Match corresponding to the 3rd Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Friday 20th November 2017 at 20:30. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.
Gibraltar United 3 – 1 St Joseph’s FC
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
23 Andre De Oliviera Farinha
5 Erin Barnett
15 Aymen Mouelhi
2 Alberto Del Rio Fernandez
4 Yalany Baio
24 Jamie Bosio
20 Michael Negrette
17 Marco Meireles
8 Filipe Aguiar
19 Manuel Roman Salado
Ayman Elghobashy on for Manuel Roman Salado
Igor Djoman on for Michael Negrette
Yassine Idouaziz on for Filipe Aguiar
Injuries and the performance against Man 62 have moved Manolo into shuffling his pack. With Brad out after injuring his ankle against Man 62, Erin comes in to partner Aymen in defence while both Aguiar and Negrette start to provide the width so sorely missed last time out. Elghobashy drops to the bench alongside Ramalho as United look to exploit their pace against a tough St Jospeh’s side.
It was a perfect evening for football with little wind and a balmy, early autumn temperature as both teams took the field of play. St Jospeh’s were looking to continue their 100% start to the season while United looked to put the disappointing performance against Man 62 behind them.
It was a cagey start but United looked menacing when going forward. Roman was keen to exploit his pace from the off, as it turned out this was the key facet of the match. While Aguiar and Negrette sought to widen the pitch at every given opportunity. It was from a Aguiar cross that United got their breakthrough in the 6th minute of the match. Robba in the St Joseph’s goal came out and fumbled what seemed a run of the mill catch. Roman, hovering on the keeper’s blind side was rewarded with a gift of a ball as it sailed through the keeper’s hands. A simple point blank range header and Roman had finally broken his duck and put the misses on Sunday behind him. United 1-0 up and game on.
St Joseph’s sought to get back into the game and fought hard for it. The centre backs relied on their physicality to control Roman’s lightning bursts of speed while up front JP Duarte tried to stretch our defence perfectly marshalled by Erin and Aymen. Indeed the match went through periods were it resembled a pitch battle. These are the scenarios in which Baio and Bosio excel in. They broke up St Joseph’s attempts to create and the Blue and Whites resorted to longer and longer balls as thier playmakers were squeezed out of time and space.
The one time they were afforded space St Jospeh’s equalised and what a goal it was! Ferrer was given the freedom and time to turn full about 35 meters from the goal. He was given the time to line up his shot and let loose a well placed, powerful shot that left Chino with no chance. There is no denying the quality of the finish but Ferrer was largely allowed to set up the goal with no pressure at all. Great timing for the Saints as the goal came while they were dominating the midfield. United however have a rapier up front.
Untied’s lead was once again restored by Roman. His harrassing of the Saints’ playmakers saw him exploit his pace once again as he bored on Robba like an arrow. The keeper started to come out of his line as the striker closed in, the Blue and White defence trailing behind him. Roman looked up saw Robba’s postion and drilled a shot past him to the far post. As the ball nestled into the net Roman and the team wheeled away in celebration with the half time whistle close on their heels.
The second half however proved to be an exciting 45 minutes of football. Both teams came out all guns blazing to gain the lead. St Jospeh’s looked a bit more creative and forced Chino into his only save of the game but they exhibited little real danger after that. Roman however was denied a hat trick. Once again he outfoxed the Saints’ defence using a mix of guile and pace and it was only a bobble on the Victoria’s surface that came to Robba’s resuce as he faced Roman for the third time.
He was subbed soon after and received the applause of United supporters as a well deserved plaudit. The rapier was replaced by the broadsword. In Elghobashy we have a different type of forward relying more on sheer power and close ball control. As is his want, he began harrasing the tiring St Joesph’s defence and it was clear they could not handle him. He had a number of chances and buried his second one after rounding Robba and tapping into an empty net. Had he shown more composure a few minutes later he would have doubled his tally for the match.
Mention as well to Marco Meireles who demonstrated his experience and nuance in controlling the ball and the game masterfully for the last 25 minutes. He seemed to be everywhere at once, supporting the defence and sending balls forward for Ayman to chase. It was a night to remember for all in Red and White as Mr Murphy called time on the game. Our first win versus St Joseph’s and a good performance to bolster morale before our next game against in form Lions FC.