Match corresponding to the 4th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Wednesday 2nd December 2015 at the Victoria Stadium at 20:30
Lions Football Club 3 – 0 Gibraltar United Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
19 Brad Power
30 David Gallardo
88 Carl Thomas
21 Duane Robba
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
33 Alan Parker
18 Byron Espinosa
90 Jamie Currer
8 Robert Montovio
‘Pitu’ Anes on for Jamie Currer
Sean Gilbert on for Robert Montovio
Kaylan Rumbo on for David Gallardo
United face Lions in a game that should have been played in September but was postponed due to FIFA Futsal call ups to a number of players in the United squad. The game itself carries a certain amount of intrigue as it is the first time both teams meet each other on the field of play since Lions merged with Gibraltar United. Having brought the club back in its own right, supporters were eager to see this ‘derby’ of sorts. Lions are having a fairly good season so far hovering around 3rd place, currently occupied by Lynx FC, while United come into this match on the back of back to back wins, especially a massive morale booster against Man 62 last time out. As such Nuñez stuck with the same group of players bar one change. Jamie Bosio has not recovered from an injury suffered in the game vs Man 62. Duane Robba comes back into the side to deputise for him while Byron Espinosa lines up against his former team. United once again employing the 4-2-3-1 formation so effective in our most recent matches.
A moist, easterly wind greeted the players at kick off and it was a cagey start at best. It was obvious that United’s two victories in a row had had an instant impact in morale judging the way United were touching the ball and constantly playing in Lions’ half. Lions with only two local players in their line up. Robba and Lopez in center mid had a solid hold on the game and Alan Parker showed why he is in a rich vein of form playing with class and skill, and attracting a fair few fouls as well. Yet for all the nice football and possession little was created by means of meaningful attacking play by either side. Lions were happy to hold a line which United’s sole striker could not penetrate. That said once penetrated Montovio forced Lions keeper, Adam Szpilczynski, into a spectacular save from close range. The keeper’s heroics meant that the first half finished 0-0 with United just shading it.
The second half was a different matter after about 60 minutes when United’s players began to wane physically. Lions were gradually forcing their way forward, without causing Chino too many headaches. Indeed the defence held firm until the 61st minute when former Glacis United skipper, Ashley Rodriguez, unleashed an unstoppable thunderbolt from about 25 yards that left Chino with no chance. A great goal that was taken with good technique and poise. United were shell shocked, having easily contained Lions’ ineffective attacks to wild long range efforts until then. The lethargy was still hanging over the team when Sergio ‘Lata’ Gines (recently named Player of the Month) headed in a second Lions goal in the 73rd minute.
‘Pitu’ responded with the spectacular, spotting the keeper off his line he shot at goal from just inside the Lions half. He had Szpilczynski tracking back and the Polish keeper only palmed it over the bar at the last instant. By the time Gines grabbed his second from the penalty spot the game was truly over. A flattering scoreline for the Oranges that takes them back to third place above Lynx FC. United can take heart in their first half performance and a credible first round, though we still have a game in hand (vs Glacis United). Saturday sees the start of the second round verses Brtiannia XI FC at 17:00