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Eagles fans celebrate club’s European unbeaten run

Eagles 5-0 Furuset

When sports take on a very serious tone, Gibraltar Eagles fans demonstrate that they have not forgotten that fun and enjoyment are part of supporting their team. Loud music, singing, and many an orange shirt made for an Eagles family day of fun on Saturday.

The Eagles walked into the match against Furuset knowing all they needed was a point. With the competition format awarding a point to losers allowing fewer than three goals, the Eagles felt little pressure.

Playing comfortably and dominating from the start, the Eagles won their first short corner just three minutes into the match. A driven delivery from Lopez was saved by the keeper, eventually winning a second corner from trying to play the ball back in. Again, the keeper was on par with it, producing a firm block.

The goal came minutes later as the Eagles continued to mount pressure. Sending the ball to the center, Davies was to send it in, but the goal was disallowed after the second umpire pointed out an infringement. Just a minute later, another goal was disallowed when the umpire closest to the goal signaled for a short corner just moments before the ball crossed the line. A great save by the keeper denied the Eagles.

With two goals disallowed already, the Eagles were more determined than ever to grab that first goal and secure it on the scoreboard. Their opponents, wary after conceding twice, tried to press forward more but were simultaneously cautious not to lose possession.

The Eagles came close to scoring with five minutes left in the first quarter, but an infringement again canceled out the play. The crowd, no longer cheering for a goal, waited to see the umpire's decisions first after two earlier disappointments.

The Eagles' superiority on the field was clear. A sweeping move involving five players down the left flank saw the ball come across the goal threateningly, ending in a short corner, but again the keeper saved. On any other day, the Eagles would have been five goals up with the disallowed goals and the saves from short corners. However, they arrived at the first break frustratingly scoreless, with their opponents nearly scoring in the final thirty seconds from their first short corner.

A two-thirds full hockey stand made for some impressive support on a sunny day of hockey, with Eagles fans readying themselves for a celebration. It took some time for the Eagles to return to an offensive posture in the second quarter. Sensible umpiring saw the game stopped immediately when one of their players was struck on the face with the ball, even though the Eagles looked like having an opportunity to score. There were few complaints from either side, even though a chance to create a goal had been denied.

The Eagles mounted pressure on their opponents, pushing them back and giving them little space to work forward. However, with seven minutes left in the second quarter, they had yet to find a clear path to the goal. Claims for a penalty when Davies was bundled to the ground in front of the goal by the keeper were denied by the umpire, giving the call against the Eagles. The frustration of the crowd showed as they jeered the calls. Just two minutes later, a similar play ended with the same result as the keeper again brought down Davies, but this time the penalty was given.

Veteran Thomas Silva, calm and composed with vast experience behind him, slotted the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0 for the Eagles with three minutes to halftime.

With a solitary goal lead, the Eagles pushed off for the second half. Almost immediately, they doubled their score with a resounding push forward and a great delivery that saw Davies smash the ball into the far post. With a new spring in their runs, the Eagles put behind the frustrations of the first two quarters. Stretching their opponents, Julian Laguea forced a short corner as he was chased down on a quick read. What had looked like a labored short corner ended in a beautifully executed goal by Durante as the Eagles went 3-0 up with just three minutes played of the third quarter.

The Eagles were now fully in control of the match, with their opponents struggling to get any length of string on their passing. Slowly, the Eagles pushed their opponents back into their final third or forced them to stretch wide across the field, exposing them at the back. The movement of the ball by the Eagles' young runners kept the defense busy trying to close down what were shadows. No further goal came in the third quarter, although the chances were there, and it was a great display of hockey by the Eagles.

The fourth quarter was to see Furkuest grab an early short corner which was well blocked and led to some controversy with players sanctioned.
The start of the quarter seeing a ten v ten for the first three minutes. The match also seeing play slowed down from both sides momentarily. Eagles content with the three goal cushion whisky their opponents looked defeated.
Eagles were to score their fourth goal with seven minutes left on the clock and moments after they replaced keepers to give players a chance. Young Cerisola scoring for Eagles. Head Coach Stephen Valarino playing his young players to give them additional minutes at this level of the game.
As the minutes ticked away and the final whistle neared the drums banged in the stand and the fans raised their cheers.
A short corner with four minutes left saw Lopez come close to another goal with the ball just inches over the goal.
Dobinson moments later denied first time by the keeper collected the rebound and controlled well to send the ball back to goal for the fifth.
Some brave defending by the visitors denied a sixth with a block from a short corner with just two minutes left.
Eagles rolled on to victory securing their place in the Sunday crossovers where they will play for promotion.

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