late push.
Man of the match Doyle made way for Shane Long to rapturous applause with three minutes remaining on another good night for Trapattoni and his players.