Match corresponding to the 2nd Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played at the Victoria Stadium on Saturday 3rd October 2015 at 19:30
Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 2 Europa Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
23 Kenneth Chipolina
2 Aaron Collado
88 Carl Thomas
90 Jamie Currer
99 Jamie Bosio
16 Steven Gilbert
18 Byron Espinosa
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
8 Robert Montovio
Justin Collado on for Jamie Currer
Naoufal El Andalussi on for Steven Gilbert
Alan Parker on for Andrew Lopez
United faced off against Europa FC. Another historic name of local football but with an opposing philosophy to the one adopted by Gibraltar United in that their ranks are full of foreign players. Local sporting media picked up on this in the build up to the game. Whatever their philosophy no one can deny that Europa have made a great start to the season. They took Lincoln all the way in the Pepe Reyes Cup and played very well in their league opener against the Red Imps last week. They have qualified for the Europa League for two seasons in a row and no one in the club was taking this match lightly. Nuñez’s line up indicated as much.
With Mark Casciaro serving a ban imposed on him by the GFA it was left to Steven Gilbert to take on the mantle of defensive midfield cover. He would no doubt be busy. Mindful of not seeing much of the ball, Nuñez went for the ultra fit Currer at the expense of Bakkari to support Carl Thomas on the right side of our team. A midweek injury to Lee Buhagiar meant that Kenneth Chipolina, on loan from Lincoln FC, made his second debut for the club. Both he and Byron Espinosa had played a full 90 minutes for the Reserves midweek. ‘Chino’ Goldwin was also back in goal having served his one match ban in the aforementioned Reserves game.
Your usual reporter was unable to attend the match but thanks to @GFTMatchDay, @5point_4 and @FGScoreCentre for their excellent coverage of the match keeping us all abreast of the goings on at the stadium. It was clear that Europa FC would be having the lion’s share of the possession and so it was. Their first goal came from a header on the 6th minute from Pedro Carrion. Headers were to be a constant source of threat throughout the match as most of Europa’s chances came from such opportunities. 3 more times at least in the first half, with Chino excelling himself on one particular save. The second half was more of the same. Their second goal came from a well delivered cross that was put away by Javi Martinez in the 77th minute. Good to see Naoufal El Andalussi and Alan Parker making their senior debuts for the club.
Captain Andrew Lopez spoke to us after the game telling us he was proud of the effort every single player had made on the pitch. He conceded the goals were mistakes that can be rectified and he was proud to lead such a group of players against such a prestigious club. He saw the performance against one of the top sides as one to build a lot of confidence on moving forwards especially in our next game verses champions Lincoln FC. Indeed these thoughts were echoed by other supporters and opposition players alike.
No games now until the 16th October as Gibraltar play their last two UEFA Euro 2106 qualifiers away at Georgia and versus Scotland in Faro. Good luck to our goalkeeper Liam Neale who is joining the squad.