MX23RW : Monday, June 14 00:38:44| >> :600:296484:296484:

Result: Jeff Hendrick goal gives Mick McCarthy winning return as Ireland boss

Ireland prevailed in difficult conditions at the Victoria Stadium.

Jeff Hendrick handed Mick McCarthy a winning start to his second spell in charge as the Republic of Ireland launched their Euro 2020 campaign with a narrow victory in Gibraltar.

Hendrick's first international goal since September 2016 ultimately settled a tight encounter fought out on a plastic pitch in swirling winds at the Victoria Stadium in front of the man who famously took the nation to the 2002 World Cup finals.

It was far from pretty on a night when Ireland dominated possession against a team comprised largely of part-time footballers, but created few clear-cut chances.

However, they left having banked three Group D points, the minimum requirement heading into Tuesday night's clash with fast-improving Georgia at the Aviva Stadium.

The lack of inspiration which plagued the latter days of Martin O'Neill's reign remains an issue, and although the difficult conditions had a part to play, McCarthy knows it is a failing which must be addressed if his team are to qualify for the finals.

Gibraltar started brightly and saw ambitious appeals for an early penalty waved away after midfielder Liam Walker blasted a shot into a mass of white shirts.

Keeper Darren Randolph could have been forgiven for being distracted four minutes in when a plane took off from the airport runway just a couple of hundred yards behind his goal.

However, it was opposite number Kyle Goldwin who had cause for concern as David McGoldrick sent a seventh-minute volley over the bar, although he was able to get his hands on Richard Keogh's stabbed effort after Hendrick had fired across the penalty area four minutes later.

Mick McCarthy was back in the dugout as Republic of Ireland manager
Mick McCarthy was back in the dugout as Republic of Ireland manager (Simon Galloway/PA)

Shane Duffy only just failed to reach Conor Hourihane's 15th-minute free-kick as Ireland started to dominate possession, although McCarthy on the sidelines could be heard repeatedly urging his players to move the ball more quickly.

They would have taken the lead in fortuitous circumstances with 28 minutes gone had it not been for Goldwin's excellent reactions.

Seamus Coleman made the most of the space he and Matt Doherty were being afforded down the right to send in a driven cross which defender Roy Chipolina could only head towards his own goal, prompting the keeper to instinctively throw out a hand and somehow turn the ball over the crossbar.

Ireland were struggling to find space in the final third, but they did just that five minutes before the break when Sean Maguire laid the ball into Coleman's path and his low cross was just about smuggled away before McGoldrick could pounce.

Sean Maguire in action against Gibraltar
Sean Maguire in action against Gibraltar (Simon Galloway/PA)

However, as the half-time whistle sounded, Goldwin remained unbeaten and Irish frustration unbroken.

Indeed, it might have grown significantly within seconds of the restart when Chipolina powered a header towards goal from Walker's corner and Randolph reacted smartly to repel his effort.

The Republic's nerves were settled just three minutes later when Hourihane played McGoldrick into space down the left and he cut into the penalty area before looking up and rolling the ball into the path of the fast-arriving Hendrick, who swept his first-time shot inside the far post.

Ireland were considerably more composed as they set about the task of cementing their lead with Robbie Brady added to the mix in place of Doherty, although their advantage might have disappeared with 64 minutes gone when Lee Casciaro curled a shot across Randolph but just wide of the far post.

Randolph was pleased to see Keogh, playing with a lightweight cast on his broken right hand, take the sting out of Walker's 75th-minute drive and Ireland saw out time with few real scares.

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport, Gibraltar');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'd8fdac95-c8da-4e5e-a268-5172ff5bc77c');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:football,paservice:sport:match-reports,paservice:sport:uk');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:football');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hendrick goals earns Republic of Ireland hard-fought win over Gibraltar'});

ID:354250: cacheID:354250:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:10682:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Richard Keogh in action for Republic of Ireland on October 16, 2018
Read Next:
Keogh happy to play on for Ireland with broken hand
>

rhs 2.0
Euro 2020 fixtures
Monday, June 14, 2021
 
5pm
 
8pm
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
 
8pm
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
 
2pm
 
5pm
Thursday, June 17, 2021
 
5pm
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!