Match corresponding to the 20th round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Sunday 5th March at 17:00
Gibraltar United Football Club 1 – 3 Europa Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
15 Steffan Cardona
19 Brad Power
77 Kaylan Rumbo
88 Carl Thomas
21 Duane Robba
6 Dexter Panzavechia
3 Ashley Perez
7 Evan Green
8 Robert Montovio (C)
Jamie Currer on for Ashley Perez
Andrew Lopez on for Duane Robba
Sean Gilbert on for Evan Green
Following to 2-0 defeats versus Europa FC United play the 2nd placed side for the last time last season. Both sides come into the game on the backs of 2-0 victories last time out. The three players who renewed their contracts all keep their starting berths while Steffan Cardona comes in to shore up the defensive line. Andrew Lopez drops to the bench while Jamie Currer is back in contention on the bench after getting over a hamstring injury. Kaylan continues as a centre half after some impressive performances there off late. United line up in a 5-4-1 formation seeking to contain Europa while looking for fast counter attacks.
Gib United started very brightly indeed. A solid line of 5 defenders was dealing very well with the Europa FC threat that largely centred around their number 17 who was finding plenty of space between the lines in midfield. Yet the line was holding strong. We were having lengthy possessions and though little damage was being created, we were holding our own against a side that had just put Lincoln FC to the sword.
Evan Green had other ideas. Pouncing on some clumsy defending the pacy wide man employed his speed to take him past a dithering Europa defender and leave him in his tracks. He bore down on the advancing keeper and it seemed the goalie would fell Evan and risk a penalty kick and a red card. Evan’s next piece of skill saved the Spanish keeper any embarrassment. He rounded the aforementioned Spaniard and left him for dead. From the stands it seemed he had left himself with a very acute angle but he was able to slot the ball home to give United a most unexpected of leads. Evan and his team mates went wild with delirium. Europa players and fans looked shocked; not so one of the twins they have as managers.
He immediately sent two subs out to carry out an intense warm up, among them towering striker Pedro Carrion, the bane of our defence twice already this season. Indeed he was on the pitch several minutes later and his presence would change the game indefinitely. An expert header of the ball he immediately began to prowl the area between our center halves. He won the first cross floated over and scored with the second one thundered a headed past Chino to even the score. From the point on the Gib Utd goal had to weather a green and black storm that battered goalkeeper and defender. They stood firm against the onslaught until 2 minutes into added time when Carrion once again headed past Chino to put Europa FC 2-1 up at half time.
The second half was one of total Europa domination. Depsite Manolo freshening up the ranks Europa added a 3rd goal deep in the second half. United however had a golden chance to reduce the deficit when Robert Montovio lobbed a delightful chip onto the crossbar. Overall a well deserved win for the Green and Blacks but United players can hold their heads up high as they gave Europa a hell of a game; the way players and staff celebrated their goals is testament to the fact that despite them lionising possession they had to fight hard to get this win. It doesn’t get any easier in the Premier though as its Lincoln Red Imps up next.