Gibraltar secure historic back-to-back wins by beating Liechtenstein

Second half headers from George Cabrera and Joseph Chipolina saw Gibraltar come from behind to record historic back-to-back wins at competitive level, as they beat Liechtenstein 2-1 at the Victoria Stadium last night.

Photo (C) William Gracia

Dennis Salanovic had put the visitors ahead in the first half after a mistake by Gibraltar, but in the second half Julio Ribas’ side bounced back in style scoring twice in five minutes to flip the game on its head entirely.

Going into the game there was a clear belief that last night could be special, with the win away at Armenia on the weekend fuelling the confidence of a sold-out Victoria Stadium, who after being left noticeably flat when Gibraltar went behind, were bought back to life in spectacular fashion by Cabrera and Chipolina’s goals.

A beautiful cross by Lee Casciaro set up his Lincoln team-mate Cabrera to head in past Benjamin Buchel in the 61st minute, then five minutes later, after a wave of corner kicks, Joseph Chipolina got his head on the delivery from Liam Walker to guide his header past the former Barnet, Oxford and Bournemouth keeper and complete the turnaround.

Despite one hairy moment when a Liechtenstein shot took a deflection, hit the post and fell gratefully in the arms of Kyle Goldwin, Gibraltar saw out the game with an exemplary sense of maturity – in fact Cabrera could have added a third late on that would have eased the crowd’s nerves, especially when six minutes added time were shown at the end of the second half.

The win sees Gibraltar move into second place courtesy of a better head-to-head record over Armenia, who earlier in the day had beaten Macedonia 4-0, to leave the group a lot tighter than it was threatening to be a few days earlier. Both Gib and Armenia are now only three points off the group leaders going into November’s internationals, the first of which sees the two teams on six points face each other at the Victoria Stadium.

For the meantime though, Gibraltar will just allow events of the last few days to sink in, while they truly come to terms with the achievements of the national team in both Yerevan and Gibraltar. It has been a long time coming, but football has well and truly come home for Gibraltar, and in some style too.

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