Match corresponding to the 5th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Friday 3rd November 2017 at 20:30. Match preview brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.
Gibraltar United 3 – 1 Mons Calpe SC
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
23 Andre De Oliveira Farinha
15 Aymen Mouelhi
5 Erin Barnett
2 Albert Del Rio Fernandez
24 Jamie Bosio
4 Yalany Baio
8 Filipe Aguiar
17 Marco Meireles
20 Michael Negrette
19 Manuel Roman Salado
Igor Djoman on for Marco Merieles
Ayman Elghobashy on for Manuel Roman Salado
Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho on for Michael Negrette
Manolo names an unchanged side for the third time in as many games as United face a tough ask against Mons Calpe. United come into the game in a rich vein of form and will seek to consolidate the 2nd position in the table. Brad Power is fit enough to take a place on the bench after missing out for a fortnight. Negrette continues to impress and the Under 21 International retains his right wing berth. Top scorer Elghobashy is on the bench with Manolo opting for Roman’s pace to unhinge the tough Mons defence. Both Aguiar and Meireles are up against their former team to add further motivation to what aready is a tasty affair.
The sky had decided to grant the numerous spectators gathered at the stadium an epic spectacle of Ragnarok proportions as first the lightning and thunder bracketed the teams as they walked out; then the deluge that followed ensured that this game was our first real autumnal fixutre and what a game it was!
It was cagey at first from United, all in white, as Mons opted to press the ball high and not give space for United’s wingers to revel. In moves almost unthinkable in years past, United kept the ball well and patiently passing it at the back looking and probing their way past the Mons wall.
Aguiar and Meireles had extra motivation for this game with both having played for Mons last season. The former quickly got into his stride and picked up where he left off last game and began to dictate play down the left wing. He hungered for the ball and ploughed into the the Mons defence with aplomb seeking to create that killer pass for Roman to pounce on.
To be fair there was little action until Roman opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Farinha, a contender for man of the match, whipped in a delight of a cross that was cleared by the Mons defence. It found Roman, lurking with intent at the edge of the box, to fire a sweet half volley into the far corner of the net beyond the reach of the flailing Rocchi in goal. Just reward for the dominance of the ball we were having. Time for Mons to react.
They tried to react but United’s defensive unit did not let them. Bosio and Baio played a selfless game in front of the defence while the quiet Pibe was kept in check by Aymen and Erin. Alberto was having a blinder as well as he pushed on when required forcing the Mons wide player to retreat while Farinha on the the other wing was having his best game in a United shirt. The heavens duly opened on the 25th minute mark as the downpour increased in intensity as supporters began to worry the game might be called off.
The rain seemed to galvanize the boys in White as they once again took control of the ball and pressed onwards. In one such foray the inform Negrette whipped in another cross of immense quality. He has already shown he has the ability to deliver a telling ball and tonight got his 3rd assist of the season by crossing in a peach of a ball that was headed in by Roman from the penalty spot. An excellent goal both in delivery and execution. United delirious; Mons stunned. It was a fair result on the board as Mons were resorting to long balls over the top in the forlorn hope of finding Pibe. Unfortunately for them United held firm
The final act of the first 45 fell to Marco Meireles who delighted fans at the Victoria with United’s 3rd goal. Roman was holding up the ball with his back to goal when he touched it to the onrushing Meireles. He touched it first time with the outside of his right boot and it rifled into the top corner of the net; the hapless Rocchi unable to do anything to stop it. A goal both sublime and with a touch of genius in its execution. Even the elements seemed to stop and wonder as the rain finally abated as United players celebrated with the goal scorer. Mr Barcelo soon called time with United 3-0 up and cruising.
The goal scorer did not emerge for the second half, he had walked off wincing in pain holding his side and he was replaced by Igor Djoman for the second 45. Mons tried desperatley hard to get back into the game but neither the scoreline nor United’s performance allowed them. They made two offensive changes at half time and sought to mix their play up a bit more but they could not find a way through.
The game also developed a more physical side with Mr Barcelo brandishing yellows at an alarming rate. Indeed Mons were to have two players sent off for dissent before the end of the game. Yet it was United that were to have the clear chances in the second half too. Negrette hit the stanchion after being put through by the excellent Aguair. Elghobashy ghosted past the Mons defence to set up Djoman only for Rocchi to pull off an excellent point blank range save. Bosio had a goal disallowed for offside and blazed on just over the bar when, once again, put through by Aguiar. Elghobashy put a shot a centimeter wide of the post after leaving the defence behind; United were indeed in the ascendant!
Pibe was able to net a very late consolation for Mons as United saw the game out and a priceless 3 points that sees us 5 points ahead of St Joseph’s, ahead of their game with Lions on Saturday. It was an excellent performance by the team that has gelled perfectly and are playing in synch and unison. Next Friday’s game against Lincoln will be another test as the Red Imps are in red hot form. Yet for today United will take the performance, the goals and the points!