Republic rout Gibraltar

Date published: Thursday 1st January 1970 12:00 -

Republic rout Gibraltar

Robbie Keane helped himself to a 12-minute first-half hat-trick to become the all-time top goalscorer in European Championship qualifiers and set the home side on their way, with a James McClean brace, Wes Hoolahan’s strike and a comedy own goal from Gibraltar goalkeeper Jordan Perez completing the rout.
It was Gibraltar’s second successive 7-0 defeat in qualifying after losing to Poland as Ireland made it two wins out of two ahead of next week’s daunting trip to World Cup winners Germany.
It took the Republic of Ireland only six minutes to make the breakthrough as Hoolahan sent Aiden McGeady free down the right with a brilliant through ball and he crossed for Keane to slot home from close range.
The home side laid siege to the Gibraltar goal and they doubled their lead on 14 minutes as they capitalised on some shocking defending from Gibraltar as Hoolahan slipped Keane in on goal and the captain calmly finished past goalkeeper Jordan Perez.
Four minutes later and Keane completed his hat-trick from penalty spot with his third treble for his country to bring his tally to 65 goals for Ireland.
Keane beat the Gibraltar defence to another through ball, but Perez blocked his shot only to then bring down Hoolahan to concede the penalty. Keane stepped up to send Perez the wrong way and complete his hat-trick inside 12 minutes.
As expected, it was one-way traffic and Hoolahan fired inches wide from long-range before Perez produced a flying save to deny McGeady and keep it 3-0 at half-time.
Ireland picked up where they left off at the start of the season half and within 60 seconds of the restart added a fourth goal as Keane crossed for McClean to score from close-range.
The home side had a goal disallowed for offside before they made it 5-0 on 51 minutes in a real comedy of errors from the Gibraltar defence and goalkeeper.
Keane saw his attempted chip blocked by Perez and Hoolahan saw his follow-up effort blocked by Scott Wiseman only for the hapless Perez to deflect the ball into his own net.
Two minutes later and Ireland netted their sixth goal and McClean his second of the contest as he converted Keane’s pass with a simple finish.
Things got worse for Gibraltar on 56 minutes as the lively Hoolahan got the goal his performance deserved as he walked through a half-hearted challenge inside the box to slot past Perez.
Perez’s miserable day was brought to an end on the hour mark when he taken off to be replaced by Jamie Robba and a minute later Gibraltar almost grabbed a consolation when Roy Chipolina rose highest to meet a corner only to see Republic of Ireland goalkeeper David Forde produce an instinctive save to keep out his effort.
Robba made a superb save three minutes from time to keep out McGeady’s header and deny Ireland matching their record 8-0 victory against Malta in 1983.

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