A goal from Jeremy Lopez was not quite enough for Gibraltar, as Hibernian ran out 3-1 victors in tonight’s friendly at the Victoria Stadium.
Goals from Fraser Mullen, Danny Handling and Ross Caldwell ensured the Scottish Premier League outfit got off to a good start in their first of two games in the Iberian Peninsula.
Hibs, who fielded a mixed team of experienced pro’s and up-and-coming young players, took the lead after 16 minutes, as Mullen, signed last month from rivals Hearts, put a stunning free kick into the top corner. The game up until then had been balanced, with Gib having almost scored within the first minutes of the game.
However, it took Gib, who, despite missing a few key players, still fielded a strong team, until the second half to equalise. Good attacking play saw a ball put across the goal for Lopez to finish off, much to the delight of most of the around 2000 strong crowd.
Five minutes later though, and Hibs regained the lead. A swift attacking move lead to 19 year old Handling slotting home past Jamie Robba in the Gibraltar goal.
The game was effectively over as a contest 15 minutes later. A pass was misjudged slightly by Gibraltar’s defence, which left two Hibs players running in on goal. The ball was understandably cut back again, this time to fellow teenager Caldwell, who had no trouble in getting his name on the score sheet.
The last few minutes of the game were seen out at a more relaxed pace, as cramp wore into the Gibraltar players. However, despite the result, Gib showed their ability on the ball at times during the game, and simply came up against a physically stronger, professional side, who start their Europa League campaign in a couple of weeks, against either Malmo or Drogheda.
Gibraltar’s next game is in a weeks time, as they host Charlton Athletic at the Victoria, again an 8pm kick off. Ticket details should be released soon.