UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier Report: Republic of Ireland 2 - 0 GibraltarMon, Jun 10 2019
Gareth Danaher reports from the Aviva Stadium
The Republic of Ireland claimed all three points against Gibraltar in Group D thanks to an own goal from Joseph Chipolina and one from Robbie Brady at the Aviva Stadium.
Chipolina had the misfortune of seeing David McGoldrick’s shot, which was going wide, deflect in off his body before Brady sealed it with a diving header in injury time to send Ireland into the summer five points clear at the top.
The game was only two minutes old when Ireland got their first chance from a corner. Conor Hourihane whipped in a poor ball but he was given a second chance as the Gibraltar defence cleared it back out to him.
His looped ball found the head of defender Shane Duffy who just headed his effort over the bar.
Moments later Ireland were in again on goa as a neat first-time ball from Scott Hogan through the Gibraltar defensive line played in McGoldrick.
From a narrow angle, however, he rushed his shot and blasted it over the crossbar. A half decent chance for Ireland.
It was clear to say that Gibraltar were happy enough to sit back and soak up the pressure from Ireland.
Gibraltar were forced to make their first substitution after nine minutes when Lee Casciaro hobbled off with what looked to be a hamstring injury and was replaced by Anthony Bardon.
More promising play came a few minutes later when Hogan came to collect a ball and he turned his marker and with space he opened up and let fly but his effort was off target.
Gibraltar never really settled in the opening 20 minutes with half-efforts on goal from Tjay De Barr and Andrew Hernandez.
Ireland’s earlier efforts would eventually pay off on the 29th minute when McGoldrick slotted home, via a wicked deflection from Chipolina, and he is yet to officially score for Ireland.
Callum Robinson started the move charging down the right wing before the ball slipped up beneath him and it fell to Seamus Coleman.
The captain looked up and found McGoldrick in space and he let fly a shot that deflected in off the chest of Chipolina.
It took all of 43 minutes for Gibraltar to win their first corner kick. Liam Walker delivered in a beautiful ball but Richard Keogh headed it out of danger for the Irish.
The second half started much like the first with Ireland really testing Gibraltar. Quick one-touch play between Coleman and Hendrick down the right ended up in an Ireland corner but, despite a decent delivery from Hourihane, nobody was there to connect.
The crowd really hadn’t been given much to cheer about and Mick McCarthy was probably the loudest voice inside the stadium for most of the time.
His running total towards the swear-jar was creeping up judging by the TVs in the press box, and he sounded like he was as unhappy with how Ireland are playing as the fans.
The Coleman and Robinson combination excelled again moments later, Robinson drove a low cross into the area but it took a deflection off John Sergeant.
The ball came out to McGoldrick who wasn’t able to react in time and it bounced off his shin and returned to the Gibraltar goalkeeper.
Once again McGoldrick fires at goal, he was desperate to score. The Sheffield United man cutted inside from the left and pounced into the centre before releasing his shot which beat the keeper but came crashing off the post.
The last few minutes of the game were poor with Ireland having chances but not creating anything from them until Brady slotted home in the ninety second minute.
James McClean drove in a crossfield ball that looped over the keeper and Brady arrived late and slotted it home into the bottom right corner.
Ireland spent the bulk of the evening sending poorly delivered crosses into the Gibraltar penalty area and wondering why they were not having any success.
There wasn’t much creativity or intent behind them and they were just lumping hopeful balls in there and making Gibraltar look like they were playing with Paolo Maldini in their back four.
Mick McCarthy will be happy though to take all three points despite the performance.
Republic of Ireland: Darren Randolph (gk); Seamus Coleman, Enda Stevens, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh, David McGoldrick, James McClean, Callum Robinson (Robbie Brady 72) , Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane, Scott Hogan (Sean Maguire 65).
Gibraltar: Kyle Godwin (gk); Joseph Chipolina, John Sergeant, Louie Annesley, Lee Casciaro (Anthony Bardon 9), Liam Walker, Alain Pons, Jayce Olivero, Roy Chipolina, Andrew Hernandez (Ethan Jolley 75), Tjay De Barr.
Referee: Radu Petrescu.
Attendance: 36,871 (official).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: David McGoldrick (Republic of Ireland).