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Galliano: “I am enjoying football again”

FG caught up with Glacis United midfielder Craig Galliano to talk about their win over Mons Calpe in the Rock Cup last week, being surrounded by experienced players such as Marcos Zappacosta and Jamie Bosio – plus more.

Galliano reflected on Glacis’ Rock Cup quarter-final win over Mons Calpe last Wednesday, “I believe the game we played vs Mons was very good. We knew it was gonna be a very tough and physical game but I believe we handled it well. We played the football we have been doing and it wasn’t going to change the way we want to keep playing.”

The 18-year old joined Glacis in January and is starting to enjoy a good run of form – we asked Craig about his time at Glacis so far, “My time here since I’ve come in has been brilliant, I have been playing many minutes, scoring goals and helping the team as much as I can. Before I signed in January I didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t know who was in the team or if I was going to be playing but I believe it has worked out for me so far and I’m enjoying football again.

Glacis take on fellow Challenge Group side Manchester 62 in the semi-final with a mouth-watering opportunity of playing Europe just two games away – we asked Craig how the team feels going into Wednesday’s game, “The team right now is full of confidence. On Wednesday nothing will change, we want to win and play the way we are asked and want to play. We are expecting a tough game because they are also a good physical team but of course, I’d say 2 teams wanting to reach the final.

For any young player, being surrounded by experienced personnel will always have a huge impact on your career – we asked Craig how being around players like Marcos Zappacosta, Miguel Londero and Jamie Bosio has helped him, “I have been playing around many experienced players for a few years now, but now playing for Glacis with players like Zappa & Bosio has assisted and helped me settle in!

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Gracia scores four in College 1975 win

On-loan striker Adam Gracia scored four as College 1975 beat 9-man Europa Point 6-0 last night at the Victoria Stadium

Photo (C) David Roberts

College, who had beaten Europa Point 4-1 when the two sides met last month, came into this game knowing that a win would all but ensure they would not finish last for the season, and after the disappointment of losing on penalties to Manchester 62 in the Rock Cup in midweek, they took advantage of Europa Point having John Stewart and Jacob Webber sent off to secure a comprehensive victory.

Adam Gracia, who has now scored seven goals in as many league games since his loan spell from Europa in the winter, opened the scoring after 13 minutes, before Luis Manuel Gallardo doubled their lead on the half hour mark. Gracia completed his hat-trick with goals in the 58th and 67th minute, 19-year-old Kaylan Franco scored in back-to-back games to make it 5, and Gracia wrapped up the scoring with four minutes to go to secure a 6-0 victory.

Europa Point, who only had 15 players in their squad, will no doubt be concerned at the two sending offs depleting their squad further, as well as the performance, and after the game they tweeted the following:

Lineups:

Europa Point: Tudela; Wilson, Parral, Jos. Webber, McGrail (El Yettefti, 66), Martin, Martinez, Jac. Webber, Stewart, Chiles-Cowell (Juel-Saleh, 76), McCarthy (Acharki, 59)

Unused Subs: Victor

College 1975: Oliva (Warwick, 82); Ramundo (Valero, 59), Mendez, Perez, Matto (Parkinson, 45), Victory, Franco, Gracia, Thorne, Gallardo (Pacheco, 59), Molina (Ruiz, 77)

Unused Subs: Parragues, Marin

Yellow Cards: Jos. Webber, Jac. Webber, Stewart; Gallardo

Red Cards: Jac. Webber, Stewart

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Lincoln in 4-goal victory over Mons

Lincoln Red Imps made it six league wins on the spin as they beat Mons Calpe 5-1 last night in the final part of Saturday’s triple-header

Photo (C) Rough & Ready

Lee Casciaro returned to the Lincoln starting eleven from the last league game, replacing Tjay De Barr in the only Lincoln change, while for Mons, Nathan Santos and Diego Diaz replaced Ashley Rodriguez and Elyakim Musoni from their 4-0 win vs Lions in the league.

With Europa and St Joseph’s having won earlier in the day, Lincoln were expected to make a mark on this match as they looked to take their place on top of the league back, and they did just that, taking a two-goal lead in the opening half hour thanks to the combination of Kike and Lee Casciaro. Casciaro squared the ball to Kike for the opener, before the veteran Gibraltarian attacker made it 2-0 when he scored from the rebound of his Spanish team-mate’s earlier shot.

The second half went in much the same pattern as the first, with Lincoln suffocating Mons out of the game with three further goals. Luke Wall, who scored his first for the club in the cup win vs Lynx in midweek, made it two in as many games when he scored to make it 3-0. Andre Dos Santos was then sent off for Mons against his former club for denying Lincoln a clear goalscoring opportunity, and from the resulting free kick, Kian Ronan eventually scored to make it 4-0. Kike then got his second to make it 5-0, from the penalty spot, before Lincoln took their foot off the gas slightly and saw Ayoub El Hmidi grab a consolation for Mons, heading in from a corner.

The result did little to change the league table from before Saturday’s games – Lincoln remain two points clear of Europa at the top, while Mons are in 4th, three point ahead of Lynx in the battle for a potential final European spot.

Lineups:

Lincoln: Chino; Ronan (Moreno, 70), Wiseman, Lopes, Casciaro, Chipolina (Sergeant, 75), Toscano, Carralero (Britto, 70), Yahaya, Kike (Omoregie, 74), Wall (De Barr, 74)

Unused Subs: Henderson, Torrilla

Mons Calpe: Fraiz; Dos Santos, E. Santos, El Hmidi, Caballero, N. Santos, Ojeda, Ballester, Diaz (Musoni, 61), Ronco (De Los Santos, 53), Mallemaci (Bernardes, 74)

Unused Subs: Montano, Pinero, Boulaich, El Andaloussi

Yellow Cards: Yahaya; E. Santos, Caballero, Diaz

Red Cards: Dos Santos

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Boro takes the win for Saints

A second-half header from St Joseph’s captain Boro ended up being enough for his side to take a narrow 1-0 victory over Lions yesterday evening.

Photo (C) William Gracia

St Joseph’s bought back Carlos Carrasco, Cristian Pecci and Alain Pons into the team from their last league match, while Lions started with seven HGP’s, including a start for Cecil Prescott.

Saints were expected to control the possession and play, with Lions as normal sitting deep and attempting to make life as difficult as possible for their opposition. It took until 27 minutes for keeper Borja Valades to be called into serious action, making a great save from Boro before Kaylan Rumbo blocked Juanfri’s follow-up effort. Apart from another great save to deny Juanma just before half-time, Lions were not seeing their goal bombarded, with St Joseph’s not making the most of the possession they were having.

Saints made an attacking change at the break, taking off Fede Villar and bringing on Angel Guirado, and just after the hour mark, they would finally take the lead. Aymen Mouelhi’s shot hit the woodwork and eventually Boro managed to head the ball in from very close range to break Lions resistance.

The game had all the potential of their first meeting, where Lions grabbed a late equaliser from goalkeeper Valades, but this time their late chance was from Jared Buhagiar, who shot over from outside the box, and Lions could not take anything from the game to deny Saints.

Lineups:

St Joseph’s: Robba; Carrasco, Boro (Garro, 81), Nano (Borghi, 60), Pishu, Barnett, Juanfri, Villar (Guirado, 45), Pons, Juanma, Mouelhi

Unused Subs: Mateo, Serra, Rojas, Ferrer

Lions: Valades; Tovar, Bosio, Breakspear (Dobinson, 81), Rumbo, Cintas (Ruiz, 70), Peacock (Morales, 50), Buhagiar, Cortes, Hastings, Prescott (Verjaque, 70)

Unused Subs: Victor, Grech, Borja Sanchez

Yellow Cards: Juanma; Rumbo, Buhagiar, Hastings, Morales

Red Cards: None

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Europa eventually overcome stubborn Lynx

It took 65 minutes for Europa to break the deadlock, but they eventually went on to beat a resilient, stubborn Lynx side 3-0 yesterday afternoon.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Before the game, the absence of Liam Walker from the Europa 18-man squad for the first time in a league game since April 2019 only added to the growing rumours about the Europa captain’s future at the club – Jack Breed came in to the side for his league debut while Juampe took the armband. For Lynx, Bradley Avellano, on loan from Lincoln, continued in goal while Bradley Banda recovers from a hamstring injury.

The first half was a fairly flat affair, with Europa trying to break down Lynx but missing that spark that could have unlocked their defence. They could have had an early penalty, but Marco Rosa was adjudged to have dived in the box despite some sort of contact being clear to hear from the stands – the midfielder was booked. Soon after, Breed whipped in a good cross which Mikey Yome headed towards goal, but Avellano stood firm and made a good save to deny the Europa winger.

Lynx were resolute defensively but were not overly testing Europa’s defence, meaning most of the traffic, despite how slow it was at times, was one-way – Adrian Gallardo twice had the ball in the net only for the offside flag to be raised, while Niels Hartman made a superb last-ditch tackle when Juampe looked certain to go on and score.

Europa continued to huff and puff into the second half, and after 65 minutes they finally broke Lynx’s resistance, when Marco Rosa was set up by Juampe – and the midfielder who had earlier been booked finished in off the post to put Europa ahead. Soon after, Europa keeper Christian Lopez was finally called into action, making a one-handed save to deny Jesse Victory from equalising for Lynx. With 15 minutes to go, Lynx had handball appeals in the box turned down, but it would be two Europa subs who would add some gloss to the final scoreline.

Chico Diaz received a long ball over the Lynx defence and fired it in from close range moments before injury time, before Leon Clinton, on his league debut for the club, absolutely rocketed in an effort from 25 to 30 yards out to secure a 3-0 win – the scoreline itself was harsh on Lynx who battled hard all game, but the result was a fair one on the balance of things.

Lineups:

Europa: Lopez; Jolley (Alvarez, 80), Breed, Olmo, Juampe, Gallardo (Borge, 80), Yome (Clinton, 57), Badr, Carrascal, Rosa (Diaz, 72), Juanlu (Polaco, 80)

Unused Subs: Romero, Ayew

Lynx: B. Avellano; Serra (Victory, 58), Power, Hartman, Hernandez (Valdivia, 58), Parody (Huart, 67), Torres (Parkinson, 85), Espinosa, Valarino, Santos (Caravaca, 46), Morente

Unused Subs: Navarro, T. Avellano

Yellow Cards: Rosa; Torres, Parkinson

Red Cards: None

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Zuniga brace helps Magpies ease past Manchester

Two second-half goals from defender Francisco Zuniga helped Bruno’s Magpies beat Manchester 62 4-0 last night at the Victoria Stadium.

Photo (C) David Roberts

The match, which saw a crowd of about 30 or so people attend with fans allowed back for the first time, was a straight-forward affair for Magpies, who had benefitted from more rest than their opponents, who had won in the Rock Cup on Tuesday night against College 1975. Magpies saw Kelvin Morgan miss out after picking up his 5th yellow card in the last game, while for Manchester, Mikey Borge took place in goal over Ayden Vinales, who had saved two penalties in the cup shoot-out.

Zuniga had the earliest chance of the game, when he headed over from Alan Parker’s deflected free kick, before Javi Gallardo’s lobbed effort went over both Borge and the Manchester 62 crossbar. Johnny’s side did find the breakthrough not long after though, as Jayce Consigliero’s threaded pass set up Rubo to score his 14th of the season, eight of which have come in the Challenge Group. The striker should have doubled his tally, but headed straight at Borge soon after, before Magpies keeper Alan Martin had to make a smart stop, denying his team-mate Dan Bent from heading into his own goal.

Injuries to Jean-Carlos Garcia, and seemingly also to Jeremy Lopez, either side of half-time, would have concerned Magpies, while Manchester also lost Robert Montovio and Robert Guiling to injuries as well, with the pair now major doubts for next week’s Rock Cup semi-final against Glacis. The second half was a much slower contest as Magpies comfortably extended their lead and ensured no slip in concentration. Zuniga doubled their sides lead from close range after 55 minutes, before the 30-year-old Mexican made it 3-0 from a set piece. Another set-piece would prove to be Manchester’s final undoing, as after some unconvincing goalkeeping, Ruben Diaz appeared to get the final touch to wrap up the game at 4-0.

Lineups:

Bruno’s Magpies: Martin; Garcia (De Haro, 42), Gallardo (Cataruozzolo, 78), Diaz, Zuniga, Lopez (Livingstone, 50), Coombes, Bent, Consigliero, Parker, Rubo (Assumpcao, 78)

Unused Subs: J. Perez, Fernandez, Vinet

Manchester 62: Borge; Sardena (Sanchez, 62), Pereira (Mifsud, 70), Montovio (Farmer, 44), Negrette, Ballantine, Thomas (Asquez, 70), Guiling (Moir, 62), Edzes, Clenahan, Garcia

Unused Subs: McCarthy

Yellow Cards: Ballantine, Thomas

Red Cards: None

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Spectators to return to all sporting venues from Friday

The Victoria Stadium, as well as all other sporting venues in Gibraltar, will be able to welcome back fans as of this coming Friday, it was confirmed this afternoon.

Photo (C) Rough & Ready

The GFA confirmed this afternoon that following confirmation from the GSLA, spectators can return as of Friday 16th April, with numbers set to be restricted to 50% of the total capacity at present. The statement is as follows:

“The Gibraltar FA is delighted to have received confirmation, from the Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority, that spectators will be allowed back into all sporting venues across Gibraltar as from Friday 16th April 2021.

At present, all facilities will be limited to a maximum of 50% capacity and we would like to urge all those attending any football fixtures to fully co-operate with any requirements or requests made by onsite GSLA staff or indeed Gibraltar FA Delegates.

We would like to thank the GSLA, Civil Contingencies, Public Health Gibraltar and HM Government of Gibraltar for all of their amazing efforts and their hard work to ensure that Gibraltar is in a position to allow spectators to return to all of its sporting venues.”

The first game which would be set to benefit from the return of spectators is Bruno’s Magpies vs Manchester 62 on Friday evening, which kicks off at 8:30pm. The full weekend schedule for the Gibraltar National League is as follows:

  • Bruno’s Magpies v Manchester 62 – Friday 8:30pm
  • Europa v Lynx – Saturday 4pm
  • St Joseph’s v Lions – Saturday 6:30pm
  • Lincoln v Mons Calpe – Sunday 4pm
  • Europa Point v College – Sunday 6:30pm

Visit the Gibraltar FA website to find out times for other competitions, such as Men’s and Women’s Futsal, the Intermediate League, and more.

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Lincoln put seven past Lynx

Lincoln moved two points clear at the top of the Gibraltar National League after a resounding 7-0 victory over Lynx yesterday evening.

Photo (C) David Roberts

The last time these two sides played, Lynx shocked Lincoln when beating them, but this time out Lincoln ensured there was to be no repeat, especially given the earlier result that day between Europa and St Joseph’s meaning they could move two points clear.

Kike and Fernando Carralero scored in quick succession just after the half-hour mark, before the floodgates opened in the second half. Carralero got his second and Mustapha Yahaya also scored, before Lynx, who had used all five subs, saw keeper Bradley Banda come off injured with 20 minutes to go, meaning winger Jaydan Parody had to take up the gloves as a makeshift keeper.

Parody was understandably unable to further keep out Lincoln, who added a further three goals through a second from Kike, as well as strikes from Sunday Omoregie and Diego Gamiz, to wrap up the game at 7-0. Lincoln remain first, extending their lead over Europa to two points, while Lynx stay fifth and will be looking for Lions to do them a favour when they play Mons Calpe this afternoon.

Lineups:

Lynx: Banda; Serra, Power, Hartman, Caravaca, Hernandez (Valdivia, 61), Gonzalez (Morente, 56), Espinosa, Chuky (Hanglin, 56), Victory (Parody, 61), Bauti (Santos, 26)

Unused Subs: Avellano, Parkinson

Lincoln: Chino; Ronan, Wiseman, Lopes, De Barr, Chipolina, Toscano, Carralero (Coombes, 59), Yahaya, Kike (Omoregie, 71), Wall (Gamiz, 65)

Unused Subs: Soler, Torrilla, Moreno, Sergeant

Yellow Cards: Espinosa

Red Cards: None

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Saints and Europa share the spoils

St Joseph’s and Europa both dropped points in the title race as the pair drew 1-1 yesterday afternoon.

Photo (C) Rough & Ready

Both teams came into this game knowing that a win could put the pressure on Lincoln, who were to play later that evening against Lynx, and it was Saints who struck the opening blow when Juanma scored directly from a free-kick just before the 15 minute mark. Their lead would last mere minutes though, as after St Joseph’s failed to clear their lines, Marco Rosa curled an effort into the top corner from outside the box.

Juanma would come up important at the other end too, as after a super save from Jamie Robba to deny Rosa a second, the Saints scorer would head off the line from the resulting corner. In the second half, Saints went closest to scoring when they hit the woodwork, while Boro saw a shot saved by Christian Lopez.

Neither team could find the winner, despite Stefano Borghi squandering a late chance for St Joseph’s, and Adrian Gallardo being denied for Europa by a good block by Fede Villar, and the draw sees Europa now two points off the top, and St Joseph’s five off Lincoln, with eight games remaining in the Championship Group.

Lineups:

St Joseph’s: Robba; Boro (Rojas, 88), Nano, Pishu, Barnett, Pecci (Carrasco, 70), Moulds, Juanfri (Borghi, 74), Villar, Juanma, Mouelhi

Unused Subs: Hernandez, Garro, Guirado, Pons

Europa: Lopez; Olmo (Gallardo, 77), Ayew, Juampe (Juanlu, 85), Walker, Yome (Gibson, 77), Jimenez, Badr, Aviles, Rosa (Alvarez, 88), Borge

Unused Subs: Romero, Breed, Diaz

Yellow Cards: Pecci, Moulds, Juanma; Olmo, Yome, Jimenez, Borge

Red Cards: None

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Gibraltar to play away friendly double-header in June

The Gibraltar National Team will take on Slovenia and Andorra in away friendlies in June.

Photo (C) William Gracia

After the March international triple-header, Julio Ribas’ side don’t have any competitive internationals until September, but with a window for friendlies available in June just before the rescheduled Euro’s, the opportunity to get more matches under the national teams belt has come up, and Gib will be taking on teams ranked 63rd and 158th in the world respectively.

Slovenia, who were promoted from League C of the Nations League last time out, so won’t be a potential opponent when Gib are drawn into that league, impressively beat Croatia in the last international break before defeats away at Russia and Cyprus. In Atletico’s Jan Oblak, they have arguably the best goalkeeper in world football, while Josip Ilicic of Atalanta is a known talent who has been part of one of the most exciting attacking teams in Europe in the last couple of seasons.

As for Andorra, this will be the first meeting in football between two of UEFA’s smallest populated nations – they finished bottom of their Nations League D group last time out, which Faroe Islands qualified from, but are an improving nation nonetheless and will provide a good challenge for the national team. Like Gib, they have a number of older, experienced internationals, but the most recognisable of them all, Ildefons Lima, will not likely be involved in the national team after he was exiled from the national team when he questioned the return of football in the principality without any Covid-19 testing measures in place. His 128 caps and 11 goals from centre-back made him Andorra’s leading appearance maker and goalscorer, and fans of Lincoln will recognise him after he scored for Santa Coloma in Lincoln’s 2-1 victory in Andorra – the first time a Gibraltarian side won a Champions League qualifying tie.

The Andorra game will take place at the Estadi Nacional on 7th June, while the friendly vs Slovenia, on 4th June, has no confirmed venue as of yet – kick-off times for both matches will be announced in due course.