The Republic of Ireland beating Gibraltar 1-0 today, getting their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to a less-than-convincing start.

Mick McCarthy took charge for the first time since his return to the job, and will have been hoping to start with a resounding victory. After all, Gibraltar are ranked 194th in the world – a full 160 spots behind Ireland.

However, the Boys in Green toiled away at Victoria Stadium. McCarthy went with a 4-4-2 system, and Ireland really struggled to break down the Gibraltar defence. Even creating clear-cut chances was a major struggle in the first half.

After a key save from Darren Randolph early in the second half, Ireland did take the lead. David McGoldrick broke down the left, and picked out Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick to slot in to the net.


Anyone expecting Ireland to kick on and rack up goals was left disappointed. McCarthy effectively shut up shop and was happy with a 1-0 win to start the qualifying campaign.

Sean Maguire in action for the Republic of Ireland against Gibraltar. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Preston striker Seani Maguire was handed a first competitive start for Ireland, and got 72 minutes under his belt. He helped set up a good chance in the first half, but was mostly on the periphery of the game.

Maguire certainly wasn’t at his best, and it’s fair to say that the dreadful service into him didn’t exactly help. He was eventually withdrawn for Harry Arter, with McCarthy going for more midfield solidity.

Ireland fans took to Twitter during and after the game to react to Maguire’s performance, and seemingly weren’t impressed.

Many are concerned that Maguire simply isn’t cut out for international football. This isn’t the first time Maguire has failed to seize his chance, and some were cutting in their criticism.

Some called him ‘awful’, ‘abysmal’ and ‘stinking’, adding that he seemed to lose confidence early in the game. Others did recognise the lack of service, but the North End ace did not get great reviews.

At least he didn’t get injured.