Gibraltar host Liechtenstein at the Victoria Stadium this evening looking to build on Saturday’s historic away win against Armenia.
Photo (C) Gibraltar Football Association
Lincoln Red Imps produced a stunning second-half comeback to win 3-2 from being two goals down at the break against FC Britannia.
The first half was a very even encounter, Britannia had the first chance of the game, Bernardes long range shot was excellently saved by Raul Navas. Lincoln replied instantly, Liam Walker picked out Guido Abayian, the striker’s shot was saved by Louie Barnfather.
Britannia took a shock lead in the fourteenth minute, Lincoln defenders gave Peter Grimmer too much time on the ball and the striker smashed his shot into the top corner from twenty-five yards out. Lincoln tried to get back into the game but were unable to break down a well organised Britannia defence.
With Gibraltar’s Euro Qualifiers finished, we caught up with Gibraltar’s most capped player in qualification Joseph Chipolina as he reflected on the campaign.
Firstly, Joseph Chipolina reflected on how the campaign went, ” I suppose it has been a great experience not only for players but for everyone who has been involved with the squad. Most of the people started of this route not knowing really what would be needed or what we would have to expect so i’m hoping everyone has learnt much from this Qualifier, and will be able to go into the next one with more experience, knowing roughly what could be expected. This Qualifier has been a difficult one because of the teams we have been playing against, it was known as the strongest group. I have to say for my first Qualifier even though we have lost all our games if I could have chosen a group it would have been this one. It has been a privilege to play against the World Champions and top quality players like Lewandowski, Gotze, Muller etc.”
Joseph has been playing regularly for club and country since returning to Gibraltar from Spain, we asked how playing regularly has helped his development, “I am really happy and pleased to have been able to play every game for the National side especially playing against all those Nations. It is always important for a player to play games like this you gain self confidence and if things then start going smoothly and well, your confidence starts to grow and not only that but you play freely without fear and enjoy every game.”
Chipolina has earned many plaudits for his performances in the Euro Qualifiers, with top sporting journalists talking about how Joseph has the potential to be able to compete in top divisions in Spain & Scotland, we got his feelings on the news, “The most important thing is self confidence and you knowing you are having a good time while playing. If then you hear good things about yourself by others and especially by journalists then it’s a massive achievement. This obviously helps on your motivational side making you want to keep up those standards and playing the same way you’ve been playing throughout.”
However young or old you are, as a footballer you never stop learning. Joseph reflected on the lessons he learnt from the Qualifiers, “You learn many lessons the most important is trying to enjoy every game to the fullest and giving it your all. In these games you can’t make mistakes because every mistake you make will end up with the opposition having a chance or scoring a goal.”
Growing up Joseph Chipolina has played most of his childhood days in Spain, playing for Real Balompédica Linense & CD San Roque. He had some advice for those youngsters hoping to do the same, “This is a good question I would say for them to go over, as it is there where I grew as a player. The professionalism and discipline you get there is not the same as we get here. Lately things are changing here in Gibraltar as we are becoming more professional but it will take some time before we notice a difference in attitudes and also discipline.”
Lincoln currently sit top of the league after defeating Lynx 4-0, with clubs investing more money every season, we asked how hard it will be for Lincoln to win their 14th title in a row, “Lincoln have a great team once again and it is true that other teams have strengthened, but as we say in Lincoln it is up to us to carry on our winning streak and demonstrate one more year that who ever wants to win the league will have to work hard for it. I personally think we stand a big chance once again in winning the league.”
Football Gibraltar would like to thank Joseph Chipolina for his time and wish him the best of luck for the future.