Premier Division Review: Round 9

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The final Round before the extended winter break has confirmed Gibrlatar United’s dip in form and Europa’s recovery as they saw off United 4-0 to charge into second place. Lincoln made it 9 out of 9 with Anthony Hernandez getting two in their victory over St Jospeh’s. The basement battle bewteen Lynx and Man 62 saw points shared in no goals scored to keep the Yellow and Blacks propping up the table.

A challenging time for all clubs as what we essentially have is a second pre-season within a season as the Stadium turns of its lights for the relaying of the pitch and infrastructure works. A short term loss for a long term gain that will hopefully herald the arrival of a new age in local football.

 

Round Nine Fixtures

Glacis United FC (Mena)     1   0 Mons Calpe SC
Gibraltar Phoenix FC (Carrasco)     1   0 Lions FC
Lynx FC     0   0 Manchester 62 FC
Lincoln Red Imps FC (Hernandez 2)     2   0 St Jospeh’s FC
Europa FC (Kike, OG, Carreño, Rivas)     4   0 Gibraltar United

League Table at the end of Round 1

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Europa Football Club versus Gibraltar United

Match corresponding to the 9th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Sunday 3rd December 2017 at 16:30. Match report brought to you courstesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.

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Gibraltar United 0 – 4 Europa Football Club

Gibraltar United

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
3   Mattia Rosato
5   Erin Barnett
6   Brad Power
23 Andre De Oilveira Farinha
4   Yalny Baio
8   Filipe Aguiar
10 Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho
17 Marco Meireles
20 Michael Negrette
19 Manuel Roman Salado

SUBSTITUTES

Igor Djoman on for Michael Negrette

Manolo keeps faith with the system that has served as well so far this season. Djoman drops to the bench as Aguiar has now served his one match ban. Elsewhere it is the same team that played against Phoenix last time out. Spots on the bench for De Torres and Dannoun who have impressed in training during the week. With this being the last game before the extended winter break United will surely want to give their supporters something to start the Christmas cheer with.

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An intense game that finished with a 4-0 scoreline that was not indicative of the game played between the first and 88th minute. A game, once again, that was conditioned by the referee’s decisions.

It was a brisk December kick off as Europa sought to gain and early lead but United’s defence held firm and Europa’s main outlet was a long ball over the top seeking Kike’s pace, the only early action of note was a Quillo shot that Chino parried to a corner. The former was well shackled until the 18th minute when he scored a spectacular volley that looped over Chino’s head and into the goal. It was rather unfortunate that it took the team going a goal down for United to wake up.

The team in White was in ascendancy until half time with Marco Meireles forcing Javi Muñoz into a decent save after some clever footwork. The midfield had descended into a pitched battle in which Baio for United and Moya for Europa where in their element. The sequences of play did, at times, not last more than three touches of the ball with Mr Canepa’s whistle stopping play for every cry and roll on the floor.

United, however, created very little despite their dominance of the ball and Europa resorted to long balls forward. Roman, very quiet for his standards, seemed out of sorts and Merino and Rodriguez had him well shackled. The game went into a very lengthy stoppage as the latter suffered an injury in a tussle for the ball. The Europa player was immobilised and the ambulance called and he was ultimately stretchered off. We send Rodriguez our best wishes and hope a speedy recovery as no one wants to see any player leaving the field in those conditions.

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The second half kicked off in much the same vein but the match had certainly adopted a very physical edge to it and Mr Canepa was dipping into his pocket with increasing regularity. Both teams finished the game with 10 as first Farinha was dismissed for a second booking; he was shortly followed by Kike who saw a straight red for a head butt following a tackle from behind on Aguiar. Tackles kept on flying in and stoppages in play were not allowing the ball to flow freely. Erin Barnett’s half volley that went shy of the post the highlight of the early second half.

As the match progressed United searched in vain for that equaliser. Negrette began to ping crosses in, having moved out wide, and Roman was belatedly trying to use his pace to attack the Europa centre halves. Yet it was a refereeing decision that turned the game. Pipo, once again skilful and full of guile as always, was cynically felled right inside the area, right in front of the referee, as he broke in on goal. To the amazement of everyone in the stadium, including the men and green and black Mr Canepa sought to theatrically wave away the penalty claim when it seemed a clear decision! It could have been a pivotal moment in the match and could have restored parity on the scoreboard.

A bizarre moment several minutes later gave Europa a two goal lead when Brad unwittingly bundled the ball into the net. With the team launched to the attack and suffering the double blow of the non-decision and the goal, Europa scored twice more to give the match a score line that did not reflect the passage of play throughout the 90 minutes.

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United finish Round 1 4th but in a downward spiral of form and it can be argued that the extended break comes at a good time for the team as it will give time to regroup and reassess. It will be a long 8 weeks but we will be back stronger and sharper when football resumes on the Rock.

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Match Preview: Europa FC

Match Preview brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin

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Record versus Europa FC

Played: 6
Won: 0
Drawn: 0
Lost: 6

Last Result: 0 – 7 (12-5-17)

Manager: Jonathan Parrado
Captain: Javier Muñoz
Top Scorer 16/17: Enrique Gomez Bernal

Champions Europa trace their history back to 1925 as one of the Rock’s oldest clubs though they have had several incarnations with their associations with College. Winners of the Rock’s top league 7 times they ended Lincoln’s hegemony last year with a full sweep of Senior titles. Europa FC were also Gibraltar’s first representatives in the UEFA Europa League in 2015.

Europa started the season in uncharacteristic fashion losing the Pepe Reyes Cup game and starting way out of form. They have come back in style though winning their last four games, the most recent on Thursday seeing off Mons in a 3-0 win in a rescheduled Round 2 game. United come into the game rueing 2 dropped points last weekend but also showing flashes of the early season form that took us up to second. A point would take us to third on goal difference while a win to second in this last Premier Division game before the enforced break for Christmas and the development works at the stadium. Match kicks off 16:30 Sunday 3rd December.

 

Premier Division Review: Round 8

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An interesting round of matches that has made the league tighter than it was last week. St Jospeh’s leapfrogged United into 2nd courtesy of their 2-1 win over Lynx. It turned out to be an entertaining match and testament to the improvement the Yellow and Blacks have made off late. Lincoln saw off Mons Calpe via a solitary goal to sail away over the horizon while Europa FC confirmed their recovery by climbing into 4th place by beating Man 62 2-0. Gibraltar United dropped two points against Gibraltar Phoenix and Glacis United chalked a third successive win at the expense of Lions FC.

Due to the forthcoming works at the Victoria Stadium Round 9 has been spread over a few weeks and this weekend sees the playing of the remaining fixtures. The outstanding fixture sees 3rd vs 4th place when Gibraltar United square off against Europa FC on Sunday evening. Lynx and Man 62 play a basement battle of a fixture with the winner guaranteed a 3 point gap from the foot of the table. The last game pits 1st versus 2nd as rampant Lincoln take on St Jospeh’s in what is an early Christmas cracker of a weekend of football.

Round Eight Results

Manchester 62 FC     0   2 Europa FC (Garcia Montero, Carreno)
St Jospeh’s FC (Lopez, Delgado)     2   1 Lynx FC (Gargiulo)
Mons Calpe SC     0   1 Lincoln Red Imps FC (R.Chipolina)
Lions FC     0   1 Glacis United FC (Thomas)
Gibraltar United (Ramalho 2)     2   2 Gibraltar Phoenix FC (Narvaez, Lopez)

Round Nine Fixtures

Glacis United FC (Mena)     1   0 Mons Calpe SC
Gibraltar Phoenix FC (Carrasco)     1   0 Lions FC
Lynx FC     Vs Manchester 62 FC
Lincoln Red Imps FC     Vs St Jospeh’s FC
Europa FC     Vs Gibraltar United

League Table as of 27-11-17

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Gibraltar United vs Gibraltar Phoenix Football Club

Match corresponding to the 8th Round of the Gibraltar Premier Division and played on Saturday 25th November at 20:30. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.

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Gibraltar United 2 – 2 Gibraltar Phoenix FC

Ramalho (2)

Gibraltar United

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
3   Mattia Rosato
5   Erin Barnett
6   Brad Power
23 Andre De Oliveira Farinha
35 Igor Djoman
4   Yalany Baio
10 Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho
17 Marco Meireles
20 Michael Negrette
19 Manuel Roman Salado

SUBSTITUTES

Jamie Bosio on for Igor Djoman
Aymen Mouehli on for Michael Negrette
Javier Cantelmi on for Manuel Roman Salado

Suspensions and form have forced Manolo’s hand for this crucial game against Phoenix. Elghobashy starts a three match ban while Aguiar misses out today for his double yellow versus Glacis United. Roman comes back into the starting XI while Pipo takes up Aguiar’s berth. Bosio and Mouelhi are rested while Djoman makes his first start in the Premier Division. Brad also makes his first start since his injury in matchday 2. A win is an absolute necessity to get our season back on track and leap frog St Joseph’s back into second place.

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A game that United threw away through  profligacy on front of goal and negative tactics on the part of the manager. Phoenix were able to peg back a 2 goal disadvantage in the last 10 minutes of the game, a game that Gib Utd had dominated for 80 minutes.

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United were in complete control of the match from the kick off. Though Phoenix had a fair amount of possession United’s defence marshalled by Barnett and midfield, where Baio excelled once again, stifled any attacking intent. The first chance of the match came from a powerful Roman shot that was well handled by Phoenix’s man of the match, thier keeper Ruiz Garrido.

Phoenix tried to impose their physicality but United, with Djoman  supporting Baio in midfield were able to counter that threat and use the flanks to great effect. Ramalho in particular grabbed his chance with both hands. He used his guile and skill to great effect throughout the match and he created the first of four clear chances wasted by Salado as he put him in on through the keeper only for the striker to blast his effort wide.

United took the lead in the half hour mark with Negrette chalking up another assist by feeding Pipo on the edge of the box. Following some fancy footwork from the Portugese magician he was able to put the ball past Garrido to give United a well deserved lead. United in cruise control as Phoenix were forced into an early sub due to injury. Meireles then put Roman through on the keeper for the second time on the cusp of half time. As Garrido came out to narrow the angle Roman put his right footed effort wide of the marl. Mr Warwick brought the first 45 to end immediately after.

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Roman had another excellent chance to score again straigth after the kick off. He was put through by Djoman but his lob over the keeper sailed aimlessly over the bar. Though he had left his shooting boots at home Roman’s pace was impossible for the Phoenix defence to deal with. He harried them incessantly and was a constant darting missle as Phoenix tried to play the ball out of defence. A third one on one on the keeper, a chance he forged due to his electric pace, forced Garrido into the save of the match as he brilliantly turned the effort wide. One can forgive Roman no squaring the ball to Pipo, unmarked in the area and certain to score, seeing that his efforts had created the chance.

Pipo was, however, to chalk up his second goal a few minutes later. He displayed some dazzling footwork in the 6 yard box sending defenders one way and then the next, the latter completely aware that any touch would have meant a penalty. Pipo was left to calmly give the keeper the eyes and slot the ball past him to put United 2-0 up and seemingly heading to three points.

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Shortly after it began to unravel. Roman squandered an umpteenth chance sending a shot so close wide of the post that it must have shaved silvers off it. The manager then made his substitutes and it allowed Phoenix to creep into the game. Djoman and Negrette came off for Mouehli and Bosio. He handed the initiative to the opponent at at time when United were dominant and asserting themselves in all facets, indeed Chino had only one save to make from Narvaez to that point.

As a more defensive mentality took hold United went deeper and deeper and allowed Phoenix that silver of hope. What seemed an unecessary shift of mentality set off a red alert when Narvaez pulled one back. Nervousness and uncertainty crept into United’s game, whatever masterplan Manolo had had in mind was unravelling before his very eyes as wave after wave of Phoenix pressure, not seen before this point, assaulted Chino’s goal. The mistake was finally compounded in the 88th minute, yet another late goal conceded, with Phoenix getting an equaliser from Carrasco, though it had the strong wiff off offside. Rosato had a late chance to seal the game but his header, subsequently flagged offside, went over the bar from point blank range.

A game that was in the bag ended up as a draw through negative tactics and a bad day at the office for Roman. A game that United should have put to bed way earlier was settled late on. United now third face Europa FC on Sunday 3rd December in the last game before the extended break.

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Match Preview: Gibraltar Phoenix Review

Match Review brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin

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Record versus Gibraltar Phoenix FC

Played: 2
Won: 1
Drawn: 0
Lost: 1

Last Result: 0 – 2 (4-4-15)

Manager: Jaime Molina
Captain: Javier Garcia Iglesias
Top Scorer 16/17: German Cortes Narvaez

Gibraltar Phoenix were founded in 2011 and gained promotion for the first time at the end of their maiden season. The step up to first division football, however, was tough and they were relegated the following season without earning a single point. They remained a 2nd division club for the remaining two seasons, locking horns with United in the 2014/15 season, indeed United’s first official league match after the relaunch was a 4-1 victory over Phoenix. They regained Premier League status last season after blitzing the Second Division. Rumours abounded over the Summer of the recontstruction programme the club has undergone but their start to the season has been inconsistent.

United come into the game in downward sprial of form that has seen them not score for two consecutive games. Not only that, United saw two reds in the game versus Glacis meaning that Manolo will be forced to reshuffle his pack. Phoenix beat lions in extremis last Monday in a Matchday 9 fixture, and come into the game on Saturday full of confidence. They currently sit 8th on 6 points and have former United players Ashley Rodriguez and Dion Hammond in their ranks. United know only a win will do to get the season back on track and the recent results have handed this fixture a certain edge. Kick off is Saturday evening at 20:30.

Premier Division Review: Round 7

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Lincoln continued with their 100% start to the season by seeing Lions off comfortably 3-1 in the opening game of the round. Europa saw off Lynx 2 -0, while Mons defeated St Jospeh’s . This result allows United to remain 2nd after the debacle against Glacis that saw us finish with 9 on the field of play. Lynx once again dropped to the bottom of the table as both Phoenix and Man 62 shared a point in each in their 1 all draw in the Thursday evening kick off.

Round 8 has some very interesting ties considering that 2nd to 7th place are only separated by 4 points. Man 62 face a resurgent Europa on Wednesday with the Green and Blacks seeking a thrid win on the spin. Lynx have a tough match against St Jospeh’s while Mons Calpe are the next side to test Lincoln’s mettle. Glacis vs Lions is another interesting match up with the Clarets and Blues looking for the ninth point in three games after an indifferent start to the season. United and Phoenix close Round 8 on Saturday evening with Gib Utd seeking to get back to winning ways.

Round SevenResults

Lincoln Red Imps (Cabrera, R.Chipolina, Lopes)     3   1 Lions FC (Llaves)
Gibraltar Phoenix FC (Cortes)     1   1 Manchester 62 FC (Diaz)
Europa FC (Kike, Carreno)     2   0 Lynx FC
Mons Clapes SC (Benet 2, Onega)     3   1 St Jospeh’s FC (Mejias)
Glacis United FC (Gonzalez, Mahamud)     2   0 Gibraltar United

Round Eight Fixtures

Manchester 62 FC     Vs Europa FC
St Jospeh’s FC     Vs Lynx FC
Mons Calpes SC     Vs Lincoln Red Imps FC
Lions FC     Vs Glacis United FC
Gibraltar United     Vs Gibraltar Phoenix FC

League Table as of 20-11-17

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Glacis United FC vs Gibraltar United

Match corresponding to the 7th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Saturday 18th November at 20:30. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.

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Gibraltar United 0 – 2 Glacis United Football Club

Gibraltar United

1   Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
3   Mattia Rosato
5   Erin Barnett
15 Aymen Mouelhi
23 Andre De Oliveira Farinha
4   Yalany Baio
24 Jamie Bosio
8   Filipe Aguiar
17 Marco Meireles
20 Michael Negrette
9   Ayman Elghobashy

SUBSTITUTES

Manuel Roman Salado on for Jamie Bosio
Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho on for Michale Negrette

United are looking to bounce back after last week’s loss to Lincoln. The only change in the line up is up front where Manolo is giving Elghobashy a start while Roman drops to the bench having been ill during the week. Glacis come into the game after a morale booster of a win against Mons Calpe on Monday and with several former United players in their ranks the game may prove to be a feisty affair.

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A very bad day at the office for Gibraltar United as Glacis United took home a valuable victory by 2 goals to nil. United started the stronger of the two teams with Aymen putting a corner wide in the early exchanges of the game. Glacis were happy to contain United’s attack demonstrating their defensive doggedness that has characterised their season.

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Teams line up before the kick off

The game was a hard one with many fouls and the referee having to blow his whistle with regularity. Yet for the first 30 minutes it was just Gonzalez in the Glacis goal that had only been called into action. 35 minutes in and the game turned. Elghobashy won a free kick which was followed by some afters. Glacis players were claiming a headbutt; following appeals to Mr Borg he immediately showed Ayman the red card and issued him his marching orders. United with 10 men and no striker on the pitch. Rules are rules and they are to be respected however when the rules are applied with the level of inconsistency shown during this match then questions need to be asked. Glacis began to creep into the game with the one man advantage they now possessed. Chino gathered up a meek corner as a second weak Glacis header signalled the end of the first controversial 45.

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Manolo introduced Roman for Bosio at the start of the second half as United continued to dominate the play as Glacis looked for the counter. Indeed it was after a foul on Roman that Glacis qucikly threw the ball upfield and Gonzalez was able to beat Chino to give the Claret and Blues the lead. 1-0 down  and with 10 men, Gib Utd were up against it. But the fight did not go out of the team as they sought to equalise. Mr Borg continued to dish out yellows as the match appeared to move out of his control. A tussle by the by line, right in front of the linesman, saw a Glacis player lash out, violent conduct one may ask? United supporters were irate as they were expecting the letter of the law to be applied as it had been in the first half. Yet it was only a yellow card that was flashed, another example of the frustrating officiating on evidence.

Pipo replaced Negrette and his guile and skill gave new wind to United’s attacking impetus. It was clear that if anyone was going to unlock this Glacis defence it was going to be him. Indeed it was his shot that was brilliantly saved by Gonzalez. A great piece of goalkeeping that frustrated United once again. Shortly after there was a loud clamour around the stadium for a Glacis handball on the goaline. No eagle eyed officals around when one needed them the most!

With United looking for that elusive equaliser, Mahamud put the game to bed with a clumsy finsh on the 90th minute to give Glacis the 3 points. It was not an attractive game of football and United stay 2nd thanks to Mons’ earlier victory over St Joseph’s. Certainly there is some work to be done on the training pitch as United, for the first time this season, fail to score in consecutive games.

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