Keane looks strong in training after epic WCQ journey

Ireland striker Robbie Keane

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CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane spent 40 hours in airports and on planes the past week or so, from Los Angeles to Dublin to central Kazakhstan and back. But he reports no ill effects from World Cup qualifying duty and is raring to go Friday night against Colorado (11 pm ET, Univision Deportes).

Keane returned to Southern California on Sunday night after leading Ireland to a 2-1 triumph over the Kazakhs in a World Cup qualifying opener in Astana, the central Asian nation's capital. Keane converted an 89th-minute penalty kick to pull the Irish even, and Kevin Doyle's goal at the finish provided the victory.

“It was obviously nice, considering when we got the goals,” Keane said on Wednesday. “It wasn't looking likely. It was a tough place to go, play on turf, and a team that was very well organized by their manager. It was tough to break them down, but thankfully in the end we got the penalty, and I think that kind of killed them. I could see in their faces that they were kind of disheartened, and we were obviously lucky to get the second goal.

“So obviously delighted. It's never good when you go into a new campaign to start with a defeat.”

Keane had Monday off, trained Tuesday “to get the cobwebs out” and looked strong in Wednesday's session at the Home Depot Center, all sources reported.

“He looks fine,” said captain Landon Donovan, who hopes to return Friday after nearly a month off with a hamstring injury. “He looks sharp and bright and the same, and I'm excited to hopefully get back on the field with him.”

Said Keane: “Don't feel too bad actually. ... Today I felt very good.”

The victory certain buoyed Keane, Donovan said.

“Especially when it's a meaningful game, like that,” Donovan said. “It wasn't a friendly, it was an important qualifying game for him. I knew he was on a high, especially the way that game ended. Scoring two goals late for them to win away was a big deal, so he's come back with a lot of confidence, and I think he's excited to play.”