Gibraltar Hockey beats Turkey in final match of Open Series
A very early short corner for Gibraltar posed the very first real threat to the Turkish goal from Gibraltar who from the first minutes were all over their opponents.
"Play hockey boys, easy stuff" came from coach Christian Zammit just as Gibraltar were awarded their second short corner in just two minutes. The keeper this time keeping them out from what looked like another clear chance. In the opening minutes Turkey seemed to have very little response to Gibraltar except for the occasional attempts at quick counters.
Gibraltar eased off the gas for a moment and allowed Turkey to play halfway through the first period. Just as Gibraltar got possession back a counter by Turkey saw them run to touchline were they were awarded a short corner. In what was their first shot at goal scored. Gibraltar were behind against the run of play having had the most chances.
With three minutes to go in this first quarter Gibraltar had another short corner opportunity. Their third. This time they made no mistake with Julian Lopez rounding off the defender before hitting for goal for the 1-1.
Turkey's goal had nevertheless given them more confidence and they seemed to settle into the match pushing Gibraltar back into their half for the duration of the first quarter.
With the second quarter just a couple minutes in a good cross by Henwood to Rammage went just inches beyond the latter's reach in what could have been a sure chance for a goal.
Gibraltar within the minute won another short corner as they pressed forward. The strike to goal was this time deflected out. Gibraltar kept at it putting Turkey under pressure.
There was some confident play from Gibraltar both defensively and in attack. The younger members showing how they had gained in confidence during the tournament.
Then came a brilliant play by Gibraltar with Carl Rammage putting Henwood in before he let the ball for Hernandez who was tripped as he went for goal. Henwood made no mistake with the penalty stroke putting Gibraltar 2-1 ahead with six minutes to go for half time.
Turkey were awarded a short corner as half time neared. Once again in the tournament Gibraltar's keeper responded well pushing the ball out to safety. Turkey put on the pressure for the last minutes before half time. Even then it was Gibraltar who had the better chance to go further ahead with the last hit of the half. The ball going just wide off the post.
The first half of the match finished with Gibraltar in the lead and dominating the pace of the game throughout most of the first two periods.
Turkey started the third quarter pushing Gibraltar back for the first minutes. Solid defending maintained Gibraltar clear from threats at goal. Gibraltar started to go on the offensive and were disallowed a goal after the official had already signalled another infringement.
The match opened up and end to end play was seen. There was some frustrations when Gibraltar were not being given the advantage to play and were stopped by the whistle. The pace became somewhat more frenetic favouring Turkey who forced a short corner after forcing a save from the keeper. Luckily the short corner went astray.
Turkey continued to press on Gibraltar as the latter's attempts at long passes were not getting through.
Gibraltar withheld the pressure and started to move the ball more freely themselves when they had possession. Turkey, however, still posed a threat as they went forward with Gibraltar thin at the back at times when they went forward.
The last two minutes of the quarter had Gibraltar pinning Turkey into their half. They were unable to capitalise with the quarter finishing 2-1.
Gibraltar opened the fourth quarter in spectacular style. A run down the right flank took them into the D and Cerisola was quick to divert the ball into goal with just a minute gone for the 3-1.
Within seconds Gibraltar had another chance to score seeing the ball just go wide off the post.
The match saw some minor incidents with some pushing and shoving which ended when some play acting drama saw a Turkish player throwing himself to the ground before a short corner reducing Gibraltar to ten men. Turkey scored from the short corner reducing the score to 3-2.
There were some ugly scenes when Turkish players started to push and shove Gareth Henwood as he seemingly stood protecting an injured Gibraltar player on the ground from the ball being played into him. This led to the intervention of the coaches to separate players as tensions rose and a group of Turkish player surrounded Henwood. The intervention of officials speaking to both captains calmed the tensions.
Although Turkey was starting to have more of the run of play Gibraltar kept them away from their danger areas. Some harsh challenges were seen from the Turks which led to Carl Rammage asking the umpire how many more fouls would be seen before someone got hurt and they produced a card.
With four minutes lefts Gibraltar were awarded another short corner. They were unable to convert.
In a subsequent play in was the Turkish keeper who walked out injured after clashing with a Gibraltar forward in a one on one. The keeper clearly dazed after blocking Gibraltar's way to goal.
Turkey tried to put Gibraltar under pressure in the last three minutes. Good solid defensive work and good use of long balls to push Turkey back into their area kept Gibraltar's area clear from threats.
Holding on to the last second Gibraltar fulfilled their objective to get their first three points in the series ending with four points after a gruelling tournament. The draw against hosts Portugal the previous day being their first points in the tournament.