Gibraltar 0-4 Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane double moves Ireland ahead of Group D rivals Scotland

first_img1 Robbie Keane claimed a quick-fire double as the Republic of Ireland finally killed off stubborn Gibraltar in Faro.Keane struck with a 49th-minute tap-in and then converted a 51st-minute penalty to take his international goals tally to 67 and give Ireland a 3-0 lead after full-back Cyrus Christie had opened the scoring before the break.Substitute Shane Long wrapped things up with a fourth goal 10 minutes from time as the Republic’s hopes of Euro 2016 received a significant boost.Gibraltar keeper Jordan Perez was called upon for the first time to claw Robbie Brady’s sixth-minute free-kick out of his top corner and Jon Walters stabbed wide from the Norwich full-back’s cross after the resulting corner was half-cleared.But Perez’s goal came under increasing pressure as the half wore on and Clark rattled the crossbar with a ninth-minute glancing header from another Brady free-kick.Walters had the ball in the net after meeting Keane’s 12th-minute cross with a diving header, but an offside flag ended the celebrations among Ireland supporters in the sparsely populated Estadio Algarve stands.Having got to within two minutes of their longest competitive shut-out of 28 minutes, Gibraltar finally succumbed when Christie cut inside from the right and drilled the ball across goal with the outside of his right foot and inside the far post.Captain Keane  did not have to wait long after half time for his opportunity as he took the game away from Gibraltar with two goals inside three minutes.His first could hardly have been simpler when defender Jean Carlos Garcia could only turn Walters’ driven 49th-minute cross against his own post with Perez’s efforts to rescue him serving only to present Keane with the simplest of tap-ins.He was back in business with 51 minutes gone when Hoolahan was tripped as he stepped inside Walker and referee Strahonja pointed to the spot, Keane duly obliging with the minimum of fuss to take his international tally to 67.Keane’s intervention appeared to break Gibraltar’s commendable spirit as the game rather meandered towards its conclusion thereafter, although Perez had to dive to his left to keep out a 68th-minute strike from James McCarthy.And with 10 minutes remaining Long wrapped the game up after he jumped highest to nod in Jeff Hendrick’s dinked cross, meaning that the Republic of Ireland leapfrog Scotland in the group. Robbie Keane last_img

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