Clarets midfielder scores only goal for Ireland

Burnley midfielder Jeff Hendrick netted the first goal of Mick McCarthy’s second spell as Republic of Ireland boss on Saturday night.

Sunday, 24th March 2019, 10:58 am
Updated Sunday, 24th March 2019, 11:03 am
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: Declan Rice of England battles with Matej Vydra of the Czech Republic during the 2020 UEFA European Championships Group A qualifying match between England and Czech Republic at Wembley Stadium on March 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Hendrick’s second international goal spared Ireland’s blushes against minnows Gibraltar at the Victoria Stadium – situated between the Rock of Gibraltar and the airport – on the 4G surface.

Hendrick produced a compised finish to David McGoldrick’s pullback four minutes after half-time – the one moment of quality on a difficult night for Ireland.

It was his first goal for his country since September 2016, when he opened the scoring in the third minute in a 2–2 draw in Serbia in World Cup qualifying.

GIBRALTAR, GIBRALTAR - MARCH 23: Jeff Hendrick of Republic of Ireland shakes hands with teammate Robbie Brady after the 2020 UEFA European Championships group D qualifying match between Gibraltar and Republic of Ireland at Victoria Stadium on March 23, 2019 in Gibraltar, Gibraltar. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Clubmate Robbie Brady entered the fray as a substitute on the hour, while Kevin Long was an unused substitute.

Ireland host Georgia in their second Group D Euro 2020 qualifying game at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday night (kick-off 7-45 p.m.).

Clarets skipper Tom Heaton and James Tarkowski were also unused substitutes for England on Friday night, as the Three Lions opened their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in fine style with a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic at Wembley.

Jordan Pickford of Everton got the nod in goal ahead of Heaton, while former Claret Michael Keane came in for the injured John Stones at centre back, ahead of Tarkowski.

Matej Vydra was a half-time substitute for the Czech Republic, who host Brazil at the Sinobo Stadium in Prague in a friendly international on Tuesday night.

Gareth Southgate’s squad are in Podgerica to face Montenegro in Group A on Monday night.

Dwight McNeil made his England Under 20 bow on Thursday, playing the 90 minutes in a 3-1 defeat to Poland at St George’s Park in the Euro Elite League, before travelling to face Portugal at the Estadio Municipal 25 de Abril in Penafiel on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, Aiden O’Neill, currently on loan with Central Coast Mariners in Australia, scored the opener in the Socceroos’ 6-0 victory over Cambodia in their 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualifier.