PLUCKY Gibraltar fought hard but could not resist the Polish onslaught, falling 0-7 in their first ever competitive football match.
The Euro 2016 qualifying match took place on Sunday night in Portugal’s Estadio del Algarve, as Gibraltar wait for construction to finish on the new Europa Point stadium.
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski took centre stage, running wild against UEFA’s newest team in the second half of the match, scoring four goals.
Poland opened early with Kamil Grosicki scoring in the 11th minute, but Gibraltar held on valiantly despite the majority of the game being played in their half.
Grosicki scored again in the 48th minute, before Lewandowski scored two in less than five minutes. Lukasz Szukala brought the score line to 0-5 in the 58th minute.
Gibraltar battled on, but with just two professional players in the team, they were no match for a solid Polish side that never really seemed to break into a sweat.
Bayern Munich’s Lewandowski ended a goal-free final half hour by scoring two more in quick succession in the closing five minutes: bringing the final score to 0-7.
Only Scott Wiseman and Liam Walker play football professionally (For Preston and Israeli side Bnei Yehuda respectively), and Gibraltar’s starting 11 included two policemen, a firefighter and an admin clerk moonlighting for their country.
Although the side clinched victory in June against fellow minnows Malta with a strike by Kyle Casciaro, they were never expected to win this match.
Encouraged by their new-found status as an international side, and with passionate support behind them, Gibraltar must look now to the future and to Dublin, where they will be facing a formidable Irish side on October 11.