Lions Gibraltar women complete cup and league double
From early on Lions Gibraltar Women showed they were the dominant side. After just three minutes from the start a break away which looked certain for goal was stopped in its tracks by the linesman’s flag after the player was found to have started her run too early just inches offside.
Lynx not scared from using physicality maintained Lions away from goal, although this did little to stop the flow of play where Lions were a cut above their opponents.
Some good movement on and off the ball created early chances for Lions within the first ten minutes as they put Lynx on alert.
Entering the Womens Rock Cup final having scored twenty-two times without conceding a goal, seven of those goals against their opponents, Lions were for certain the favourites to claim a double.
Lynx, who had reached the final having drawn in the group stage 4-4 against Europa, put up a good defence early on but looked vulnerable to a string Lions side.
However, as the minutes ticked away and Lions dominance was clear to see the Yellow and blacks saw less and less of their initial running.
Olivero produced an excellent chance as they approached the first quarter of an hour cutting past defenders on the byline before putting a low cross which saw the ball rebound off a defender and just wide off the post for a corner. Lynx again escaping from being punished as the corner delivery was met with the final attempt going over the bar.
Lynx did respond with an attack on Lions goal, although ending in a simple collection of the ball by Lion’s keeper.
Karp found her way through the defence in the 17th minute but saw her final attempt fall easily into the arms of Lynx keeper.
Lions showed some creative gameplay with a cheeky corner touch from Olivero who rolled the ball forward as she walked away. Gilbert coming in walking to collect and run down the line against a surprised Lynx defender.
The final delivery however seeing the attempted deflection finish cleared by Lynx defence.
With Lions failing capitalise on their dominance Lynx started to gain some confidence.
Longs balls forward putting some pressure on Lions.
The much was to see the energy levels upped as they reached the half hour mark and Lions frustrations at not yet breaking the deadlock clearly showing.
It was not to take long as Olivero received a beautifully timed chip over the defence from Ferro . Olivero tapping her touch just as skilfully over the oncoming keeper to break the deadlock and add the first goal on the scoreboard.
Lions composure on the ball and the spread of play saw two further chances within the next five minutes as the goal advantage eased their tensions. However, unlike their first encounter in the Rock Cup Lions were not as effective in front of goal in the first half against Lynx. Lions in the group stage match scoring three goals from their seven in the first forty minutes.
The first half of the Womens Rock cup final was to finish with Lions leading by a solitary goal.
Lynx tried to surprise from the kick off of the second half with a direct shot at goal.
This just seemed to prompt Lions into action with Ferro continuing to play a key role through midfield delivery passes, whilst the likes of Karp and Gilbert were ready to pounce at any chance.
Rodriguez was to have a crack at goal within the first five minutes of the second half. With Nunez parrying well.
Nunez the Lynx keeper, could do little just moments later when Ferro skilfully hit past two defenders to make herself some space and lob to the far corner out of Nunez reach as Lions added their second goal.
Lions searched for their third goal with Lynx forced to defend deep as they fended off Lions constant probing forward.
Gilbert was denied a penalty as they approached the hour mark after she was bodychecked to the ground as she tried to receive a well timed through all from Karp.
The referee judging the intervention as minor even though the Lynx player had injured herself.
Karp was to thread a beautifully timed ball through Lynx central defence which was quickly pounced on by Olivero. The latter’s quick toe tap enough to squeeze the ball around the oncoming keeper to run it in for the third goal on the 64th minute.
Lynx response was to try and kick to goal directly from the restart. Grech nearly caught out this time but holding on well just in front of the goal line.
Cantos was to see an attempt at the near post after dragging the ball past defenders go just wide on the 68th minute as Lions searched for a fourth.
Nunez was moments later to deny Karp blocking a close range shot. The Lynx keeper the final line of defence of a Lynx side looking tired and seeing their hopes fade away quickly.
Rodriguez made it four after receiving unmarked a through ball from Gilbert on the 76th minute.
Lions now looking to repeat their group round scoreline as they maintained their momentum forward. Lynx defending deep.
Lynx did have a great chance on the 89th minute with a breakaway which saw some controversy as the final tackle by the defender looked to have e taken place inside the penalty area. The referee, however, only giving a free kick outside the box. The final attempt going over the bar.
It was to be a convincing victory for Zamora Espinoza’s side who claimed the double maintaining their unbeaten run this season in both league and cup matches. Lions claiming the cup with twenty six goals in four matches and having kept a clean sheet throughout. Their dominance in woman’s football once again highlighted.
Notably with a side which has been developed from the first days of womens league football on the Rock after UEFA membership and bringing the players through the ranks. Zamora Espinosa, now their head coach having gone from player to coach within the ranks of Lions.
The Women’s Rock Cup Final was also to be broadcast live via the Gibraltar FA tv channel and it’s YouTube channel making it’s a historic moment for women’s football. This further highlighting the progress now seen in the promotion and exposure of the womens game following years of pressure upon the Gibraltar FA which has seen in recent season a greater promotion of the game.