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Keane double spurs on Ireland in Gibraltar

Gibraltar 0-4 Republic of Ireland
Robbie Keane took his EURO qualifying tally to 23 with a second-half double as Ireland moved above Scotland into third place in Group D.

Highlights: Gibraltar 0-4 Rep.Ireland
  • Ireland replace Scotland in third place in qualifying Group D
  • Winning his second cap, Ireland right-back Cyrus Christie opens the scoring
  • Robbie Keane on target twice in the second half, Shane Long heads in the fourth
  • LA Galaxy's Keane has scored a EURO qualifying best 23 goals
  • Next games: Poland v Gibraltar, Republic of Ireland v Georgia (Monday)
Right-back Cyrus Christie wheels away in delight
Right-back Cyrus Christie wheels away in delight©AFP/Getty Images

Robbie Keane scored twice in a comfortable victory against Gibraltar as the Republic of Ireland leapfrogged Scotland into third place in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group D.

Martin O'Neil's side were quick to put their hosts under pressure in Faro-Loule, going close on four occasions in the opening 12 minutes. Jordan Perez came to Gibraltar's rescue twice, palming a Jeff Hendrick set piece wide before getting down sharply to repel Jon Walters' effort, while Ciaran Clark glanced a free-kick against the bar and Walters had a header disallowed for offside.

A goal was not long in coming and it arrived from an unlikely source: right-back Cyrus Christie. The Derby County player, making his competitive debut, exchanged passes with Wes Hoolahan on the Ireland right and displayed fleet of foot to jink past a couple of challenges. Once inside the area, he curled a shot into the far corner with the outside of his right boot.

Gibraltar, under the stewardship of Jeff Wood for the first time, gave Ireland a reminder they were still in the game when Liam Walker tested Shay Given with a dipping half-volley. 

Two quick-fire strikes early in the second half from Keane, however, ended the match as a contest, his first coming after Gibraltar's Erin Barnett diverted Walters' low ball against the upright. Two minutes later, after Walker tripped Hoolahan, the LA Galaxy forward nonchalantly converted a penalty for his record extending 23rd EURO qualifying goal.

Keane's replacement, Shane Long, rounded things off 11 minutes from time, rising to meet Hendrick's lofted cross from the byline.