Match corresponding to the 9th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Sunday 3rd December 2017 at 16:30. Match report brought to you courstesy of Turicum Private Bank and Quantocoin.
Gibraltar United 0 – 4 Europa Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
3 Mattia Rosato
5 Erin Barnett
6 Brad Power
23 Andre De Oilveira Farinha
4 Yalny Baio
8 Filipe Aguiar
10 Filipe Da Cruz Ramalho
17 Marco Meireles
20 Michael Negrette
19 Manuel Roman Salado
Igor Djoman on for Michael Negrette
Manolo keeps faith with the system that has served as well so far this season. Djoman drops to the bench as Aguiar has now served his one match ban. Elsewhere it is the same team that played against Phoenix last time out. Spots on the bench for De Torres and Dannoun who have impressed in training during the week. With this being the last game before the extended winter break United will surely want to give their supporters something to start the Christmas cheer with.
An intense game that finished with a 4-0 scoreline that was not indicative of the game played between the first and 88th minute. A game, once again, that was conditioned by the referee’s decisions.
It was a brisk December kick off as Europa sought to gain and early lead but United’s defence held firm and Europa’s main outlet was a long ball over the top seeking Kike’s pace, the only early action of note was a Quillo shot that Chino parried to a corner. The former was well shackled until the 18th minute when he scored a spectacular volley that looped over Chino’s head and into the goal. It was rather unfortunate that it took the team going a goal down for United to wake up.
The team in White was in ascendancy until half time with Marco Meireles forcing Javi Muñoz into a decent save after some clever footwork. The midfield had descended into a pitched battle in which Baio for United and Moya for Europa where in their element. The sequences of play did, at times, not last more than three touches of the ball with Mr Canepa’s whistle stopping play for every cry and roll on the floor.
United, however, created very little despite their dominance of the ball and Europa resorted to long balls forward. Roman, very quiet for his standards, seemed out of sorts and Merino and Rodriguez had him well shackled. The game went into a very lengthy stoppage as the latter suffered an injury in a tussle for the ball. The Europa player was immobilised and the ambulance called and he was ultimately stretchered off. We send Rodriguez our best wishes and hope a speedy recovery as no one wants to see any player leaving the field in those conditions.
The second half kicked off in much the same vein but the match had certainly adopted a very physical edge to it and Mr Canepa was dipping into his pocket with increasing regularity. Both teams finished the game with 10 as first Farinha was dismissed for a second booking; he was shortly followed by Kike who saw a straight red for a head butt following a tackle from behind on Aguiar. Tackles kept on flying in and stoppages in play were not allowing the ball to flow freely. Erin Barnett’s half volley that went shy of the post the highlight of the early second half.
As the match progressed United searched in vain for that equaliser. Negrette began to ping crosses in, having moved out wide, and Roman was belatedly trying to use his pace to attack the Europa centre halves. Yet it was a refereeing decision that turned the game. Pipo, once again skilful and full of guile as always, was cynically felled right inside the area, right in front of the referee, as he broke in on goal. To the amazement of everyone in the stadium, including the men and green and black Mr Canepa sought to theatrically wave away the penalty claim when it seemed a clear decision! It could have been a pivotal moment in the match and could have restored parity on the scoreboard.
A bizarre moment several minutes later gave Europa a two goal lead when Brad unwittingly bundled the ball into the net. With the team launched to the attack and suffering the double blow of the non-decision and the goal, Europa scored twice more to give the match a score line that did not reflect the passage of play throughout the 90 minutes.
United finish Round 1 4th but in a downward spiral of form and it can be argued that the extended break comes at a good time for the team as it will give time to regroup and reassess. It will be a long 8 weeks but we will be back stronger and sharper when football resumes on the Rock.