Match Corresponding to the 21st Round of the Gibraltarian 2nd Division and played at the Victoria Stadium on Thursday 24th April 2014 at 20:00
Gibraltar United Football Club 2 – 0 Boca Juniors Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
13 Joe Borg
11 Jared Buhagiar
3 Lee Buhagiar
4 Matthew Massetti
89 Aiden Victor
26 Evan Coleing
25 Mark Casciaro
22 Aziz Aitlachen
7 Justin Collado
8 Damian Rocca
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
Carl Moreno on for Mark Casciaro
Carl Thomas on for Damian Rocca
Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin on for Evan Coleing
First league game in a while and played in very mild weather. Perfect footballing conditions. Time to put that disappointing penalty shoot out behind us and look towards the last 6 games in a headlong promotion rush. Gib Phoenix, it seems want to have massive say in who goes up. Having defeated us on Easter Saturday they have then beaten Scorpions and Europa Point handing the advantage back to Gibraltar United in the promotion battle. Ian Mañasco had Casciaro, Justin Collado and Aziz back from suspension after a plethora of misdemeanour’s. He was however without Dylan Mañasco who is serving a ban for another accumulation of yellow cards. Into the first XI also come Evan Coleing and veteran Damian Rocca. In a nod to the efforts in training Matthew Massetti and Carl Moreno, regulars in the Reserve side, get call ups for the match day squad. The first of 6 crucial games that will decide the destination of the title and that promotion to the Premier League!
Boca Juniors could only field 10 players and we only had one linno but the match was started by ref Mr Warwick bang on 8pm. From the off United showed their dominance. Almost immediately Justin Collado got on his bike, left the full back for dead, cut inside, shoot and have Hermida in the Boca goal gratefully gather up the shot. In Gibraltar’s next attack, an almost carbon copy of a move, Aiden Victor fed Justin who this time was able to beat Hermida placing a powerful shot beyond the reach of the keeper. Boca had not really seen the ball yet and they were kicking off again. Despite Sheriff’s best efforts in center midfield he couldn’t match the sheer class exhibited by Mark and Aziz. They kept the ball ticking and were spreading it wide where both Evan and Justin where clever and incisive in their play. Indeed both wide players had chances in quick succession.
Wily old fox Damian Rocca put in a Teddy Sheringhamesque performance. He may not have the legs of old but the footballing brain was there. He moved well with Andrew up front making himself available to our centre mid pairing. He linked up well with Evan on the left and was constantly on the move. Indeed he had a powerful shot saved by Hermida after some clever footwork just inside the Boca box. Yet his most telling contribution was in assisting Lee Buhagiar’s most spectacular of goals. Rocca crossed the ball from one end of the box to the other to be met by a Buhagiar already in the air and positioning his body to whack the ball into the net via an aerial scissor kick. Roy of the Rovers stuff from the hard as nails center half. 2-0 and cruising. United fans in the stands were expecting the floodgates to open.
It was all United from here on end. Boca had no shots on goal and keeper Joe Borg’s only touches of the ball were intercepting a couple of high and wide crossed balls. Yet United seemed to have left their shooting boots at home. Andrew Lopez missed a series of good chances while shots from Coleing and Aziz went high and wide. No matter how hard Boca tried they couldn’t get into the match. yet fair play to them. They turned up with 10 men to fulfil the fixture and despite chasing shadows for 90 minutes they did not resort to hard tackles or foul play. Indeed the game was played in good spirits and no cards were shown to either team.
As the second half progressed Rocca appeared to have been fouled in the area but Mr Warwick did not agree and waved away relentless appeals by the United number 8! Soon after both him and Mark were subbed and made way for Carl Moreno and ‘Paco’ Thomas. Carl brought more composure to our midfield and Paco run the line in a quick and effective manner getting in behind Budhrani on numerous occasions. He made Hermida work once and put in a number of telling balls, none of which were finished off when they should. As the floodlights came on Boca knew their ordeal would soon be over but at least their goal had not been perforated again.
With no more outfield players left, Mañasco was forced to use ‘Chino’ Goldwin as an outfield player as Evan Coleing signalled he needed to come off after feeling something go in his leg. With his usual good cheer and boundless enthusiasm Chino took to the field and immediately went up front for the corner with supporters yelling at him to remember not to use his hands. To be fair to him he moved well, crossed in a few good balls and missed an absolute sitter! Keepers eh! The pressure kept on piling on but despite Lee Buhagiar hitting the crossbar with a pile driver there were to be no more goals. Shout out however to Matthew Massetti who kept his composure and concentration to clear a very late, and only attempt on goal, Boca attempt off the line. 3 points. One step forward and 5 to go. Over to our pursuers now.