Lions Gibraltar women outclass Europa Women with 7-0 win
Pressing from kick-off Lions started to set the pace early. Their early pressure paying dividends as they broke through Europa’s defence to set up their first goal within the first five minutes.
Europa were however a different type of opposition to that which they had met in their previous two matches.
Better set out across the field and with enough quality to put up a challenge Lions were forced to keep their focus and stamp their mark on the field.
A very clever short pass corner created the second goal within the first ten minutes as Kayliegh Ferro run the ball in down the line to put in a pass into the goal mouth.
Europa struggled to come out of their half but when they did they threatened with intent and enough quality behind the ball to keep Lions defence on the alert.
Well drilled and passing comfortably across the field Lions put on display the quality across the field that they have build during the past years. Confidence on the ball set the pace as Lions stamped their mark on the game. Europa showing that their development was also paying dividends now considered one of the challengers for the title after years languishing at the bottom end of the table.
For both Lions and Europa the match represented the results of years of investment in the development in women’s football which provided for an entertaining and enthralling encounter, albeit with Lions dominating possession and setting the pace.
Lions Keeper Chelsea was fortunate to stay on the field after handling well outside her penalty area as Europa broke free. A lenient refereeing decision not showing any cards for her mistake. The free kick was to come to nothing.
Lions within minutes were again on the back foot as Europa once again broke on a counter showing that they were there to compete.
Lions settled back into the match after a couple of scares and produced their third goal within the first twenty minutes putting the match comfortably out of reach.
The match entered a period in which play centred in the middle third with Lions grabbing a few chances to goal but sending the ball wide or well blocked by the Europa keeper.
Europa had their attempts but sending the ball wide off the target forced to shoot from distance.
With just three minutes left for the end of the first half Olivero added the fourth as she rounded the keeper.
The second half started with Lions slowing down their pace and allowing Europa space to play. Taking the opportunity Europa went out looking for a goal. Europa looked hungrier for the ball at first producing some chances for themselves.
Lions woke up a bit and started to press forward creating their own. A corner cross from Kayliegh saw a header go just wide off the post as Lions started to press higher up the field.
After a period gaining ground Lions put together a confident, composed string of passes through the middle controlling possession paving the way for Joelle Gilbert to thread a through ball for Lion’s fifth as they sliced Europa’s defence open.
Lions started to display a confidence on the ball, enjoying the game that had Europa on the back foot as they struggled to regain a footing in the game.
Using the width of the pitch well and quick passing Lions had kept Europa ball watching for a while.
The pinks did not drop their heads and maintained trying to regain some possession but were struggling against a very physically fit Lions who maintained their momentum throughout. Something which will have pleased Gibraltar women’s national coach watching from the stands as Gibraltar get closer to their double header against Liechtenstein.
Lions were to see the ball crash against the crossbar before moments later they scored their sixth. A half volley smashed on the run by Mara, a youngster who cannot yet be included in the national senior squad due to her age but mesmerising on the field in the senior division.
Lions added their seventh through Zoe breaking down the right and with an angled shot across goal to far post.
Lions Gibraltar women taking their first three vital points in what had been considered the first of the title decider matches.
Europa, although heavily defeated having shown that they posses enough quality to put on a challenge given half a chance.