A second half penalty from Joseph Chipolina secured Gibraltar a 1-0 win away to Armenia, their first ever competitive victory – here’s what Adam Roberts learnt from the game.
1) Chino a national hero
I’ve seen some good goalkeeping display over the last few years but none better than Chino’s last night. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and co threw everything they had at Gibraltar’s number one keeper and nothing was getting past him. His performance instilled a confidence into the Gibraltar defence which you knew was going to help us.
“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
2) Captain Leader Legend
After missing Gibraltar’s first two Nations League games, Roy Chipolina walked straight into Gibraltar’s defence and put in a performance you’d expect from a leader. His partnership with Joseph was solid from start to finish and dealt with the Armenian attacks with ease, you could probably go as far to say they had Mkhitaryan in their pockets.
I have heard for too long that it’s time for Roy to go, after that performance – no one is on his level.
3) An unforgettable debut
I know that against Macedonia, I heavily criticised Gibraltar’s midfield that night but within reason. Yesterday showed that playing with only one attacking midfielder was hugely beneficial and Pishu, who isn’t as attack minded as his brother Anthony, gave Bardon the cover which saw him rarely outnumbered.
Now it’s over to you, Graeme Torrilla.
4) Never stopped running
From the first minute to the last, both Jamie Coombes & Reece Styche gave it their all. Two different types of players which in the end, were used terrifically by Julio Ribas. Coombes’ was a nuisance to the Armenian defence and maybe should have scored from his chance in the first few minutes while Reece used his physical prowess to hold the ball up, wait for reinforcements to arrive and at times, win set pieces in dangerous areas.
Having a plan A & B is just what Gibraltar needs.
5) Team work makes the dreams work
Despite us seeing probably one of the, if not the best individual performance in a Gibraltar shirt – we must not forget the fact that yesterday was a team performance which everyone can be proud of. From Jack Sergeant at right-back to Anthony Bardon doubling up on Mkhitaryan time after time and Lee Casciaro winning the penalty – they all played a hugely important role and one which everyone can be proud of.
So to all players, coaching staff and everyone else involved – Gibraltar thanks you.
My conclusion: It’s hard to put yesterday’s game into words, the emotions after the final whistle will stay with me forever but I’ll end this with some words from Lee Casciaro “Proud for our first competitive win, i dedicate it to past and present players hope to have made u guys proud.”