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Euro 2020 qualifiers: Republic labour to 2-0 win against Gibraltar

Robbie Brady celebrates his goal with Enda Stevens

Republic of Ireland moved five points clear at the top of Group D in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a laboured 2-0 win against Gibraltar.

Joseph Chipolina’s own goal was all that separated the sides until Robbie Brady’s thumping injury-time header.

Brady’s late goal added some gloss to what was another frustrating night for Mick McCarthy’s side against Gibraltar.

Denmark’s 5-1 defeat of Georgia allowed the Irish to extend their pool lead but with more difficult games remaining.

McCarthy’s side must play both of their matches against top seeds Switzerland in the autumn and will complete their European Championship qualifying campaign at home to Denmark on 18 November.

Gibraltar park the bus as the Republic’s breaks down

The Republic squad’s arrival at the Aviva Stadium was delayed by 40 minutes after their team bus broke down but the shortened warm up did not deter the home side from playing with ambition against a team that they had struggled to break down in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier.

McCarthy handed Scott Hogan and Callum Robinson their first competitive starts in a more attack-minded 4-4-2 than the 4-3-3 shape employed in the 1-1 draw in Copenhagen last week, with Brady and Glenn Whelan the pair to make way.

Mick McCarthy posed with members of the Republic's police escort

Hogan, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Sheffield United, showed a good understanding with Blades’ striker David McGoldrick in the opening exchanges, with the Aston Villa forward producing a delicate touch to offer his strike partner an early sight of goal that he flashed over from a narrow angle.

Gibraltar, with Real Oviedo-bound Tjay De Barr in a lone attacking role, were content to pack their defence and frustrate their hosts with Hogan caught offside three times in the opening 20 minutes.

Lucky break for the opener

The Republic’s opening goal came just after Gibraltar had produced their most threatening passage of play and Jeff Hendrick had to be alert to track back and intercept a crucial pass with his defence exposed.

Ireland immediately countered down the right through Seamus Coleman and Robinson.

Ireland's David McGoldrick shoot deflects off Joseph Chipolina of Gibraltar to score his sides first goal

Robinson’s through pass rebounded back to Coleman and the Ireland captain’s pull back found McGoldrick, whose instinctive shot was going wide before taking a heavy deflection off Joseph Chipolina to divert the ball into the net – denying the impressive McGoldrick a first international goal.

The goal revived the Irish attack and Robinson had three opportunities to score, including a back-heeled flick that trickled wide and a curling left-footed strike that was just off the mark as the hosts threatened to double their lead.

Brady makes an impact

The Republic had over 70% possession against a team ranked 195th in the world but for the second time in this campaign they were frustrated by a side of largely part-time players.

Coleman and Robinson’s burgeoning partnership on the right flank was a constant threat as the hosts dominated a one-sided but turgid second half.

Hogan forced a good save from Gibraltar goalkeeper Kyle Godwin at his near post and McGoldrick cut in off the left wing and smashed a shot against the post but the home supporters were growing restless as the minutes ticked by and further chances were missed.

Robbie Brady wheels away in celebration after scoring Ireland's second goal

Brady, who replaced Robinson, fired a late shot over the bar before finishing off Ireland’s best move of the night in the 92nd minute.

Conor Hourihane’s raking cross-field pass found James McClean in space and his whipped cross found Burnley midfielder Brady arriving at the back post to plant a spectacular header into the roof of the net.

The Irish players celebrated their late breakthrough with a mixture of elation and relief. They remain unbeaten in McCarthy’s second spell in charge but with far more difficult tests still to come.

Line-ups

R. of Ireland

  • 23Randolph
  • 2Coleman
  • 4Duffy
  • 5Keogh
  • 3StevensBooked at 68mins
  • 12RobinsonSubstituted forBradyat 73′minutes
  • 13Hendrick
  • 14Hourihane
  • 11McClean
  • 9McGoldrick
  • 17HoganSubstituted forMaguireat 66′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1McDermott
  • 6Whelan
  • 7Doherty
  • 8Maguire
  • 10Brady
  • 15Egan
  • 16Talbot
  • 18O’Dowda
  • 20Cullen
  • 21Curtis
  • 22Cunningham

Gibraltar

  • 1Goldwin
  • 4Sergeant
  • 14Chipolina
  • 3Chipolina
  • 12Mascarenhas-OliveroBooked at 25mins
  • 7CasciaroSubstituted forBardonat 10′minutes
  • 17HernandezSubstituted forJolleyat 77′minutes
  • 10Walker
  • 6Annesley
  • 11PonsSubstituted forBrittoat 64′minutes
  • 19De Barr

Substitutes

  • 2Garcia
  • 5Jolley
  • 8Bardon
  • 9Styche
  • 15Barnett
  • 16Mouelhi
  • 18Hernandez
  • 20Britto
  • 21Coombes
  • 22Priestley
  • 23Coleing
Referee:
Radu Marian Petrescu

Match Stats

Home TeamR. of IrelandAway TeamGibraltar
Possession
Home75%
Away25%
Shots
Home31
Away2
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home14
Away1
Fouls
Home13
Away4

Live Text

Match ends, Republic of Ireland 2, Gibraltar 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Republic of Ireland 2, Gibraltar 0.

Goal!

Goal! Republic of Ireland 2, Gibraltar 0. Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) header from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by James McClean with a cross.

Attempt saved. Richard Keogh (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robbie Brady with a cross.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Ethan Britto.

Attempt missed. Robbie Brady (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by David McGoldrick.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Roy Chipolina.

Foul by James McClean (Republic of Ireland).

Tjay De Barr (Gibraltar) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. David McGoldrick (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Jack Sergeant.

Attempt missed. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Conor Hourihane.

Foul by Sean Maguire (Republic of Ireland).

Joseph Chipolina (Gibraltar) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Republic of Ireland. Seamus Coleman tries a through ball, but Sean Maguire is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Gibraltar. Ethan Jolley replaces Andrew Hernandez because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Andrew Hernandez (Gibraltar).

Jeff Hendrick (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Tjay De Barr (Gibraltar).

Foul by Sean Maguire (Republic of Ireland).

Kyle Goldwin (Gibraltar) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Joseph Chipolina.

Substitution

Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Robbie Brady replaces Callum Robinson.

Attempt blocked. James McClean (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jeff Hendrick.

Attempt blocked. Callum Robinson (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Enda Stevens.

David McGoldrick (Republic of Ireland) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Enda Stevens.

Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tjay De Barr (Gibraltar).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match because of an injury Shane Duffy (Republic of Ireland).

Attempt missed. Sean Maguire (Republic of Ireland) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Conor Hourihane with a cross following a corner.

Booking

Enda Stevens (Republic of Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Jack Sergeant.

Substitution

Substitution, Republic of Ireland. Sean Maguire replaces Scott Hogan.

Corner, Republic of Ireland. Conceded by Kyle Goldwin.

Attempt saved. Scott Hogan (Republic of Ireland) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by David McGoldrick with a through ball.

Substitution

Substitution, Gibraltar. Ethan Britto replaces Alain Pons.

goal

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