Gibraltar Give Good Game Against Greece

by Tyronne | Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

International Football

World Cup Qualifiers

By Mark Viales


Gibraltar put in a titanic effort to give Greece a good game in their maiden World Cup qualifier with a credible 4-1 defeat last night at the Estadio Algarve in Faro, Portugal.

Gibraltar started with a self belief that surprised the Greeks with the front three placing pressure high up the field with intent on getting on the score-sheet.

The Rock’s playmaker Liam Walker scored the goal of his life to equalise for the Rock on 25 minutes when his artistic curled effort flew into the top right hand corner, leaving Greece keeper Orestis Karnezis stranded.

The scenes of elation from the traveling support were a wonder to behold as Walker wheeled away in celebration, reveling in his sweet strike and saluting the fans.

The first goal, however came on ten minutes when a headed clearance by Gibraltar centre back Ryan Casciaro fell to Kostas Mitroglo on the edge of the area. The robust striker fired an unstoppable volley into the top of keeper Jordan Perez’s left hand corner.

With the equaliser came more pressure from the Greeks and a quickfire three goal spree in four minutes knocked the stuffing out of Gibraltar on the 44th minute.

The Greeks, under their new head coach, Michael Skibbe, played an industrious German style of football and cranked the wheels into motion to grind Gibraltar down.

Two minutes before the break a deadly low cross by Vasilis Torosidis was mistakenly knocked in by Scott Wiseman who was unlucky that it deflected off him into the net.

A minute later Torosidis turned goalscorer, latching onto a pinpoint through ball in behind the Gibraltar defence when Perez rushed out to meet him but Foiurtounis got there first to knock it past him.

Gibraltar were coming apart now as Greece smelled blood and another bullet strike by Kostas Foiurtounis went under Perez, rattling the back of the net to ensure the Rock’s capitulation just before the halftime whistle.

Gibraltar’s back five ensured that going through the middle would be complicated for Greece and in the second half the Rock’s defence achieved a shutout.

Team 54 also created more chances to equalise with Joseph Chipolina shooting from a tight angle that the keeper parried away out of danger.

But the best chance to shorten the deficit fell to right back JC Garcia just before the hour mark following some great interlinking play.

The ball was worked wide to J. Chipolina who put in a perfect low cross outfoxing the Greek defence and arriving kindly for JC Garcia to slide in and knock home. However, Garcia attempt deflected off his leg harmlessly to the agony of Gibraltar fans.

Credit also has to be given to Perez whose shot-stopping was second to none on the night and was crucial in keeping the scoreline as it was.

The introduction of Jamie Bosio, Anthony Hernandez and James Coombes into the starting lineup proved to be a shrewd decision by manager Jeff Wood with the aforementioned players leaving their skin on the pitch.

Captain Roy Chipolina and centre back partner Ryan Casciaro were also inspirational at the back, snuffing out the incisive Greek attacks.

Gibraltar will now assess the devastating four minute collapse before flying to Estonia next month for their first away tie in the World Cup Qualifiers on 7 October.