A positive performance from Gibraltar was undone by a second half goal by Jeff Hendrick as Ireland secured an unconvincing 1-0 win.
After weeks of uncertainty, international football returned to the Victoria Stadium. Ireland got the game underway with their fans singing loudly in the background.
Liam Walker found himself with some time on the edge of the box and his quickfire shot was block, there were shouts for a penalty but the Greek referee waved play on.
Ireland nearly found themselves infront on the 15th minute, a free-kick nearly found the 6ft 4″ of Shane Duffy but there was too much pace on the ball and it went out for a Gibraltar goal-kick.
Joseph Chipolina’s clearance was blocked by his own team-mate Jayce Olivero, the loose ball was crossed in and Roy Chipolina’s header nearly found its way into his own net if it wasn’t for an excellent reflex save by Chino.
Quick play by Ireland saw Seamus Coleman receive the ball in the box, his low cross nearly found David McGoldrick but Roy Chipolina intercepted and cleared the danger.
The Greek referee blew the whistle for half-time with the score at 0-0, a positive performance so far by Gibraltar.
Gibraltar got the second half underway and straight away won a corner thanks to Tjay De Barr. Liam Walker delivered the ball into the box and Roy Chipolina rose above his marker and looked certain to score but an unbelievable save from Darren Randolph kept it out.
Three minutes later and Ireland made it 1-0, McGoldrick got in-behind Roy Chipolina and cut the ball back to Jeff Hendrick who placed his shot into the bottom corner.
With just over an hour gone, Gibraltar made their first substitution with Adam Priestly replacing Louie Annesley – just before that, Lee Casciaro shot wide from inside the box.
Joseph Chipolina went on one of usual runs, dribbled past two players and played the ball out to Liam Walker whose shot from range was excellently blocked by Richard Keogh.
Gibraltar made their second substitution on the 77th minute with Alain Pons replacing Anthony Hernandez – an attacking move as they searched for an equaliser.
Ireland continued to control the game, saw out the three added minutes and walked away with an unconvincing 1-0 win.