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Half-Time Report: Jonathan Walters brace puts Republic of Ireland ahead

Jonathan Walters scores twice in the first half to give the Republic of Ireland a 2-1 lead over Austria at half time in their World Cup qualifying match.

The Republic of Ireland have come from behind to take a 2-1 lead at half time in their World Cup qualifying match against Austria at the Aviva Stadium this evening.

Ireland's Jonathan Walters celebrates after scoring a penalty against Austria on March 26, 2013© PA Photos

David Alaba had the first chance of the game for the visitors, taking a strike from 35 yards out, but his effort bounced just wide of the post.

The deadlock was broken just 11 minutes in, as Ciaran Clark lost the ball to Zlatko Junuzovic in midfield, allowing the Werder Bremen midfielder to pick out Martin Harnik in the box, who was able to slot the ball past David Forde.

Austria's Martin Harnik scores against Republic of Ireland on March 26, 2013© PA Photos

Ireland had an appeal for a penalty turned down five minutes later, but they were awarded a spot kick in the 24th minute, as Shane Long was brought down inside the box by Emanuel Pogatetz.

Stoke City's leading goalscorer this season, Jonathan Walters, stepped up to take the penalty, sending Heinz Lindner the wrong way to cancel out Harnik's earlier effort.

The home side finished the half strongly, and were able to take the lead just before the break as Walters added his second, heading the ball in from a corner.

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Ireland's Jonathan Walters celebrates after scoring a penalty against Austria on March 26, 2013
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