Month: March 2015

Gibraltar United Football Club vs FC Cannons

Match corresponding to the 18th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division and played on Tuesday 24th March 2015 at 18:15 at the Victoria Stadium.

Gibraltar United Football Club 15 – 0 FC Cannons

Muscat (4)
Lopez (6)
Cumbo (3)
Collado (P)
L.Buhagiar

Gibraltar United Football Club

13 Joe Borg
11 Jared Buhagiar
3  Lee Buhagiar
2  Aaron Collado
88 Aiden Victor
25 Mark Casciaro
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitlachen
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
23 Stefan Cumbo
9   Lee Muscat

SUBSTITUTIONS

Matthew Massetti on for Aiden Victor
Evan Coleing on for Mark Casciaro
Adrian Lopez on for Lee Muscat

After another dreary day, the sun decided to make a welcome appearance down at the stadium where the league leaders squared off against the basement club. Ian Mañasco made two changes to the line up from the previous game, getting the three points the top priority. Stefan Cumbo came  in relegating Evan Coleing to the bench. While Joe Borg kept goal as Ian rotated keepers again. Likewise Mark Casciaro, who saw his fifth yellow in our last league game served his suspension in a Reserves game our opponents forfeited was also available. Elsewhere it was as our last game with Aiden Victor retaining the right back berth. Great to see some of the fringe players in the squad making the bench as well.

 

United's starting Line Up

United’s starting Line Up

It was clear that there was a gulf between both sides from the kick off. Conscious of the vast advantage in goal difference United were ruthless in putting FC Cannons to the sword. A 15-0 rout is not often seen in a football match but it was a very uneven contest from the kick off. Indeed when Lee Muscat opened up the scoring early on with a trademark thunderbolt of a close range shot, the game was well and truly over. A few minutes later Stefan Cumbo, from a Muscat assist, got the second and it simply an avalanche after that.

Return to the starting XI, hatrick. Stefan receives the congratulations of his team mates on his first.

Return to the starting XI, hatrick. Stefan receives the congratulations of his team mates on his first.

United were dominant in all areas of the pitch and had their opponents chasing shadows from one end of the pitch to the other. Dylan, Mark and Aziz were in total control of a game that was never in danger of running out of our grasp. By the time ref, Mr Gordillo, had called for half time Muski had bagged another and Andrew had also got himself on the score sheet. 5 minutes into the second half Muscat had bagged his third and fourth of the match and supporters on the stands were losing count and wondering if a record score was on the cards.

Mark 'Squiggy' Casciaro dictates play.

Mark ‘Squiggy’ Casciaro dictates play.

With the scoreline safe Ian made a triple substitution with Matthew Massetti, Adrian Lopez and Evan Coleing coming on with about 50 minutes on the clock. Thats when Andrew Lopez started his particular show netting 5 goals in about 15 minutes of game play that left FC Cannons bereft of any capacity to respond. With Cumbo also netting three goals the club treasurer was wondering how many more new balls would he need to buy on the morrow. A justly given, but unnecessary penalty was given for a foul on Cumbo which Aaron Collado neatly put away into the far corner of the goal. Our other center half, Lee Buhagiar, completed the rout with a screamer from distance.

Aaron's penalty was well received by fans and players alike.

Aaron’s penalty was well received by fans and players alike.

Credit to the FC Cannons players that at no time drooped shoulders or let off their frustrations by rash tackling or foul play. Likewise credit our players who kept 90 minutes of concentration to get a job well done without show boating or lacking respect towards their opponents. Top of the league, a chunk knocked out of the goal advantage our closest followers enjoyed and one step and three points closer to the objective!

Leo Football Club vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 17th Round of the Gibraltarian Second Division played on Thursday 19th March 2015 at 18:15 at the Victoria Stadium.

Gibraltar United Football Club 3 – 0 Leo Football Club

Muscat(2)
Lopez

Gibraltar United Football Club

1  Kyle ‘Chino’Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
3  Lee Buhagiar
2  Aaron Collado
89 Aden Victor
25 Mark Casciaro
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitlachen
26 Evan Coleing
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
9   Lee Muscat

SUBSTITUTIONS

Shane Howe on for Evan Coleing
Joe Borg on for Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
Stefan Cumbo on for Lee Muscat

Winter is in its death throes but judging by the state of the weather in our two games this week it does not want to leave. It rained for most of the match, indeed it raised in intensity as it progressed! Mañasco continued his policy of rotation in goal and Chino Goldwin got his chance between the sticks after keeping goal for the Reserves on Tuesday. Aden Victor came in at right back relegating Carl Thomas to the bench while Justin Collado missed out due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Evan Coleing retained his staring berth and striker Lee Muscat was recalled to the starting eleven after his goal from the bench last time out. Once again Gibraltar United set out stall in a 4-3-3 with the middle 3 of Casciaro-Mañasco-Aitlachen bossing the game.

United team

United’s team at kick off.

The game started brightly for Gib Utd and in a harbinger of things to come Leo started well entrenched in their half expecting to soak up a large number of attacks. Possession of the ball was clearly red and white with Casciaro and Aziz in particular looking well up for the game.Indeed it was the former that provided our first chance with a classy ball into Evan Coleing who’s rasping shot literally scraped post an inch from the post being defended by  Leo keeper Santos. Aziz was also to get the gathered supporters off their feet as a deftly struck and well placed shot beat the flailing keeper but ricocheted off the crossbar. United were looking good and in total control.

2015-03-19 18.17.59

The match about to kick off before the heavens opened.

United dominant but finding it hard to break the deadlock, a common theme in our recent games. Leo was packing the defence but were struggling to deny us chances. Their keeper, Charlie Santos, was pulling off some excellent saves and keeping our goal at bay. There was nothing, however, he could do to stop Lee Muscat from blasting the ball for United’s first. Reaping the benefit of some good midfield play he cut in from the right of the area, ploughed straight down the middle and rifled the ball past Santos. It was a justly deserved goal as Leo had had one tame shot from afar and nothing else. United were one up and cruising.

Muski gets his team mates congratulations

Muski gets his team mates congratulations

The half time whistle came amidst a downpour of rain. As both teams came back on the pitch the rain continued, indeed increased in intensity, mirroring United’s desire to get the three points and put more distance between us and our immediate rivals. Mark Casciaro, who gave a master class in ball retention and passing, had out first chance but his shot was once again parried by Leo’s best player Santos. A few minutes later there was nothing the keeper could do as Mark delivered a pin point peach of a cross that found an unmarked Lee Muscat in the area. Lee did not disappoint and met the quality of the cross with a bullet header of similar quality to put United two up and bagging his 15th goal of the season. Indeed the chances were beginning to come thick and fast.

Aziz had another shot stopped by an excellent Charlie Santos diving save, following an excellent free kick routine. United’s first change saw a tiring Evan Coleing come off for Shane Howe, who’d had a very good game for the Reserves earlier on in the week. He immediately had two good chances that went wide of the mark. United’s second sub was a forced one however. Chino had hurt his ankle coming out for a clearance and he was seen gesturing to the bench asking for a sub a few minutes later. On came Joe Borg to replace him and essentially watch the game as Leo practically had no chances in the second half. By the time Stefan Cumbo came on United had notched a third goal

Andrew Lopez floated in a corner from the right side that seemed to end up in the net, an Olympic goal but one perhaps for the dubious goal committee as it could have been palmed into the net by the Leo keeper. Yet Andrew can rightly claim the goal, a difficult feat to score straight from the corner flag! Referee, Gordillo, brought proceedings to an end and United were six points clear at the top and firing on all cylinders.

 

Football Club Brunos Magpies vs Gibraltar United Football Club

Match corresponding to the 16th Round of the Gibraltarian 2nd Division and played on Sunday 15th March at the Victoria Stadium at 16:00

Gibraltar United Football Club 6 – 0 FC Bruno’s Magpies

Casciaro
Thomas
J.Collado (2)
Muscat
Cumbo

Gibraltar United Football Club

13 Joe Borg
11 Jared Buhagiar
3  Lee Buhagiar
2  Aaron Collado
88 Carl Thomas
25 Mark Casciaro
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitlachen
26 Evan Coleing
7  Justin Collado
10 Andrew Lopez (C)

SUBSTITUTIONS

Lee Muscat on for Andrew Lopez
Stefan Cumbo on for Aziz Aitlachen
William Gracia on for Dylan Mañasco

Football on Mother’s Day…not a popular choice I’m sure but many thanks to the Mum’s out there that let us borrow your sons for a priceless 3 points that keep United ahead in the title chase. Surprising news with Mañasco deciding to keep Lee Muscat on the bench. Aaron Collado’s return gave the defence a more normal look with Jared back at left back and Carl ‘Paco’ Thomas in his usual slot at right back. Elsewhere, Evan Coleing got another start, the youngster impressing on the training pitch it seems. Once again a 4-3-3 formation with former Lincoln man Casciaro and former Lynx midfielder Aziz dictating in midfield. Captain Andrew Lopez led the line. Good also to see Willy Gracia named among the subs after a few games out of contention.

15-03-2015 16-17-45

Gibraltar United XI vs FC Bruno’s Magpies

Pic courtesy of official club snapper Christopher Milan

Pic courtesy of official club snapper Christopher Milan

Family commitments kept your usual reporter away from the game but kudos to 5 Point 4 for a steady stream of tweets that kept us informed of proceedings. Judging by the first 20 minutes United had left their shooting boots at home. Totally dominating a Magpies team that only fielded 10 players, this is now happening with increasing frequency in the Second Division, they were extremely profligate in front of goal. By all accounts the Magpies keeper was keeping them in game thwarting United at every chance. Against such odds though it was simply a matter of time before United got the goal they deserved. It was Mark Casciaro who broke the deadlock and prodded us ahead. The floodgates were sure to open. Indeed they did, but only after the second half had started. Thomas got the second after a rasping shot beat their keeper while Justin got the first of his brace soon after. Lee Muscat got our 4th after coming in off the bench while Stefan Cumbo headed in his 10th goal of the season to notch up our 5th. Justin’s second settled the score leaving United 5 points clear of Europa Point and 6 from Angels and Scorpions, albeit with one more game than the latter two (Angels FC face Lincoln Red Imps at 20:30 today though). Up next for United its Leo FC on Thursday, games will come thick and fast from now on. First however it is the Reserve side, who have not had a game for nigh on 7 weeks, face Lions FC Reserves on Tuesday.

 

 

S20A2067 S20A2144 S20A2145 S20A2024 S20A2137

Second Division League Table as of 19:00 15-3-2015

Second Division League Table as of 19:00 15-3-2015

 

 

Gibraltar United Football Club vs Angels Football Club

Match corresponding to the 16th Round of the Gibraltarian 2nd Divison and played on Thrusday 5th March 2015 at 18:15

Gibraltar United Football Club 1 -0 Angels Football Club

Muscat (P)

Gibraltar United Football Club

13 Joe Borg
69 Adrian Lopez
11  Jared Buhagiar
3   Lee Buhagiar
89 Aden Victor
25 Mark Casciaro
21 Dylan Mañasco
22 Aziz Aitlachen
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
7   Justin Collado
9   Lee Muscat

SUBSTITUTIONS

Stefan Cumbo on for Aziz Aitlachen
Kaylan Rumbo on for Adrian Lopez

A strong and cold easterly, un levante de lo buenos, greeted players and fans, who had gathered in numbers, gathered in the stands and on the pitch. Aaron Collado’s one match  ban for accumulation of yellow cards forced manager Ian Mañasco into a defensive reshuffle. Jared Buhagiar moved into the center half to partner Lee Buhagiar. Aden Victor moved out to left back and Adrian Lopez came into right back. Joe Borg also kept goal which meant that regulars Carl Thomas and Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin were relegated to the bench. Aziz Aitlachen returned in centre mid with the big guns all leading the line. United set out in a 4-3-3 formation designed to exploit Andrew’s and Justin’s pace on the wings and wide areas. Angels FC, though a physically imposing side lack pace and United sought to exploit this.

United in a 4-3-3 formation

United in a 4-3-3 formation

The wind played a crucial role since the moment the match kicked off, indeed the ball rolled away from the center spot before the ref blew his whistle. United, however went onto the front foot from the off. The Angels FC left back, Contreras, knew he was in for a torrid time the first time Justin got on his bike and left him for dead eating his dust. Yet Angels are a quite imposing physical side and the game degenerated into a pitch battle in midfield where Dylan, Mark and Aziz presented a mixture of class on the ball and sheer guts and determination against strong Angels players like Ndiaga Kane and Moreno. Our players persevered and it was United with the first chance of the game when an Aziz shot from middle distance left Mateo Perez in the Angels goal watch the ball fizz past his post.

Chances before half time were few and far between but our chances centred around the powerhouse that is Lee Muscat. Pace and power that attracted tackles leaving his team mates free from marking. A scare just before half time saw an Angels goal chalked off the scoreboard after the officials spotted an offside position. Ref, Mr Warwick blew for half time. The tension among United supporters were palpable totally aware of the high stakes involved in this match, a 6 pointer in all essence.

Second half kicks off

Second half kicks off

United were quick off the mark in the second half. With the wind at their  backs the offensive impetus was with the lads in red and white. Our midfield 3 had clearly won the battle and the ball was moving quickly and effectively towards our advanced areas. Lee Muscat was starting to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. The Angels defence could not cope with his sheer devilry with the ball. In a lighting break he left his marker behind and served a delicious ball to Justin Collado with only the keeper to beat. He unfortunately scuffed his shot and saw his effort sail over the bar. Credit to Justin and team that heads didn’t drop rather onwards they surged. Muscat had his chances but so did Angels. With United caught upfield, a quick ball launched forward and a shot on goal brilliantly handled by Joe Borg in goal. A timely reminder to keep the back tight as we surged forward.

Lee Muscat was the next United player to exhibit profligacy in front of goal. With roles reversed Justin delivered a ball on a plate that Lee blazed over the crossbar. A miss that was hard to believe bearing in mind the quality of the player. Justin himself had another excellent chance that blazed past the post. Mañasco moved his bench and Cumbo came on for Aziz. He immediately got stuck in and showed his class with the typical touches we have been accustomed to see from Stefan. Hearts in mouths once again as Lee Buhagiar was denied an offside goal on the 81st minute. Tension in the stands, nerves at fraying point.

The pivotal moment of the match came on the 89th mintue. With United totally launched to the attack Lee Buhagiar was felled in the area. Mr Warwick did not hesitate to point to the spot and cue protests and shuffling in and around the referee. There was no hesitation at all from Lee Muscat. As the chaos enveloped around him he tucked the ball under his arm and stood patiently by the spot. Would his misses haunt him? Would he fluff his lines? Supporters could not even watch as Muscat took his run up, eyed the keeper and blasted the ball squarely down the middle of the goal. The Angles keeper saw the ball fly past him and one could see the fight droop out of the Angels players. A telling blow not only in this match but possibly in the destination of the title. Never has such a final whistle been so eagerly awaited than the one today at around 20:04!!!

Muski celebrates our winner at the death

Muski celebrates our winner at the death

United go back top with a game in hand and 3 points clear. With all our direct rivals to play each other we are in pole position for the run in, but this is far from over. Minds now on FC Magpies on the 15th March

Vi Et Animo, Ad Victoriam