Match corresponding to the Quarter Finals of the GFA Rock Cup played on Saturday 19th March 2016 at 17:00
Gibraltar United Football Club 0 – 1 Lions Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
31 Ayden Viñales
77 Kaylan Rumbo
19 Brad Power
15 Steffan Cardona
88 Carl Thomas
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
6 Dexter Panzavechia
21 Duane Robba
24 ‘Pitu’ Anes
90 Jamie Currer
8 Robert Montovio
Sean Gilbert on for Andrew Lopez
United come into this game after a 4-o loss to Lincoln FC in the league. We also come into the game with a large number of players suspended or injured. Regulars Chino, Jared and Perez are all serving a ban for accumulation of yellows while the injury list now stretches to more than 10 players. Manolo however welcomes captain Andrew Lopez who plays on the left wing today. Young Ayden Viñales makes his full debut against his former team deputising for Chino in goal. Rock Cup action means a release from the pressures of the league and an opportunity to move into the Semi Finals of the competition. This is our last game for a fortnight due to the Internationals so a good performance is a must.
United started the game brightly with controlled possessions and looking sharp and hungry. Montovio in particular looked much more sprightly that he had been in recent games and Pitu in midfield was also sporting a hungrier look to his game. Both teams effectively cancelled each other out in the opening 20 or so minutes. Brad was effectively marshalling our defence and the Lions forwards and so too was Tunisian Aymen Mouheli for the Oranges. Indeed his clashes with Montovio would be a facet of the match.
United had the first clear cut chance of the match. A penalty shout had been turned down a few minutes before when Mouheli clearly shoved Robert to the ground inside the box. Me Borg waved United’s appeal away but Andrew was to have a clear cut chance to give us the lead. Following on from a bad clearance by Jayce Olivero, he scuffed a snap shot wide of former United keeper Liam Neale’s goal. At the other end of the pitch debutant Viñales was having a fairly decent game dealing well with what little danger Lions were bringing to the goal.
The second half started pretty much in the same vein with both teams playing well but with no clear chances at goal. Neale was equal to a very well taken Pitu free kick while Ayden was also the equal of several long range Lions shots. Though the game was there for the taking neither team seemed to show the conviction to go ahead and take it.
The deadlock was broken early in the half when Carl Thomas and Moheli came together inside the United box. The Tunisian fell to the ground and to Thomas’ disdain and disbelief the referee pointed to the spot. Though far from perfectly executed, striker Garcia Martin slotted the ball past the flying Viñales. Lions taking a narrow lead as United now sought to find an equaliser.
In our next attack Robert was put through and cynically felled inside the D by the central defender as Neale came out to narrow any possible angle for a shot. To everyone’s surprise neither ref nor linesman flagged for a foul that was clear as day. The Lions defence cleared the shot and play continued. Unperturbed by the events Robert continued to harass and probe but with no luck. He was joined by Brad up front for the final minutes in one last gung-ho attempt to rescue the tie but the scoreline would not move. A much improved performance on last week’s showing against Lincoln and certainly the team gave a better account of themselves.
Football action now takes a hiatus for a fortnight as Gibraltar play two home friendlies versus Lichtenstein and Lativa. We wish out four internationals the best of luck and funnily enough we return to action versus Lions in the league on April 4th.