Three Gibraltar clubs look to progress further in ECL today
Three Gibraltar Football League clubs will be looking to aspire to join Lincoln Red Imps in the next round of the Europa Conference League this evening.
Europa FC will be playing their second leg tie against Faroe Island’s Vikingur at the Victoria Stadium this afternoon. The 5pm kick-off will be among the earliest in the ECL this evening.
Facing a 1-0 deficit from their previous tie, Europa will be looking to make a comeback and open their scoring. The green and blacks had their last training session yesterday, behind closed doors. Among those present at the training session was Dylan Borge, dispelling reports that the youngster had left the club this summer.
Europa, who have seen some thirteen changes within their squad this summer are expected to make a further announcement with head coach Arteaga’s future at the club already in doubt. Sources indicating that he might not be leading the club out this afternoon. The club, however, unwilling to comment on the reports.
Even though the club has seen major changes they are still expected to mount a strong challenge, and with home advantage, used to the playing surface at the Victoria Stadium and the heat, the balance looks to be tilting more in their favour if they can manage an early goal to set the tone.
The second ECL match of the day featuring a Gibraltar team will be St Joseph’s who play at the Inver Park in Northern Ireland against Larne FC.
Scoreless after the first leg St Joseph are still in with a firm chance to head into the next round if they can manage the pressure from playing in front of Larne’s home crowd.
Already having shown they are a vociferous fan base whilst in Gibraltar, an expected full capacity for their home tie, Larne have put out all the stops to attract their fans to stand behind them.
St Joseph, with some key changes this summer, will, however, have had a chance to get more time gelling as a squad and will be looking to exploit some of the Irish side’s weakness.
Although St Joseph’s have one of the hardest task from all three Gibraltar clubs in the ECL, they have everything still to play for and will enter the match as the underdogs.
The last of tonight’s matches will see ECL newcomers Bruno Magpies, the supposed pub team, take of Crusaders at the Seaview in Belfast.
Already with a 2-1 scoreline advantage, Bruno Magpies, guided by head coach Nathan Rooney, will be looking to protect their advantage and try and secure a place into the next round of the competition in their first attempt.
The Magpies have already proven themselves to be a strong side, with enough experience on the field to compete at this level of the competition.
This will be their first match abroad in this competition for the team who have come a long way since playing in the second division just a number of years ago.
Already having caused an upset in the eyes of many outside observers, Bruno Magpies are one of Gibraltar’s best hopes in the Europa Conference League behind Lincoln Red Imps.
The latter, after dropping from the Champion League to the ECL (champions league pathway) will now face Tobol from Kazakhstan.