Match corresponding to the 25th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier League and played on Saturday 6th May 2017 at 18:15. Match report brought to you courtesy of Turicum Private Bank.
Gibraltar United Football Club 2 – 1 Glacis United Football Club
Hernandez, Andrew ‘Pishu’
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin (C)
6 Dexter Panzavechia
19 Brad Power
5 Jason Pusey
21 Erin Barnett
8 Andrew ‘Pishu’ Hernandez
24 Jamie Bosio
15 Aymen Mouelhi
9 Evan Green
14 Paul Podesta
4 Anthony Hernandez
Ashley Rodriguez on for Evan Green
Kaylan Rumbo on for Paul Podesta
Robert Montovio on for Anthony Hernandez
United come into the match with the sour taste of a 0-0 draw vs Lions last time out that should have been three points. Our opponents today, Glacis United, have transformed themselves from relegation candidates last year to sitting snugly in 4th this time around. Former United player Jared Buhagiar lined up against us while Manolo made several changes too. Robert dropped to the bench with both Podesta and Green flanking Anthony on point. An injury to Ashley Perez meant that Dexter had to cover at left back. Chino took the armband for this transcendental game.
The three points at stake today are vital for the basement battle currently going on. United were conscious that a win would take us above Lions on goal difference and 4 points clear of Man 62 in 9th. Glacis would be no pushovers though and have proven to be a resilient and tough team to beat this season, a recent 3-3 draw against Lincoln testament to this.
United kicked off in the May sunshine and immediately sought quick balls out to the flanks to Podesta and Green who tried to make spaces for Anthony to attack. Though there was little early action United looked calm and composed, though at times holding a high line at the back. Bosio and Aymen were relishing the midfield battle with the latter in particular once again having a great match and demonstrating the rich vein of form he is currently in. Glacis were resorting to balls over the top looking to exploit the pace of their pacy wingers Ferrer and Llaves; their frustrations at constantly being caught offside earned them bookings for dissent.
The opening goal came after a period of Red and White dominance of the ball. We had been knocking at the door once or twice in the minutes previous to the goal. Pishu found himself with the ball after a cleared ball with only rushing keeper to beat. Setting himself he lobbed the ball over the keeper only for it to be cleared for corner on the goal line. Jamie Bosio struck the ball goalwards, with the keeper beaten it required another goal line clearance to keep Glacis in the game. 5 minutes later however United got the lead they so deserved.
Aymen, majestic and imperious in the middle of the park, stole possession from a plodding Glacis player and played a delightful ball over the Glacis defence. Anthony, ever the predator, was hovering in the space between the centre halves, deftly controlled the ball with his chest and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper. United 1-0 up and deservedly so. Thanks to Vanessa Correa for the video.
As Glacis sought to equalise United began to catch them on the counter. In one such move the right back, Pineda, had to resort to a pulling Anthony back as he ghosted past him. Referee, Mr Murphy, had no choice but to show him a second yellow card (the first he got for kicking the ball away) and send him off despite the vocal protestations of the Glacis bench. In a following counter attack some excellent pressure from Podesta forced the keeper into an error, Anthony proved rather wasteful as he blasted the ball wide. In the last action before the ref called time, Anthony once again with the chance but this time the keeper kept him out with an excellent save. United ascendant in this first half and deservedly so.
The game resumed for the second 45 with United safe in the knowledge that a similar performance would mean 3 points. However this second half was to be rather controversial with three red cards being dished out by the ref. The first one was a double red for the Glacis keeper and Dexter who came head to head over a challenge. Mr Murphy sent Dexter off and the Glacis keeper also got his marching orders following some afters with United players. Glacis now with 9 players, United with 10. The football prevalent in the first half seemed to have lost its role to play acting and cynical fouls across the pitch
As a result Ashley Rodriguez came on for Green as the game had taken on a more physical slant. United however could not capitalise on their numerical advantage. Anthony again proved profligate missing a golden chance to bring the game to bed missing a one on one with the keeper. It was not long after that Glacis were down to 8 men as skipper Leo Pereyra saw a second yellow to also end up early in the showers. Surely now United had the three points. Double disaster however soon struck.
Jamie Bosio collapsed in a heap after a challenge and from the off it did not look good. He was on the floor for a while and was eventually taken to hospital by an ambulance. Worrying scenes for both sets of players to see a colleague leave the pitch in those circumstances. It later came to light that Jamie suffers from a fractured elbow, speedy recovery Jamie. To add insult to injury Glacis United equalised soon after following a needless free kick. Indeed, it felt more like a physical kick! Was fortune once again going to play its fickle games with us?
Not if Pishu Hernandz had anything to do with it. A few minutes had passed from the equaliser when Aymen, with his second assist of the game fed Pishu. I shall let the video do the talking;
The poise and clam this young man showed in front of the goal belied his years. Indeed a footballing gem in the making. The fight left the Glacis players despite a huge 7 minutes of added time. The result was like manna from heaven for United but it also meant that St Joseph’s mathematically qualified for the UEFA Europa League next season by cementing the 3rd place in the league. For United it meant breathing space between us and Man 62 and leap frogging Lions into 7th place with 2 two games to go. Morale was up and the players are already looking forward to locking horns with Europa FC this coming Friday.