Ireland put 7 past Gibraltar

Robbie Keane (AP)
Robbie Keane (AP)

Dublin - Robbie Keane scored a hat-trick as the Republic of Ireland made easy work of beating minnows Gibraltar 7-0 in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Dublin's Lansdowne Road on Saturday.

Victory saw the Republic make it two wins from two in Group D although the contrast between this match and their next qualifier, away to world champions Germany on Tuesday, could scarcely be greater.

"It was nice to get the early goal in the game," Republic manager Martin O'Neill told Sky Sports.

"I thought we got a little sloppy in the last 20 minutes of the game but outside of that I am very, very pleased.

"We have not got any serious injuries, just a couple of knocks and bruises, now we can concentrate on Germany."

For Gibraltar, European football governing body UEFA's 54th and youngest member nation, it was their second straight 7-0 drubbing after they went down by the same scoreline against Poland in their first competitive match last month.

Given Keane's quickfire treble put the Irish 3-0 up inside 18 minutes, against a side with just two full-time players, Gibraltar did relatively well to avoid a double-figure defeat.

"It is disappointing but we are all learning and eventually we will get there," said Gibraltar manager Allen Bula.

"Look at all the stats of other teams when they joined UEFA, they lost 6-0, 7-0. Everyone has taken a beating, and we will learn."

Gibraltar, with a population of fewer than 30 000 people and just 600 registered footballers, were not expected to offer much in the way of resistance but did at least keep the score to 3-0 before half-time.

However, the floodgates opened after the break as James McClean scored twice, Gibraltar keeper Jordan Perez put through his own net and Wes Hoolahan made it 7-0 before the hour mark.

It took the Republic just six minutes to score their first goal when Hoolahan played in Aiden McGeady behind left-back Joseph Chipolina and his square ball set up Keane to strike his 63rd international goal.

McClean then saw a shot well-saved by Perez but the second goal was not long in coming, when Keane ran on to Hoolahan's pass to make it 2-0 against a static defence.

Keane then scored his third goal in 12 minutes with a penalty after the hard-pressed Perez tripped Hoolahan.

Unsurprisingly, some of the Republic's initial urgency waned at this point, although Perez made a fine fingertip save to keep out McGeady's powerfully-struck shot and leave the score 3-0 at half-time.

But within 60 seconds of the re-start, the Irish had their fourth goal, with the 34-year-old Keane, now playing for the LA Galaxy, squaring to Wigan's McClean, who duly tapped in.

Gibraltar, struggling to adjust to the pace of international football, were 5-0 down in the 51st minute with a goal that summed up their performance.

Keane tried to lob Perez but the keeper got a hand to the ball. Hoolahan's follow-up was blocked by Scott Wiseman but Perez then inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net.

McClean, after more good work by Keane, made it 6-0 with a 53rd minute tap-in.

Minutes later it was 7-0 when, after McGeady and Keane combined in the build-up, Norwich midfielder Hoolahan strolled past a couple of attempted challenges before shooting from close range.

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper David Forde had been a virtual spectator for most of the match but he then made an impressive save to deny Gibraltar a consolation goal when he turned Roy Chipolina's powerful header over the crossbar.

Now the only question was whether Ireland - with Keane having been substituted to make sure he was not injured ahead of the Germany clash - would equal their record 8-0 victory against Malta in a 1984 European Championship qualifier.

But the fact they did not match that feat was little consolation for Gibraltar.

Euro 2016 qualifying results on Saturday:

Group D

At Dublin

Republic of Ireland 7 (Keane 6, 14, 18-pen, McClean 46, 53, J. Perez 52-og, Hoolahan 56) Gibraltar 0

At Glasgow, Scotland

Scotland 1 (Khubutia 28-og) Georgia 0

Group F

At Bucharest

Romania 1 (Rusescu 45) Hungary 1 (Dzsudzsak 82)

Group I

At Yerevan

Armenia 1 (Arzumanyan 73) Serbia 1 (Z. Tosic 90)

Playing later -- 1845GMT

Group D

At Warsaw

Poland v Germany

Group F

At Helsinki

Finland v Greece

At Belfast

Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands

Group I

At Elbasan, Albania

Albania v Denmark

Played Friday

Group A

At Riga

Latvia 0 Iceland 3 (G. Sigurdsson 66, A. Gunnarsson 77, Gislason 90)

At Amsterdam

Netherlands 3 (Huntelaar 62, Afellay 82, van Persie 89-pen) Kazakhstan 1 (Abdulin 17)

At Istanbul

Turkey 1 (Umut Bulut 8) Czech Republic 2 (Sivok 15, Dockal 58)

Group B

At Brussels

Belgium 6 (De Bruyne 31-pen, 34, Chadli 37, Origi 59, Mertens 65, 68) Andorra 0

At Nicosia

Cyprus 1 (Makridis 67) Israel 2 (Damari 38, Ben Haim 45)

At Cardiff

Wales 0 Bosnia and Hercegovina 0

Group H

At Sofia

Bulgaria 0 Croatia 1 (Olic 36)

At Palermo, Italy

Italy 2 (Chiellini 44, 82) Azerbaijan 1 (Chiellini 77-og)

At Ta'Qali, Malta

Malta 0 Norway 3 (Daehli 22, King 26, 49)

Played Thursday

Group C

At Borisov, Belarus

Belarus 0 Ukraine 2 (Martynovich 82-og, Sydorchuk 90+3)

At Skopje

Macedonia 3 (Trajkovski 20, Jahovic 66-pen, Abdurahim 90+2) Luxembourg 2 (Bensi 39, Turpel 44)

At Zilina, Slovakia

Slovakia 2 (Kucka 17, Stoch 87) Spain 1 (Paco Alcacer 82)

Group E

At London

England 5 (Jagielka 25, Rooney 43-pen, Welbeck 49, Townsend 72, Della Valle 78-og) San Marino 0

At Vilnius

Lithuania 1 (Mikoliunas 76) Estonia 0

At Maribor, Slovenia

Slovenia 1 (Novakovic 79-pen) Switzerland 0

Group G

At Vaduz

Liechtenstein 0 Montenegro 0

At Chisinau

Moldova 1 (Dedov 27-pen) Austria 2 (Alaba 12-pen, Janko 51)

At Solna, Sweden

Sweden 1 (Toivonen 49) Russia 1 (Kokorin 10)

Sunday, October 12 (Kick-offs GMT)

Group C

At Lviv, Ukraine (1600 GMT)

Ukraine v Macedonia

At Borisov, Belarus

Belarus v Slovakia

At Luxembourg

Luxembourg v Spain

Group E

At Tallinn (1600 GMT)

Estonia v England

At Vilnius

Lithuania v Slovenia

Group G

At Vienna (1600 GMT)

Austria v Montenegro

At Moscow (1600 GMT)

Russia v Moldova

At Solna, Sweden

Sweden v Liechtenstein

Monday, October 13

Group A

At Astana (1600 GMT)

Kazakhstan v Czech Republic

At Reykjavik

Iceland v Netherlands

At Riga

Latvia v Turkey

Group B

At Andorra la Vella

Andorra v Israel

At Zenica, Bosnia and Hercegovina

Bosnia and Hercegovina v Belgium

At Cardiff

Wales v Cyprus

Group H

At Osijek, Croatia

Croatia v Azerbaijan

At Ta'Qali, Malta

Malta v Italy

At Oslo

Norway v Bulgaria

Tuesday, October 14

Group D

At Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Germany v Republic of Ireland

At Warsaw

Poland v Scotland

At Faro, Portugal

Gibraltar v Georgia

Group E

At Serravalle, San Marino

San Marino v Switzerland

Group F

At Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands v Hungary

At Helsinki

Finland v Romania

At Piraeus, Greece

Greece v Northern Ireland

Group I

At Copenhagen

Denmark v Portugal

At Belgrade

Serbia v Albania

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