Euro 2016 qualifier: Scotland smash Gibraltar, but a new 'Rock star' emerges
Gibraltar could at least savour the consolation of unearthing a policeman-turned-footballing `Rock star` as they reprised their new role as the whipping boys of the Euro 2016 qualifiers with a 6-1 hammering by Scotland in Glasgow on Sunday.
Glasgow: Gibraltar could at least savour the consolation of unearthing a policeman-turned-footballing `Rock star` as they reprised their new role as the whipping boys of the Euro 2016 qualifiers with a 6-1 hammering by Scotland in Glasgow on Sunday.
A hat-trick from Steven Fletcher, the first by a Scottish international striker since Colin Stein in 1969, decorated the romp and ensured that UEFA`s new boys have now conceded 27 goals in their first five pointless competitive internationals.
Yet still nothing could deflect from the pure joy of the moment at Hampden Park when, after 379 minutes of trying, Lee Casciaro, an officer with the Royal Gibraltar Police force, scored the part-timers` first ever goal in qualifying ties.
Very good it was too. Scotland had just gone ahead after 18 minutes through a Shaun Maloney penalty, courtesy of a rash challenge on Maloney from Gibraltar`s keeper Jamie Robba.
Just a minute later, though, Aaron Payas, a lawyer, slipped a lovely ball on the counter attack to Casciaro, who fired low into the corner of the net to the delight of 500 travelling fans from the Rock.
At that point, the visitors were dreaming furiously. Until then, the side managed by a Scot, Davie Wilson -- splendidly dubbed the "Jock of Gibraltar" -- had been every bit the equal of the home side.
The Tartan Army were left grimacing at the prospect of another of Scotland`s famed embarrassing struggles against minnows in an inglorious tradition which has taken in Costa Rica, San Marino and Liechtenstein.
They had no need for concern, though. Sunderland striker Fletcher, who had not scored for six years for Scotland, put them ahead after 29 minutes with a looping header.
Six minutes later, hero Casciaro turned villain, a rash foul in the box leading to Maloney`s second penalty conversion before Steven Naismith made it four after 39 minutes with a simple side-footed finish after Gibraltar were carved open.
The second half promised a deluge but a combination of an uninventive Scottish attack and stout Gibraltar defending ensured respectability for the visitors until Fletcher`s second headed goal after 78 minutes and his cool hat-trick strike in the final seconds.
The victory, which meant Scotland have lost just twice in their last 13 internationals, leaves them on 10 points in Group D, alongside Germany, who won 2-0 in Georgia, and Poland, who were playing later against Ireland.