Ireland labour to victory over...

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Ireland labour to victory over Gibraltar in Euro 2020 qualifier

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

09:38 10 Jun 2019


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The Republic of Ireland made heavy work of Gibraltar at the Aviva - the match finished 2-0 in their fourth Euro 2020 qualifier.

On a sunny evening at the Aviva, there was a school holiday vibe as the tenor of the crowd skewed distinctly young. But it was Ireland that seemed to be on the beach, with a disjointed display against the minnows.

Goals from David McGoldrick and Robbie Brady made it comfortable in the end, but it was far from cultured football on display.

Ireland looked disjointed, as they attempted to incorporate Scott Hogan and Callum Robinson into the side, after their draw in Copenhagen on Friday night. Tired legs and minds may well have played a part in a fairly drab performance, with few stand-out performers.

Robinson looked lively on the right, providing some dynamism and link-up play with Seamus Coleman on the flank. A dangerous whipped cross from the Preston man almost resulted in a goal in the first half. Before the interval, Ireland created little bar half-chances before the eventual goal on 29 minutes.

Seamus Coleman profited from a deflection from the Gibraltar defence, to slide the ball back to David McGoldrick on the eighteen yard line, whose shot was deflected in by veteran defender Joseph Chipolina.

The Gibraltar veteran had cause to be feel hard done by at that stage, having ably led the defence from an Ireland side that was struggling to find its rhythm.

After the break, Ireland were little better. Incisive link-up play between Coleman and Robinson again left to an early chance for McGoldrick to finish.

The Sheffield United man could only tamely scuff into the goalkeeper's hands, but it was an indication of a growing understanding between the two down the right-hand side.

The Gibraltarian goalkeeper, Kyle Goldwin, barely had a more solid game than his calamity against Georgia on Friday, looking extremely suspect under the high ball from set-pieces.

Seanie Maguire replaced Scott Hogan on 65 minutes, not long before clashing heads with Shane Duffy from and Ireland corner - both of whom continued on.

David McGoldrick struck the post from eighteen yards out with a curling shot past Goldwin, before Robbie Brady came on in place of the lively Callum Robinson.

But it was Brady with the  header at the far post in stoppage time that sealed it for Mick McCarthy's side.

Ireland might have only beaten an island that is six miles squared by an aggregate score of 3-0, but those are six vital points on the route to Euro 2020.

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