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Fernando Diaz shines in Magpies’ win

Bruno’s Magpies moved up to fourth after beating 10-man Olympique 3-1 courtesy of goals from Arif Hattabi, Ahmed Elsahib & Jose Villegas.

The first half was an evenly contested battle, both teams were playing well but neither able to break the deadlock. Olympique looked the better side in the first half and had a great chance to take the lead but Nicholas Ramagge’s curling shot hit the crossbar.

Minutes later Magpies keeper Fernando Diaz produced a wonder save as he kept out Israel Castillo’s close range shot. Both teams went into the break at 0-0.

The second half started with Magpies on the attack and broke the deadlock on the hour mark, Max Bothen played the ball to Arif Hattabi who slotted his effort past Munoz and into the bottom corner. Two minutes later Magpies doubled their lead, Ahmed Elsahib capitalised on a poor back-pass from James Fortunato and lobbed the onrushing Rafael Munoz Ruiz.

Magpies keeper produced another magnificent save to keep out Justin Santos’ lobbed effort. The resulting corner was whipped in and headed in by Olympique winger Kai Soithongsuk. Less than five minutes after grabbing themselves a goal Olympique striker Justin Santos was given a red card for shoving Magpies keeper Fernando Diaz, an unnecessary action which let his teammates down. 

With less than ten minutes remaining Magpies caught Olympique on the counter, Ahmed Elsahib’s low cross was saved by Rafael Munoz Ruiz, the rebound fell to Jose Villegas who smashed his effort into an empty net. Olympique keeper Munoz Ruiz made another great save near the end keeping out Thomas Hudson’s shot.

Magpies were able to hold on and walked away with a vital three points. This win sees Magpies move fourth and play Mons Calpe next while Olympique drop to fifth and face Europa Pegasus. 

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Osei-Obengo hits a late brace as Europa Point beat Olympique

Sebastien Osei-Obengo made it five goals in two games as his late brace secured Europa Point a vital three points in an evenly contested game. 

The first half started with both teams enjoying good amounts of possession but neither able to create any clear cut chances. Europa Point’s main man Osei-Obengo saw his shot comfortably saved by Rafa Munoz follow by FC Olympique’s midfielder Nicholas Ramagge saw his shot saved and cleared,

As the game went on FC Olympique started to dominate the game, winger Israel Castillo skipped past Daniel Rodger with ease and shot, keeper Nieto made a great save to keep it out. Minutes later Olympique thought they had won a penalty when Israel Castillo went down in the box. Referee Tim Reoch blew the foul Europa Point’s way and booked Castillo for diving.

Both teams went into the break level with Olympique looking the better side.

The second half started with Europa Point looking the better side, the introduction of Patrick Motindo change the game completely, the midfielder picked out Sebastien Osei-Obengo with a delightful ball but the striker smashed wide from less than six yards out. 

Olympique came fighting back, Justin Santos did well to hold off the Europa Point defenders and lay the ball off to Nicholas Ramagge whose shot was tipped over the bar by Jose Nieto. Olympique nearly opened the scoring midway through the half, maestro Garry Turner-Bone sent his free-kick heading into the top corner but keeper Jose Nieto made a superb save to keep it out. 

Minutes later Europa Point were on the attack, Juan Jose Lobaton latched onto a through ball and ran through on goal but his shot was excellently kept out by Rafa Munoz. With less than 10 minutes remaining Europa Point broke the deadlock, Sebastien Osei-Obengo was sent through on goal and slotted his shot past the keeper.

With only a few minutes remaining and Olympique searching for the equaliser they were caught on the counter, Europa Point main man Seb Osei-Obengo latched onto a delightful through ball and cooly slotted his shot past Munoz. 

The game restarted and referee Tim Reoch blew for full-time with Europa Point winning 2-0.

 

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Two second half goals earn Olympique comfortable win

Second half goals from debutants Kia Soithongsuk and Israel Castillo set Olympique on course to a comfortable 2-0  victory over Red Imps FC this evening.

The first half started with Red Imps dominating possession with Olympique having to defend deep. Red Imps were awarded a free-kick just outside the area after debutant Evan Coleing was brought down just outside the area. Luis Consigliero stepped up and brought out a great save from Rafael Munoz.

Minutes later Red Imps thought they had won a penalty when Dan Lane was brought down in the area by keeper Rafael Munoz, the referee waved no and issued Dan a yellow card for diving. A decision that shocked many spectators in the stands.

Midway through the half Olympique started becoming more of a threat, Karl Sene outpaced Nick Busto and tried his luck from the edge of the area but his shot was comfortably saved by Moxham. Red Imps continued to press high up the pitch and were caught on the break, Justin Santos got in behind the Red Imps defence and was through on goal, Red Imps captain Thomas Hastings did well to get back and force Santos into laying the ball off to Soithongsuk but his effort went well wide. 

The first half ended with both teams playing some great football but neither able to create any clear cut chances. The second half started with Olympique on the attack and were awarded with an early goal, Kai Soithongsuk with the finish. Olympique extended their lead within a few minutes, Israel Castillo who was brought on as a sub connected well with a Karl Sene cross to strike it past Moxham.

Both teams continued to attack, Olympique were looking for that all decisive third goal and they nearly got it when Ernest De Torres was sent through on goal but Moxham made a great save to keep his side in the game. With full-time nearing and Red Imps struggling to create any chances, a rash challenge from Dan Lane saw him receive a second yellow and given the marching orders leaving Red Imps to play out the last twenty minutes with only 10 men.

Red Imps gave their all in the last ten minutes but their efforts just weren’t good enough as they couldn’t find a way past Garry Turner-Bone & Nicholas Ramagge who were solid all game. The referee blew his whistle and Olympique were victorious. 

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2015/16 Second Division preview

The 2015/16 Second Division season kicks off tomorrow – and you can warm-up for the new campaign with our comprehensive guide to the Second Division teams.

Below you’ll find links to Second Division team profiles.


Cannons FC

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Cannons have added Jack Fraser to their squad this summer.

A disappointing rock-bottom finish in the Second Division last season means many people think Cannons could be in for much of the same this season. Christoper Gomez was appointed as manager for the new season and has plenty of work to do as he takes over a team that was clearly below par last season. Can he turn things around?

Cannons have made plenty of signings this summer, which could make a difference. Jack Fraser was brought in from Red Imps, Kaylan Borda was signed from Gib Scorpions and many more. Although, with plenty of Second Division teams bringing in ‘Premier rejects’, we will be expecting Cannons to be fighting at the bottom of the table again this year.


College 1975 FC

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The Second Division new-boys come into this league taking the place of Gib Scorpions and they have plenty to do as they hope to become as big of a threat to their rivals as Scorpions were. 

College have been by far the quietest of all the teams in Gibraltar, there has been no mention of the signings they have made with the club not even having a Facebook page. We, like everyone else, will be eagerly waiting the team that turns out for their first game.


Europa Pegasus FC

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Pegasus endured a frustrating 2014/15 season. They failed to build on their fourth-place finish from the year before and, after flirting with the relegation zone, ended their campaign in 12th. Christian Olivares will expect better this time around.

Pegasus, during their preseason, have looked in good condition, producing some decent displays. They have been very active through the transfer window bringing in some great talent, mainly from across the border.


Europa Point FC

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Europa Point have been tipped to mount a serious title tilt this season, with the club bringing in plenty of quality from top academies in and around Europe. Europa Point were the in-form team in the second half of the 2014/15 season – can they maintain that level for an entire campaign?

We have announced throughout the summer that Europa Point have lost many of the players which were so instrumental last season like Robert Montovio & Dexter Atkinson. This season will be a platform for many of their new signings to make a name for themselves and possibly take the step up to Premier football next season. 


FC Hound Dogs 

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FC Hound Dogs finished last season in 10th place, after such a poor start to the first half of the season, the clubs performances turned around near the end as the manager Chris Gomez had a full squad to pick from as his players had returned from their studies in UK.

Hound Dogs have been very busy in the transfer window. Despite losing some big players like Nick & James Castle, they did manage to bring in some great local talent in the form of Shaun De’Ath, the pacey winger from Leo, and also full-back Shaun Gonzalez who brings plenty of experience to this young squad.


FC Olympique 13 

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FC Olympique started very strongly last season, producing some great displays. Early results saw them hover around the top three in the table. As the season went on, the consistency which Olympique started slowly to fall with injuries and suspensions hampering the club, sending them down to 7th.

Olympique have been very busy in the summer, mixing experience with youth. If they can get striker Justin Santos firing on all cylinders again, Olympique could be the dark horses of this season.


FCB Magpies 

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Brunos Magpies go into this season hoping to shake off their ‘Pub team’ title. Louie Perry, Magpies President, started with the appointment of Joel Williams which was followed by a handful of signing such as Max Bothen from Phoenix, Michael Macias from Gib Utd & some players from abroad.

The around the Magpies camp is that the team is looking for promotion and with the players Joel has brought into the club, they might be causing a few upsets this season.


FC Boca Juniors

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Boca Juniors finished last season 10th in the league, seven point behind Brunos Magpies. Boca struggled a lot of last season with consistency, they would pick up points against teams in the top half of the table but then struggle against teams in and around their position.

Boca have been heavily revamped this season, a new crest, a new sponsor and some new players has seen the ambition at the club change massively over the last few months. Despite losing their best player Nicholas Ramagge to Olympique, they have been able to bring in some Premier experience and along side players who have proved themselves in the Second Division.


Gibraltar Phoenix FC

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Last season’s ‘big boy killers’ will be hoping to pick up from where they left off to improve after finishing 4th last season and beating all the big teams in the second half of the season.

Phoenix have enjoyed a relatively good preseason and like most teams have been quiet this transfer window, President Brian Brosco confirmed to us that the team has been reshaped with many comings and goings, but they were very happy that they were able to keep hold of Fernando Cuesta who was so instrumental last season.


Leo FC

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Leo FC will be looking for a better performance this season after finishing 13th last season. Karl Alecio, President of Leo, has been very busy through the summer, his shock appointment of Juanfran Perez as manager from Angels showed the kind of ambitions the club will have this season.

Leo have also needed a major reshape this season, they had plenty of departures this season but with Juanfran’s links in Spain, they were able to bring in plenty of players to fill the holes which they were lacking in. Leo were also able to renew the contracts of Dylan Hayes & Iain Latin who were one of few consistent players from last season. One major blow for Leo is the loss of Charlie Santos who moved to futsal.


Mons Calpe S.C.

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Mons Calpe would probably like to forget about last season. They saw three different managers followed by an 8th placed finish which no doubt seemed poor after having such a great season two years ago when they finished second, missing out on promotion by the play-off stipulation.

Mons Calpe have by far done the best business in the Second Division with the signing of Jansen Dalli. Other players brought in like Francis Marquez means Mons Calpe seem to be early favourites to be promoted.


Red Imps FC

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Red Imps, the feeder club of Lincoln Red Imps, have also had a major turnaround. The appointment of Garry Lowe, followed by some great signings, shows where the club wants to be at regarding producing great local talent.

Red Imps have been working hard during preseason to be 100% ready for this season. Red Imps made many signings through the summer, Evan Coleing returned to the club, experienced duo Thomas Hastings & Colin Dyer and followed by striker Cesar Rosa who has been dubbed as ‘one to watch’ this season.


Matchday 1 fixtures

21/09 – FC Hound Dogs vs Europa Pegasus FC & FC Boca Juniors vs Cannons FC

22/09 – FCB Magpies vs Europa Point FC & FC Olympique 13 vs Red Imps FC

24/09 – Mons Calpe S.C. vs Gibraltar Phoenix FC & College 1975 FC vs Leo FC


So who will win promotion to the Premier Division? Will it be Mons Calpe, will it be Europa Point, will Brunos Magpies proved all the doubters wrong? We expect the next few months to be exciting aswell as hectic, stay tuned at Football Gibraltar as we will be with you every step of the way.