Last Updated: 06/06/09 8:26pm
Excellent result for the Irish - this surely kills off Bulgaria's qualification hopes and all-but secure the Republic of second place in the group at the very least.
McGeady drifts in from the right flank and blasts the ball inches past the post. Good effort by the substitute and almost a late winner.
The Republic are defending bravely, Bulgaria are going for it now, they know they must win this game.
Free-kick to Bulgaria on the very edge of the box for a harsh handball against Whelan, for which he is booked.
As things stand, this would be an excellent result for the Republic. They would have taken a point before the game without a doubt.
St Ledger defends well against Makriev to deny the substitute the chance to get on the end of Telkiyski's cross.
Berbatov ghosts in behind the visiting defence but instead of heading for goal from ten yards out, he tries to control it and the ball slips away from him. That should have been 2-1.
The Republic started well and were well worth their lead but a defensive error let Bulgaria back into the match and they piled the pressure on towards the end of the half. It should be an interesting second 45.
Telkiyski beats the offside flag and his header at the back post comes off Whelan and behind for another corner. It's all Bulgaria.
The Republic are sitting really deep now with Bulgaria firing plenty of crosses into the box. It oculd be a long nine minutes until half time.
The Irish have totally dominated the game and did not look under any pressure at all, but all the good work has been undone. The home crowd are right up for this now.
GOAL - TELKIYSKI. Really poor defending as Kilbane lets a high ball float over his head and Telkiyski only has to slot past Given to make it 1-1.
Hunt blasts a volley well over the bar from the edge of the box. As it stands, the Republic would go top of the group, ahead of world champions Italy!
Martin Petrov almost makes it 1-1 just moments later but with Given out of his goal, he blasts over from a tight angle.
GOAL - DUNNE. The Republic have a vital lead! Dunne is left completely unmarked by Berbatov and is left with a free header which he thumps into the back of the net.
Duff glides past Kishishev and the Bulgaria man is forced to trip the winger. Free-kick to the Republic.
Berbatov almost breaks the deadlock but his header from six yards out lands on the top of the net. He should have done better there, a let-off for the Republic.
Strong start for the Republic, that's three half-decent chances they have had in the opening 11 minutes.
Robbie Keane goes close to opening the scoring as he strikes Dunne's downward header in the box on the turn but lashes it over. He was only six yards out there and although it wasn't easy, he will have expected to do better.
First effort of the game comes from Stephen Hunt who gets on the end of Damien Duff's cross but his header from 12 yards out is held by Ivankov.
The hosts are the favourites for the game at 11/10 with Sky Bet, who make the Republic 12/5 and the draw 2/1.
Rep of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Kilbane, Duff, Whelan, Andrews, Hunt, Keane, Folan. Subs: Henderson, McGeady, Miller, Kelly, Best, Keogh, Nolan. Referee: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark)
Here are the teams - Bulgaria: Ivankov, Milanov, Stoyanov, Tomasic, Kishishev, Angelov, Stiliyan Petrov, Telkiyski, Berbatov, Martin Petrov, Bojinov. Subs: Mihailov, Todorov, Dimitrov, Topuzakov, Domovchiyski, Makriev, Georgiev.
Bulgaria boss Stanimir Stolinov sends his big guns into battle with the Republic of Ireland as he looked to rekindle hopes of World Cup qualification. English-based dangermen Dimitar Berbatov, Martin Petrov and Valeri Bojinov, who all missed the 1-1 draw in Dublin at the end of March through injury, are included, along with former Charlton defender Radostin Kishishev. Republic manager Giovanni Trapattoni makes three changes to the side which drew 1-1 in Italy, two of them enforced, as the injured Paul McShane and Kevin Doyle make way, with Aiden McGeady having to make do with a seat on the bench. Preston defender Sean St Ledger and Hull striker Caleb Folan are handed first competitive starts for their country, while Damien Duff returns from injury in place of Andy Keogh.