Newsletter Signup

BACK

The Victoria Stadium was treated to an impressive performance by Gibraltar, who, despite the result, performed admirably in yesterday’s FIFA World Cup Qualifier 3-0 defeat to Turkey.

Julio Ribas’ men showed just how good they could be both in defence and attack as they regularly frustrated Turkey’s frontmen while also posing a grave threat to the visitors going forward, even coming as close as striking the woodwork while the score was level at 0-0.

Despite Gibraltar’s overall positive performance, Ribas’ men got off to the worst possible start as Ethan Britto brought down Efecan Karaca in the box within the opening 60 seconds.

The Victoria Stadium got its first sight of VAR as the decision to give a penalty was reviewed, however, despite the challenge looking soft, a penalty was given to the visitors.  

Enes Unal stepped up to take the spot kick but was denied by Dayle Coleing who again came to Gibraltar’s rescue by diving down right to palm away the penalty strike, much to the delight of the roaring home support.

The missed penalty only seemed to invigorate Turkey who very quickly took control of the game and began to bombard the Gibraltar backline with wave after wave of attacks.

Turkey’s attacks were for the most part kept at bay, but on the odd occasion when they got through, Coleing was there as Gibraltar’s last line of defence as he denied yet another golden Turkish chance, this time reacting quickly to deny Orkun Kocku from close range.

Despite their dominance, chances were few and far between for the Turkish side in the first half as Gibraltar’s defence held fast which allowed the hosts to start growing into the game midway through the half.

As their confidence grew, the home side began to progress further and further up the pitch, with Julian Valarino and Anthony Hernandez full of running and readily available on either flank to cause Turkey problems.

Gibraltar’s two wingers were also key in defence, as they helped Gibraltar press high up the pitch with the aid of Tjay De Barr, who himself was battling away with, and, for the most part, getting the better of Leicester City’s Caglar Soyuncu.

Gibraltar’s resilience in defence coupled with their growing confidence in attack frustrated the visitors who had to settle for a 0-0 score at half-time despite having the better of the opportunities.

Having ended the first half well, Gibraltar were full of confidence for the second half and came charging out of the blocks as De Barr hammered a shot against the Turkish post within seconds of the restart.

De Barr’s effort was only the start of a period of Gibraltarian dominance in the start of the second half as both he and his team-mates took the game by the scruff of the neck and pinned the visitors back.

Just like in the first half, De Barr continued to battle away with Soyuncu after the restart, with the Gibraltar striker repeatedly having the Premier League defender chasing shadows as he twisted and turned on the ball while using his strength to barge through challenges.

Despite Gibraltar’s flying start, Turkey took the lead in the 55th minute very much against the run of play as half-time substitutes Hakan Calhanoglu and Halil Dervisoglu linked up well to give Turkey the lead as the latter smashed in from close range leaving Coleing no chance to react.

Gibraltar responded well to going behind as De Barr continued to throw his weight around against the Turkish centre backs while down the right flank Hernandez and Jack Sergeant provided support.

Unfortunately for Gibraltar however, the introduction of Calhanoglu at half-time proved pivotal as the Inter Milan man quickly made it 2-0 after winding up from distance and hammering the ball into the bottom corner of Coleing’s net.

The second goal for the visitors saw the momentum of the game completely turn against Gibraltar as Turkey once again regained dominance of the match and went in search of more goals.

With his being said, Gibraltar still proved to be a threat in attack, with Roy Chipolina this time going close in the 80th minute as he connected sweetly with a corner kick, arrowing his header downward only to see it saved by a brilliant diving save from Ugurcan Cakir.

As was the case in the first half, despite Turkey’s dominance, Gibraltar’s defence proved a tough nut to crack and it wasn’t until the 83rd minute where the visitors had their third and final goal of the game through Kenan Karaman who brought the ball down in the box before firing into the roof of Coleing’s net.

Despite the result, the Victoria Stadium roared in praise at the full-time whistle after witnessing what was in fact a very impressive all-round performance from a Gibraltar side who now travel to Oslo to face Norway on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile for Turkey, the result sees them leapfrog both Norway and the Netherlands to regain their spot as Group G leaders.