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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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Saints and Europa to meet in Rock Cup quarter-finals

St Joseph’s and Europa will face off in the Rock Cup quarter-finals after securing wins against Bruno’s Magpies and Europa Point respectively yesterday.

Photo (C) Rough & Ready

Saints opened the cup this year with a tight 2-1 victory against Bruno’s Magpies in the early kick-off. Juanfri had put St Joseph’s 1-0 up just before half-time, before Javi Casares equalised for the Challenge Group leaders soon after half time. The tie looked like remaining at 1-1 until five minutes to go, when Andrew Hernandez pounced on a loose ball to grab the winner for Raul Procopio’s side.

Europa’s game was much more of a formality, as they comprehensively beat Europa Point 10-0 in the later kick-off. From the get go, the gulf in class between the two was clear to see, and fresh off making his international debut against Montenegro, Dylan Borge grabbed four of the 10 goals – Liam Walker and Adrian Gallardo scored two each, while Mikey Yome and Olmo scored the other goals as Rafael Escobar’s side comfortably set up the quarter final tie vs their title rivals.

Today’s fixtures see Glacis take on Intermediate League side Hound Dogs in the 6:30pm kick-off – the winner of that tie will face Mons Calpe, while in the later kick-off, Lincoln take on Lions, with the winner set to face Lynx in the last eight. The other quarter final, already set in stone, sees Manchester 62 take on College 1975 – all quarter-finals are scheduled for between the 13th – 14th April, with the semi-finals a week after, and the final on 21st May.

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup draw

The Gibtelecom Rock Cup makes its return after last season’s exclusion due to Covid and has seen Magpies being drawn against St Joseph’s the pick of the first round.

First Round (6-7th April)

  1. FCB Magpies vs St Joseph’s
  2. Europa FC vs Europa Point FC
  3. Glacis United vs FC Hound Dogs
  4. Lincoln Red Imps vs Lions Gibraltar

Quarter Finals (13-14th April)

  1. Europa or Europa Point vs FCB Magpies or St Joseph’s
  2. Glacis United or FC Hound Dogs vs Mons Calpe
  3. Lincoln Red Imps or Lions Gibraltar vs Lynx
  4. Manchester 62 vs College 1975

Semi Finals (20-21st April)

  1. Winner QF 3 vs Winner QF1
  2. Winner QF4 vs Winner QF2

Final (19th May)

  1. Winner SF2 v Winner SF1
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All football activity suspended until further notice

After the recent announcement that Gibraltar was to be placed in a National Lockdown, the Gibraltar FA confirmed today that all football activity is to be suspended until further notice.

Photo (C) William Gracia

The National League, Intermediate League, Women’s League and Futsal were meant to continue or commence in 2021, but after last weekend’s announcement of a National Lockdown being implemented in Gibraltar, local football has inevitably and understandably been halted.

In a statement, the Gibraltar FA say: “Following Public Health Health Guidelines and in line with the restrictions in place across Gibraltar as a result of the recently announced National Lockdown, the Gibraltar FA confirms that all football activity is currently suspended until further notice.

As such, the Gibraltar National League will not restart on the 12th January 2021 as originally scheduled, and unfortunately the Women’s League will also be unable to restart. 

The Gibraltar FA will continue working very closely with Public Heath Gibraltar, and the GSLA, to ensure that football can return as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, the Association echoes the message of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar and Public Health, to stay at home as much as possible, and adhere to all advice in order to help stop this wave of Coronavirus spreading throughout our community, and support all our authorities and front line workers working tirelessly day in day out to keep us safe.”

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-final review

The Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-finals brought no surprises as Mons Calpe, St Joseph’s, Europa and Lincoln Red Imps progress into the next round.


Mons Calpe 3-1 Europa Point

Mons rushed into an early two-goal lead against Europa Point, with Diego Diaz and Andre Dos Santos scoring in the first ten minutes before things settled down a bit more.

Europa Point was out of the traps early in the second half and got a goal back thanks to Diego Vera’s header, but their chances of a comeback were ended after Samuel Vermeeren’s own goal, and captain Antony Moulds late red card.

Mons is the only Challenge Group team left in the cup, and while they are now rank outsiders, they will look to make the cup final for the second time in three years.


St Joseph’s 1-0 Brunos Magpies

If last weekend’s encounter was anything to go by, we expected a fiery contest and certainly got it. With the level of football being played below par, both teams didn’t hide away from any strong challenges.

Juanfri scored from the penalty spot to send 10-man Saints, who had Angel Guirado sent off, into the semi-final since 2017 but it was the altercation after the final whistle which was the main focal point.

An altercation between Kelvin Morgan and Juanma Gonzalez spurred on a brawl between both teams which took quite some time to calm down – a situation which you’d believe the Gibraltar FA will investigate further.


Europa 2-0 Lions

The Rock Cup holders went safely through to the semi-finals thanks to goals from Fernando Velasco and Manuel Dimas. The Green found it tough to break the well-organised Lions defence, an improvement from their 7-0 defeat last weekend.

Europa will need to be much better for Saturday when they come up against St Joseph’s – a doubt for that match could be Olmo who came off early with a suspected groin injury.


Lincoln 6-0 Boca

As expected, Lincoln beat Boca, by a score of 6-0 on Sunday afternoon. Boca made them work for it, but Pibe’s brace and Jamie Coombes first-half goal meant at the break the game was all but done.

Boca gave Lincoln a slight scare in winning a penalty, but they missed from 12 yards, and that led to Lincoln making sure there was to be no hint of a comeback – Oli, Gato, and Blas Alvarez all scored in the second half to put an end to a spirited Boca side, who before the game may have been fearing a bigger scoreline.

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Possible turning point for Magpies?

Magpies win over Lynx last weekend in the Gibtelecom Rock Cup was slender but showed glimpses of promise – could this be the turning point they need to push on and impress for the remainder of the season?

Jaron Vinet finished off an excellent through ball by Brian Perez in the second half to win 1-0 and secure a spot in the quarter-final. It would be hard to say that their win wasn’t deserved and at times, showed a performance to match the result.

After a hit-and-miss season which saw them win their opening three games of the Gibraltar National League, they then went on and lose eight of their next twelve games.

Within the space of four months, Magpies have seen two managers leave, as well as a whole bunch of players leave who realistically didn’t fit the bill of a team in the top six.

Magpies moved away from bringing in a whole host of foreign talent and went for the option of signing Gibraltarian players – a clever move when you remember that the HGP ruling rises to five next season.

There is exciting talent in this squad – Brian Perez showed last weekend that he still has that killer pass, youngster Jaron Vinet continues to improve and other players such as Tyson Ruiz and Shea Breakspear (amongst others) can only help the team get stronger for next season.

One player who has stood out this season has been Dan Bent – the English defender has played 12 out of Magpies’ 15 games this season and has played solidly when called upon – we look forward to seeing how this Magpies team takes shape in the coming months.

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup First Round Review

Brunos Magpies edged out Lynx in a fiery encounter while FG correctly predicted Europa Point, Europa, Lincoln Red Imps and Mons Calpe all qualifying for the quarter-final.


FC Hound Dogs 0-10 Europa Point

Maybe not the scoreline which many expected but Europa Point cruised through to the next round. Lukas Lindholm & Dean Dillion both got hat-tricks, Joshua Moody with a brace and a goal each from Cian Collins and Omar El Yettefti sealed the win for Ian Hendon’s side.

Europa Point will hope that the bizarre straight red card shown to Omar El Yettefti is received with the minimal suspension.


Europa FC 12-0 Glacis United

The holders made light work of their opponents with an easy win to progress into the quarter-finals. Team selection by Europa raised a few questions on whether such a strong team was needed, but the big guns came out all guns blazing with Labra scoring four goals.


Lincoln Red Imps 15-0 College 1975

Just like Europa – team selection was at full strength and against the opposition which they thrashed 9-1 in mid-September. With their Intermediate team undefeated, this could have been a chance to show off some of their excellent talents.

Emmanuel Sunday was on red hot form with the Nigerian scoring seven goals.


Manchester 62 1-2 Mons Calpe

Mons Calpe came from behind to secure a spot in the quarter-final thanks to a brace from Argentine striker Diego Diaz. Man62 captain Scott Ballantine put his side ahead but after Diaz’s first goal was adjudged to have crossed the line, he made no mistake when firing a shot past Tomizawa in the second half.

A disappointing result for Man62 who gave it a good fight but with Kian Ronan playing striker for the injured Robert Montovio – it never felt as they would get back into the game after the equaliser.


Lynx FC 0-1 Brunos Magpies

The main game of the round didn’t disappoint as Magpies got revenge for their league defeat to Lynx in January and eliminated them from the Gibtelecom Rock Cup.

An excellent through ball from Brian Perez found the feet of Jaron Vinet and his second-half goal secured a 1-0 win.

After some pushing and shoving at the end of the first half, you knew frustrations would boil over eventually and with 10 minutes remaining, it certainly did. An altercation between Mohamed Badr & Dan Bent ensued with a flurry of yellow cards being shown by the referee. Once everything calmed down, Lynx head coach Albert Parody was sent off which was quickly followed by the Magpies captain Brian Perez.


Europa Point, Europa, Lincoln, Mons Calpe, Magpies will join Boca, Lions & St Joseph’s in the pot for the Gibtelecom Rock Cup quarter-final draw.

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Gibtelecom Rock Cup First Round Preview

The 2020 Gibtelecom Rock Cup gets underway tomorrow, with Hound Dogs v Europa Point the first of five matches taking place over the next few days – read on for our predictions of all five games.

Photo © Rough and Ready

Hound Dogs v Europa Point:

Europa Point have been resurgent under the managerial guidance of Ian Hendon and come into this one on the back of five games unbeaten – they should in truth have too much for a Hound Dogs side who get their first taste of non-Intermediate League football this year.

Prediction: Hound Dogs 1-5 Europa Point

Europa v Glacis:

It will be interesting to see how Europa approach the cup this year – you’d imagine with the league in their hands they would want to also secure the cup and take the domestic treble, having already won the Pepe Reyes Cup. Their league meeting was a 6-2 victory which in truth flattered Europa, who scored three times in the last 10 minutes vs a tiring Glacis side, but we think, much like vs Lions earlier this year, Europa will show they have learned their lessons of taking teams too lightly.

Prediction: Europa 4-0 Glacis

Lincoln Red Imps v College 1975:

Realistically Lincoln’s final chance of silverware this season, Lincoln may take out their anger of losing back-to-back games on a College side who have yet to pick up a result this season. The league meeting between the two ended 9-1, and we could see a similar scoreline in what may be a lopsided Saturday of football.

Prediction: Lincoln 8-0 College 1975

Manchester 62 v Mons Calpe:

One of the two games which on paper are harder to call, as two Challenge Group teams face off for the second time in a month. In the last meeting, Manchester had more of the ball but were wasteful and lost 3-0 – this time out we see it being a bit tighter with Manchester surely learning some lessons – however we think Mons will have just too much for them.

Prediction: Manchester 62 1-2 Mons Calpe

Lynx v Bruno’s Magpies:

The tie of the round on paper, Lynx take on Magpies having beaten them 3-1 just a couple of weeks ago. Lynx punished Magpies errors in that game, but this one should be a lot tighter with both teams eyeing the cup as their only realistic chance of Europa League qualification this season – this is a game which could easily go to penalties, where we’ve plumped for Lynx to come out on top, just.

Prediction: Lynx 2-2 Bruno’s Magpies (Lynx win on penalties)

St Joseph’s, Lions and Boca all got a bye to the Quarter Finals, but who will join them?

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Europa retain Gibtelecom Rock Cup for a third year

Second half goals from Manuel Arana, Urko Arroyo and a Liam Walker penalty helped Europa beat Gibraltar United 3-0 and retain the Gibtelecom Rock Cup for a third consecutive year.

In the pre-Rock Cup press conference, Europa head coach Rafa Escobar didn’t give any hints as to his who his three HGP’s following the suspension of Tjay De Barr. As expected, it would be Dayle Coleing named alongside Liam Walker & Ethan Jolley.

Alberto Zapata had a glorious chance to score in the first fifteen minutes but volleyed his close range shot over the bar. Ten minutes later, Europa would reply as Manuel Arana shot just wide from inside the box.

There wasn’t much between the teams for the rest of the half apart from Liam Walker’s free-kick which was well saved by Kyle Goldwin. Herbert Warwick blew for half-time with the score locked at 0-0.

Goldwin was called into action, making an excellent save to keep out a shot from Manuel Dimas. After starting the half strong, Europa got their goal through Manuel Arana as he beat Erin Barnett to the ball, run on goal and fired past Goldwin.

Less than ten minutes later and Europa doubled their lead, Arana went from scorer to provider as he set up Urko Arroyo to slot the ball in from close.

Things went from bad to worse for Gibraltar United as Europa made it 3-0 minutes later as Liam Walker scored from the penalty spot. The holder nearly got a fourth but Goldwin did well to save a shot from Dimas.

Gibraltar United bench were furious with the decision not to send off Manuel Arana after his altercation with Carlos Carrasco. Francis Huart walked back to the bench then out of nowhere whipped out a Lincoln shirt and start shouting towards the Europa fans. This foolish act would see the Gibraltar United delegate sent to stands.

Europa held on to their lead and retained the Gibtelecom Rock Cup.