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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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Diaz brace boosts Mons

Diego Diaz scored twice as Mons Calpe climbed above Lynx into fourth with a convincing 3-1 win yesterday.

Mons Calpe welcomed back Kevagn Ronco and Ethan Santos following their defeat to St Joseph’s while Lynx made only one change from the side which beat Lions with Antonio Gonzalez replacing Estiven Morente.

Brad Power and Aidan Serra had early chances for Lynx before Bradley Banda was called into action, saving from Maximiliano Mallemaci. Alberto Caravaca had a chance just before half-time but his curled effort went wide, meaning the score would remain 0-0 heading into the break.

Diego Diaz opened the scoring for Mons Calpe in the 55th minute after being set up by Maximiliano Mallemaci and they found themselves 2-0 up just eight minutes later when Ethan Santos’ long throw found its way to Mark Ballester on the edge of the box whose shot looped over Bradley Banda.

Lynx missed a glorious chance to pull a goal back in the 72nd minute but Aritz Hernandez headed wide from David Bauti’s free-kick. Mons Calpe would punish that miss by making it 3-0 in the 77th minute when Diaz got on the end of Andre Dos Santos’ cross to guide the ball past Banda.

First-half substitute Mario Ruesca would get a consolation goal for Lynx in the 89th minute with Mons running out 3-1 winners.


Lineups

Mons Calpe – Montano; Dos Santos, E.Santos, Rodriguez, El Hmidi (N.Santos 71), Caballero, Ojeda, Ballester, Diaz (Pinero 85), Ronco, Mallemaci (Musoni 77)

Unused subs: Fraiz, Bernardes, Moreno, De Los Santos

Lynx – Banda; Serra (Parkinson 68), Som (Ruesca 21), Power, Caravaca, Valdivia (Hernandez 53), Gonzalez (Santos 68), Onate, Valarino, Victory (Parody 53), Bautista

Unused subs: Avellano, Morente

Yellow cards: Caballero, Diaz; Bautista

Red cards: None

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Five-star Glacis blow away Magpies in convincing win

Glacis United moved to within two points of Bruno’s Magpies at the top of the Challenge Group after an eye-catching 5-1 victory against the group leaders yesterday evening.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Magpies saw David Zamora return in goal in place of Alan Martin, while Kelvin Morgan was on the bench after returning from international duty. For Glacis, they were unchanged from the 4-1 victory vs Manchester 62, with Lython Marquez returning to the bench after a one-match ban.

Glacis would have the early chances, and went ahead after 10 minutes, as Craig Galliano made it goals in back-to-back matches with a deflected effort into the bottom corner. Miguel Londero missed a glorious chance on the half hour mark, but a few minutes later Glacis doubled their lead – Zamora got caught out from a corner and Job Derksen was on hand to head the ball into the back of the net.

Despite a Magpies triple-sub at half time, things went from bad to worse as Ruben Diaz, one of the trio bought on at the break, was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity when he fouled Darlington Nwosu. Moments later, Magpies were made to pay further as Jamie Bosio headed in from a well-worked corner to get his first senior goal since his return to the league.

With 15 minutes left, Glacis would get a fourth – Marquez, who came on for Galliano, saw his shot saved, but the rebound was slotted in by Nwosu for his fifth goal in three games since signing for the club. Rubo would pull a goal back for his side to ensure he scored for six matches on the spin, but Glacis restored their four-goal lead five minutes from time as Wessel Witbreuk drilled a shot into the bottom corner to wrap up a comprehensive victory for his side.

Glacis now move to within two points of Magpies with five games to go in the group, while for Bruno’s, they’ll need to pick themselves up quickly before a tough Rock Cup tie next week vs St Joseph’s.

Lineups:

Bruno’s Magpies: Zamora; Garcia, Gallardo, Zuniga, Assumpcao (Diaz, 45), Jones (Livingstone, 71), Coombes, De Haro, Casares (Cataruozzolo, 45), Parker (Lopez, 45), Rubo

Unused Subs: Martin, Morgan, Soussi

Glacis: Zappacosta; Smith, Thorne-Llambias, Castle (Lopez, 77), Derksen, Bosio, Witbreuk, Galliano (Marquez, 71), Ajayi, Nwosu (Borghi, 77), Londero

Unused Subs: Fluxa, Andrulli, Currer

Yellow Cards: Casares, Cataruozzolo

Red Cards: Diaz

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Manchester and College share the spoils in six-goal encounter

Two goals from Robert Guiling were not enough to secure Manchester 62 all three points as College 1975 battled back to draw 3-3 yesterday afternoon.

Photo (C) David Roberts

Robert Montovio started and captained Manchester 62, while for College 1975, Jemar Matto and Adam Gracia came back into the starting eleven from their last match vs Glacis.

Manchester started the faster of the two and went ahead early on, as Guiling was set up by Carl Thomas, before the veteran local lobbed the ball over Mark Warwick in the College goal to put his side ahead. College equalised on the half hour mark, punishing Manchester’s failure to clear the ball with a goal by Luis Gallardo on the volley.

Just before half time, Mariano Pereira put Manchester back in front, after some more good play from Thomas who got his second assist of the afternoon, and five minutes after the break, Guiling got his second to put David Wilson’s side in a seemingly comfortable position.

College would fight back though, and reduced the arrears on 74 minutes through substitute Jose Marin – the sub would prove to be an inspired one as he grabbed College’s equaliser 10 minutes from time to ensure the points were shared. College move a point clear of the bottom now, albeit playing a game more than Europa Point, while Manchester sit in 9th, six points above College but eight behind Glacis.

Lineups:

Manchester 62: Vinales; Pereira (Zammitt, 71), Montovio (Thorne, 71), Negrette, Mifsud (Pizarro, 45), Thomas (Asquez, 78), De Los Santos, Guiling, Edzes, Clenahan, Garcia

Unused Subs: Borge, Moir, McCarthy

College 1975: Warwick; Ramundo (Valero, 89), Mendez, Perez, Matto, Victory (Thorne, 61), Pacheco (Marin, 61), Franco (Hughes, 71), Gracia, Gallardo, Molina

Unused Subs: Migge, Galan, Wahnon

Yellow Cards: Thomas, Clenahan; Mendez, Matto, Gallardo, Hughes

Red Cards: None

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Fans return in defeat to Netherlands

After more than a year of playing behind closed doors, fans were welcomed back into the Victoria Stadium as Netherlands ran out 7-0 winners against Gibraltar.

Julio Ribas made just one change from the side which lost to Norway with Ethan Jolley replacing Jayce Olivero while Frank De Boer named an unchanged side after their win over Latvia.

Dayle Coleing picked up from where he left off last Wednesday with a vital save to keep out a shot from Feyenoord attacker Steven Berghuis. Gibraltar captain Roy Chipolina would make two important blocks just shortly followed by another superb save by Dayle Coleing to keep out Georginio Wijnaldum’s effort from outside the box with 25 minutes played.

Gibraltar would make their first change in the 41st minute with Erin Barnett replacing Kian Ronan, who had picked up a yellow card earlier in the game. The Netherlands would finally find a way past Dayle Coleing when Steven Berghuis picked up a loose ball in the box and curl his shot into the top corner.

Netherlands were forced into a change in the 55th minute when Daley Blind made a challenge on Tjay De Barr which resulted in the Ajax defender being visibly upset after being stretched off. A few minutes later and the visitors made it 2-0 with Luuk De Jong scoring at the near post.

Memphis Depay’s deflected free-kick made it 3-0 on the hour mark which was 4-0 less than a minute later courtesy of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. The visitors quick passing and movement continued to create the Gibraltar defence problems when Donyell Malen made it 5-0 just two minutes later.

Another superb goalkeeping display by Dayle Coleing was brought to a cruel end in the 73rd minute with a suspected hamstring injury for Kyle Goldwin and Graeme Torrilla was also introduced at the same time. Not even a minute after coming on, Goldwin was called into action by making an excellent double save.

Julio would make his final two changes in the 81st minute with Julian Valarino and Antony Moulds replacing Lee Casciaro and Ethan Jolley. The visitors would add a sixth in the 85th minute through Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek.

Memphis Depay made it seven in the 89th minute and after seven minutes of added time, the Portuguese referee blew the final whistle with Netherlands running out comfortable 7-0 winners.

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Gibraltar welcome the Netherlands to Victoria Stadium

Gibraltar wrap up their current international break when they welcome the Netherlands to the Victoria Stadium tonight.

After Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Montenegro, where Julio Ribas made 10 changes and utilised the strength in depth in the Gibraltar squad, the side is expected to return to closer to the eleven that started last week’s 3-0 defeat to Norway. One notable absentee appears to be Jayce Olivero, with the Europa left-back not in the official squad list supplied to the press by UEFA, but Graeme Torrilla does return to the squad after missing the first two games. Bruno’s Magpies striker Kelvin Morgan, who spoke to the press yesterday at the press conference, as well as Lions loanee Didi Peacock are both in the squad and may make their debut this evening.

Netherlands manager Frank de Boer was confident in the press conference, speaking about how his side had to score at least five at the Victoria Stadium tonight – off the back of a 4-2 defeat to Turkey, and a 2-0 victory over Latvia, the Dutch see their goal difference currently stand at 0, and with goal difference the first separator of teams on level points, they know they will need to score a few tonight to keep up with Turkey and Montenegro (+5 and +4 respectively). There are not many noticeable changes to their squad, with only one of the outfield players listed yet to feature in either game so far – and rumours are manager de Boer will name an unchanged eleven from the last match.

Speaking at the press conference yesterday, Ribas spoke about the importance of having fans back – tonight’s game is set to welcome a limited number of spectators, believed to be around 600, to the Victoria Stadium – the first time a senior international at the Victoria has had fans since November 2019. The Netherlands too welcomed fans against Latvia, with 5,000 fans at the 55,000 capacity Johan Cruyff Arena last weekend.

Betting:

The visitors go into this game as 1/100 favourites, while the draw is 94/1 and Gibraltar are as high as 259/1 for the victory. Both Teams To Score, which came in vs Montenegro and would have come in vs Norway had Roy Chipolina’s late goal not been disallowed, is currently 11/2 best price, while Reece Styche, who scored last weekend, is 17/1 to repeat the feat at the Victoria Stadium and add to his previous goals vs Montenegro and Switzerland.

FG’s Predicted Lineups:

Gibraltar: Coleing; Jolley, Wiseman, Chipolina, Mouelhi, Moulds; Walker, Ronan, Torrilla, Casciaro; De Barr

Netherlands: Krul; Dumfries, de Ligt, Blind, Wijndal; Klaassen, F. de Jong, Wijnaldum; Berghuis, L. de Jong, Depay

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Craig Galliano on target in Glacis win

Craig Galliano assisted one and scored another in Glacis United’s 4-1 win over Manchester 62 on Friday.

Glacis got off to the perfect start when Craig Galliano set up Samson Ajayi to make it 1-0 after only nine minutes. Manchester 62 came battling back and equalised in the 21st minute through inform striker Dylan De Los Santos.

Wessel Witbreuk restored Glacis’ lead in the 30th minute when the Dutch forward tapped in a rebound from Nwosu’s shot before Craig Galliano made it 3-1 just before half-time to give his side a two-goal lead heading into the second half.

Ayden Vinales was called into action early in the half, saving an effort from Miguel Londero. As the half went on, Man62 staff were visibly unimpressed with some decisions not going there way and should have pulled a goal back when Matt Clenahan headed wide from a free-kick.

The impressive Darlingon Nwosu kept up his goalscoring form to wrap up the three points in the 81st minute to make it 4-1 to Glacis and the Nigerians fourth goal in two games.


Lineups

Glacis United – Zappacosta; Smith, Thorne-Llambias (Ramos 65), Castle, Derksen, Bosio, Witbreuk, Galliano (Lopez 75), Ajayi, Nwosu, Londero (Andrullli 79)

Unused subs: Fluxa, Moreno, Borghi, Kaleba

Manchester 62 – Vinales; Casciaro, Pereira (De Torres 66), Thorne (Montovio 46), Negrette (Asquez 46), Ballantine, Thomas, De Los Santos (Mifsud 82), Edzes, Clenahan, Garcia

Unused subs: Moir, Zammitt, McCarthy

Yellow cards: Castle; Ballantine, Garcia, Asquez

Red cards: None

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Rotation is key in Podgorica

A heavily rotated Gibraltar side put in a respectable performance in Podgorica with the hosts Montenegro running out comfortable 4-1 winners.

Julio Ribas would make a massive ten changes to the Gibraltar side which lost to Norway on Wednesday with Jack Sergeant the only survivor and was appointed as captain. Chino, Valarino, Moulds, Jolley, Badr, Styche, Pons, Barnett, Santos and Bosio all started.

Goldwin was the busiest of the two keepers in the early stages with the Lincoln goalkeeper makings saves from Kucevic and Djurdjevic to keep the score at 0-0. Chino was eventually beaten in the 26th minute when a fortunate rebound fell to Montenegro captain Fatos Beciraj who tapped the ball in to make it 1-0.

Gibraltar was awarded a penalty just four minutes later despite Erin Barnett scoring from Alain Pons’ free-kick. Reece Styche stepped up and coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1-1. Chino would continue to make several important saves until Marko Simic found himself unmarked in the box to head the ball past the Gibraltar keeper to put the hosts back in front at half-time.

Both teams would make a change at half-time with the hosts bringing on former Man City and Inter Milan forward Stefan Jovetic while Julio brought on Lincoln winger Jamie Coombes for Mohamed Badr.

After putting his body on the line time after time, Jamie Bosio came off for Andrew Hernandez in the 51st minute. Less than a minute later and Montenegro made it 3-1 after Zarko Tomasevic rose above Antony Moulds to head the ball past Chino, who made a great save from Stefan Jovetic’s shot which led to the corner.

17-year old Dylan Borge would be handed his senior debut in the 65th minute coming on for Reece Styche and the experienced Liam Walker would be introduced as well. Stefan Jovetic got himself on the scoresheet in the 85th minute when he fired in a free-kick from a tight angle past Chino at his near post.

Montenegro saw out the rest and walked away with the three points.

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Gibraltar continue qualifying campaign with away match at Montenegro

After a spirited performance last time out vs Norway, Gibraltar continue their World Cup Qualifying campaign this afternoon when they face Montenegro in Podgorica.

Photo (C) William Gracia

After the match against Norway on Wednesday, Gibraltar travelled on Thursday morning to Montenegro, for the first meeting between the two sides in senior international football. Montenegro come into this game on the back of a 2-1 away victory at Latvia last time out, and the 63rd ranked nation in world football will be looking to make it back-to-back wins to start the group and keep pressure on the likes of Netherlands, Norway and Turkey.

For Gibraltar, many of whose players only got three games of football in since the end of December, before this international break, this game will be a test of their fitness and endurance, with the triple-header likely set to see some sort of changes needed in order to keep legs fresh for the game vs Netherlands on Tuesday. Veteran duo Roy Chipolina and Lee Casciaro may start on the bench, while the likes of Ethan Jolley and Andrew Hernandez are among those who have travelled for today’s game, after missing out vs Norway.

The hosts, managed by Miodrag Radulovic, will have to ponder changes as well, with a home match vs Norway to come on Tuesday, but with goal difference the first separator for teams on equal points, Monaco striker, and all-time Montenegrin top scorer Stevan Jovetic would be expected to get the nod up top. Levante midfielder Nikola Vukcevic was not involved in the win at Latvia and is a doubt to be involved today, while key defender Stefan Savic may be rested, with the Atletico defender preferred for the key match vs Norway in three days time.

Betting:

The hosts come into this game as big favourites to extend their four-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, at a best price of 1/11 to win. The draw can be taken at 13/1, with a Gibraltar win as high as 70/1. Jovetic is a talented striker with vast experience at the top level, and is 11/4 to score first, although after Erling Haaland was shut out by Gib last time out, perhaps it is wiser to look at alternative striking options such as Uros Durdevic (14/5) or Sead Haksabanovic (28/5). Both Teams To Score currently sits at best price of 16/5.

FG’s Predicted Lineups:

Montenegro: Mijatovic; Marusic, Simic, Vujacic, Radunovic; Scekic, Kosovic; Boljevic, Jovetic, Haksabanvoic; Beciraj

Gibraltar: Coleing; Jolley, Wiseman, Mouelhi, Barnett, Olivero; Walker, Ronan, Annesley, Pons; De Barr

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Rubo brace helps Magpies brush aside Europa Point

Two goals from Rubo, as well as strikes from Jean-Carlos Garcia and Javi Gallardo saw Bruno’s Magpies beat Europa Point 4-0 last night.

Photo (C) Black and Burst

Europa Point saw Josef Webber, Kyron McGrail and James Chiles-Cowell come into the side after the 4-1 defeat to Manchester 62, while Magpies handed starts to Alan Martin, Ruben Diaz, Jeremy Lopez, Lee Coombes, Evan De Haro and Alan Parker, with Kelvin Morgan absent due to being on international duty with Gibraltar.

After Rubo and Coombes both had efforts that didn’t go in, Magpies eventually took the lead after 24 minutes, when right-back Jean-Carlos Garcia volleyed in a cross from left-back Javi Gallardo. Daniel Tudela, who captained Europa Point, was clearly the busier of the two keepers, and he kept the score at one saving efforts from Lopez, Rubo and Francisco Zuniga, before Rubo finally made it 2-0 on the stroke of half time with a great finish past the keeper.

Rubo got his second, and Magpies third on the hour mark, before Javi Gallardo wrapped up the three points with a drilled effort 20 minutes from time. The win sees Magpies strengthen their grip on the top of the Challenge Group, while Europa Point’s struggles continue and they remain bottom.

Lineups:

Europa Point: Tudela; Wilson, Webber, McGrail, Martin, Martinez, Juel-Saleh, El Yettefti (Torrilla, 67), Webber, Chiles-Cowell (Parral, 54), McCarthy

Unused Subs: Victor, Podesta, Castle

Bruno’s Magpies: Martin; Garcia (Marquez, 76), Gallardo (Livingstone, 76), Diaz (Bent, 60), Gil, Lopez, Coombes, De Haro, Casares (Jones, 60), Parker (Vinet, 68), Rubo

Unused Subs: Zamora, Cataruozzolo

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None