Gibraltar Scorpions finished third in their UEFA Futsal Cup preliminary group this week, which was hosted in Sarajevo.
Karl Zarb, who the club had already announced was leaving after this tournament, led Gibraltar’s first ever entry in UEFA’s premier futsal club competition, and performed respectably along the way.
The first match, against eventual group winners Baku United, saw Scorpions lose 10-0 to the English professional champions, who went on to score 26 goals over their three games.
The second match was a much tighter affair against hosts MNK Sarajevo, with the Gib side narrowly losing 10-7 to the Bosnian side. Popo, who ended up being the Scorpions top scorer, grabbed two goals and missed a penalty, with Pato, Cosa, Jesus Sanchez, Bernal and Jesus Samuel also getting on the scoresheet.
As a result of goal difference, Scorpions entered their final match, against Malmo City, knowing a draw would see them finish above the Swedish side in the group. Popo was the star of the show here, scoring all four of the Scorpions goals, but two late Malmo goals ensured that Zarb did not see off his tenure as Scorpions manager with a win.
The relative success of the Scorpions campaign was showed in them finishing above the Swedish champions, and shows the progress that domestic futsal has made in such a short space of time. With the national team in qualifiers next year, and a new manager in Peter Moreno, hopefully the national team will match, or indeed better their last effort, which also saw them finish third in the preliminaries.