Late Gines strike saves Lions

Debutant Sergio Gines was the hero for Lions Gibraltar FC as his last minute equaliser was enough to salvage a point against St Joseph’s.

The first half started with St Joesphs dominating possession with Lions Gibraltar struggling to get out their area. Despite dominating possession it was Lions who had the first chance, Saints defence failed to deal with a through ball, Jonay Lopez Luque tried to curl his effort past Jordan Perez but his effort went wide. As the game went on Lions looked more threatening, a cross from Kailan Perez found Sergio Gines in the middle but his header went wide.

Midway through the half Lions had a shout for a penalty turned down, Gines and Lobato collided with Lobato winning the ball clearly, Gines went down but referee Yaro Borg was having none of it and booked Gines for diving. Debutant keeper Jordan Perez produced a great save to keep out a long range strike from David Narvaez.

Just before half-time Lions captain Ismael Fernandez received a yellow card for a high challenge on Thyago Catharino. Minutes later the referee blew for half-time with the game at 0-0.

The second half started with St Joseph’s dominating the early stages and with all the pressure they finally broke the deadlock. A free-kick was awarded to St Joseph’s, full-back Ivan Lobato stepped up and smashed it through the hands of Lions keeper Adam Szpilczynski.

Both teams made successive changes, Raul Segura came on to make his debut against his former side, while St Joseph’s through on a few defenders to try and keep hold of their slender lead. The last 10 minutes saw the game lose total control, some questionable decisions from the referee saw the Lions staff, players and fans show their frustration and even saw one of the Lions technical team sent to the stands.

In added time Lions were awarded a free-kick, the midfielder stepped up and whipped in a great cross which found Sergio ‘Lata’ Gines and the striker was able to direct his header past Jordan Perez sending the fans and players into an absolute frenzy, making it 1-1.

Just before full-time St Josephs were sent down to 10 men, debutant Alex Cortijo was sent off for a second bookable offence. With the last kick of the game, Sykes Garro played through Raul Segura, the winger turned and his effort was incredibly saved by Jordan Perez. Saves like this is what makes him the best Gibraltar has to offer.

The referee soon blew for full-time and both teams start the campaign with a much deserved point.

Next up for St Joseph’s is newly promoted Angels FC while Lions take on Lincoln Red Imps.