Gibraltar got off to a great start in the first of their two friendlies against nPower League One sides, as they comfortably dispatched a makeshift Portsmouth side 4-0 last night at the Victoria.
Coming off the back of an impressive International Challenge Shield victory, Gib would have been looking to sink their teeth into a Portsmouth side suffering more than their fair share of woes, and a team who had to desperately drag in a mixture of trialists and youngsters to be able to form a team.
The game started off fairly tepidly for both sides, as an even affair saw few chances. However, it would be Gib who would take the advantage, and set the tone for the rest of the game. A long ball forward managed to find George Cabrera, who finished with some style after 34 minutes. Gib were given a chance to further extend their lead on the 40th minute, as a very clumsy tackle from Julien Lopez on Lee Casciaro allowed Aaron Payas to calmly slot the ball away, and send Gib 2-0 into the lead.
The start of the second half saw both team utilising substitutions, but the pattern of the game never really changed. Gibraltar, understandably more used to playing with each, and with playing on the artificial turf of the Victoria, started to get into their groove, However, it was Portsmouth who should have had a way back into the game, as Lloyd Sam went down in the box. It looked like for a split second the referee had put the whistle in his mouth to blow, but he decided against it, possibly on quick advice from the linesman who perhaps had a better view. In the end, it was likely the wrong decision to make, and it would likely have not led to what ended up being the final score.
Gibraltar put the friendly beyond any doubt though, as Lee Casciaro, who by his standards had been relatively quiet beforehand, got the benefit of a wicked deflection to make the game 3-0. Cabrera could easily have made it four soon after, but he didn’t quite make it to Robert Guilling’s cross.
Both teams had half chances to change the score, but it was Gibraltar who scored the last goal of the night, as Lee Casciaro calmly grabbed his second goal of the game, which ended up being the final goal of the game. Gib used the last few minutes to throw on a few youngsters and give them vital international experience, as well as perhaps give the fans a slight taste of the future of the national side.
This victory means that Gibraltar have now gone four matches unbeaten, a record that stretches back to July 10th 2011. Gibraltar now move on to a game vs Notts County on the 31stJuly, as they look to see of the summer unbeaten.