THE fears of an even greater goal avalanche when Gibraltar met star-studded Belgium in the World Cup qualifiers was only averted when the home side eased back in the second half.
Even so, Belgium ran out 9-0 winners with PSG’s Thomas Meunier and Manchester United’s new striker Romelu Lukaku both scoring hat-tricks in a totally one sided match where Gibraltar were run ragged by one of the undisputed top teams in the world.
Gibraltar were under siege from the first whistle but it was a full 15 minutes before they fell behind to a Dries Mertens effort that goalkeeperDeren Ibrahim allowed to slip through his legs, which was a shame as he had acquitted himself well with some fine saves.
Hero turned villain Axel Witsel scored the goal of the match with a perfectly executed bicycle kick to take the score to 4-0 before he was sent off for a reckless challenge which meant he missed their next qualifier against Greece.
Gibraltar also went down to ten men in the 82nd minute when Erin Barnett was sent off for a foul in the penalty area. Lukaku completed his hat-trick from the spot kick. Eden Hazard returning to action after injury completed the scoring for Belgium.