European Qualifier
Gibraltar 0-6 Scotland
Sunday 11 October 2015, kick-off 7.45pm
Estadio Algarve, Portugal

C. Martin 25, Maloney 38, S. Fletcher 52, 56 & 85, Naismith 90

Scotland signed off their European Qualifying campaign with a resounding 6-0 victory over Gibraltar at the Estadio Algarve.

Steven Fletcher’s second successive hat-trick against Gibraltar and a late goal from Steven Naismith added to first-half strikes from Chris Martin and Shaun Maloney to ensure victory in the final match of Group D.

Thursday’s agonising draw with Poland, coupled with other results in Group D, meant that Scotland knew their fate in advance of the game. The country would not be going to EURO 2016 but the players remained determined to put on a show for the thousands of Scotland fans who had made the trip to Portugal.

Seven changes were made to Thursday’s team with Allan McGregor starting in goals and Andrew Robertson, Christophe Berra and Gordon Greer restored to defence. Graham Dorrans and Shaun Maloney came in at midfield while Derby County striker Chris Martin was handed a starting berth up-front alongside Steven Fletcher.

Right from the off Scotland made their presence felt. On 2 minutes Fletcher chased down a neat through-ball before playing across goal to Shaun Maloney. The Hull City man made an acrobatic effort to reach the ball but scooped it over from a few yards.

The two men combined to good effect again a few minutes later when Fletcher backheeled to Maloney who powered a shot at goal with his side-foot, forcing a good save from Jamie Robba in the Gibraltar goal.

On 25 minutes Scotland broke the deadlock. Maloney’s inswinging corner was headed on by Gordon Greer and soared over the Gibraltar defence to the back post. The ball looked to be heading in but Chris Martin used his poacher’s instinct to make sure of it, touching over the line for his first goal in a Scotland jersey.

Some silky play from Scott Brown almost led to a second ten minutes later. The Scotland captain dribbled past two players before releasing Martin down the left. His cross found Fletcher but the Sunderland man’s volley bounced off the post and away.

Hutton’s pace was causing Gibraltar serious problems down the right and it was one of the full-back’s characteristic runs that led to Scotland’s second goal on 38 minutes. He managed to sprint right into the box from out wide before cutting the ball back into a crowded goal area. The ball took a wicked deflection before falling neatly to the unmarked Maloney who curled a peach of a goal over Robba’s head and in for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Seven minutes after the re-start it was three-nil to the visitors. Again Hutton was allowed to bomb into the box from the right wing before crossing to Steven Fletcher. The striker rose beyond his marker and powered a header past Robba to score and match Maloney’s campaign total of five goals.

Four minutes later Fletcher had his second of the game. Some good play down the middle saw Martin run forward with the ball before playing in his striking partner. Fletcher was able to maneuver his body and curl a fabulous left-footed finish off the post and in.

Darren Fletcher and Johnny Russell were introduced just after the hour mark and the latter almost had Scotland’s fifth. A fantastic flick on from Martin saw Russell run onto the ball before curling a shot just over the bar.

With 5 minutes remaining Steven Fletcher gave the fans more to cheer about as he netted his second hat-trick of the campaign. The striker turning just outside of the box before firing a fantastic effort that crept under the crossbar and in.

Subsititute Steven Naismith capped the performance with a late goal, firing in from Steven Fletcher’s neat lay-off in the box.

Scotland | McGregor (GK); Robertson, Hutton, Greer, Berra; Brown (capt) (D. Fletcher 63), Dorrans, Maloney, Ritchie (Russell 63); C. Martin (Naismith 76), S. Fletcher. Subs not used: Gordon (GK), Marshall (GK), Shinnie, Whittaker, R. Martin, Hanley.

Gibraltar | Robba (GK), J. Chipolina, R Casciaro, R Chipolina (capt), L Casciaro, K Casciaro, Walker, Duarte, Barnett, Bardon, Garcia.

Referee: Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
Assistant Referees: Vitali Malyutin (BLR) & Oleg Maslyanko (BLR)
Fourth Official: Dmitri Zhuk (BLR)