A glimpse of the past came back to haunt Gibraltar as three goals in the opening six minutes of the second half helped Armenia on their way to a resounding 6-2 win.
Armenia got the game underway in the Victoria Stadium with six of their players standing on the halfway line. Not even 10 minutes in and the visitors had Artur Kartashyan & Yura Movsisyan receive yellow cards while Gibraltar’s lone striker Tjay De Barr picked up two heavy challenges from Daghbashyan & Kartashyan, the latter being cautioned.
Lee Casciaro intercepted a pass out from the back and sprung a counter-attack which saw Europa striker De Barr through on goal; he showed great composure to round the keeper and stroke the ball into an empty net. After Ghazaryan saw his free-kick cleared for a corner, the Chaves winger delivered a dangerous corner towards Chino’s goal which the keeper excellently punched from danger.
It took Gibraltar 25 minutes for their first booking as Joseph Chipolina came in late on Ghazaryan after some quick movement. Armenia pulled a goal back a few seconds after as Movsisyan’s shot at the back post squeezed past Goldwin and despite Roy Chipolina’s best efforts to clear the ball off the line, the referee gave the goal.
With a minute of the first half remaining, Goldwin was called into action as he kept out a header from Sargis Adamyan and after three minutes of added time – both teams went into the break with the score at 1-1.
Just two minutes into the second half and Armenia took the lead, Movsisyan latched onto a through ball and slotted the ball into the bottom corner. The visitors made it 3-1 shortly after as Hovhannisyan got in behind the defence and cut the ball back to Movsisyan who rifled a shot in off the crossbar.
Armenia capped off a crazy six minutes by making it 4-1, the Gibraltar defence failed to deal with a corner and Movsisyan was on hand to tap the ball in from close at the back post. During the visitors celebrations, Gibraltar goalkeeper Kyle Goldwin was booked which means he is suspended for the game against Macedonia.
On the 66th minute, Armenia made it 5-1 as Mkhitaryan’s free-kick was saved and Kartashyan reacted quickest to the rebound to tap the ball in. Minutes after coming on as a substitute, Adam Priestly made it 2-5 as he drifted past his marker and slotted the ball past Airapetyran.
After being caught in the face by a Mhkitaryan cross in the first half, a foul from Ghazayran on the 80th minute spelt the end of Joseph Chipolina’s night as he was replaced by Gibraltar United defender Aymen Mouelhi who came on to make his debut. With the last kick of the game, Armenia made it 6-2 as Karapetyan ran through on goal and excellently slotted the ball past Goldwin.