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Gibraltar’s Women’s National Team put on an impressive performance at the Victoria Stadium yesterday, narrowly losing out to a vastly more experienced Faroe Islands outfit 1-0.

Janssen Olivero’s side, who were without both Charlyann Pizzarello and captain Keshia Doody due to injury, responded well to their midweek defeat in Andorra, as they played out an entertaining 90-minute contest full of defensive grit and exciting counter-attacking football for those in attendance.

Gibraltar would have the first chance of the game inside the opening 5 minutes as Shania Robba tested Østerø in the Faroe Islands net with a shot from distance following a swift counter-attack.

In fact, the opening exchanges of the match were a reflection of the 90 as Gibraltar’s looked to hold steady in defence whilst causing a constant threat on the counter-attack thanks to the speed of Joelle Gilbert, Reighann Olivero and Robba.

 

 

Unfortunately for Gibraltar however, they would find themselves 1-0 down in the 15th minute after a loose ball at the back was picked up by Mortensen who rounded Kyrelle Revagliatte before tapping the ball into the empty net.

Despite being a goal down, Gibraltar held true to their game-plan and held strong defensively, which in turn frustrated the Faroe Islands, who, for all their possession, were unable to carve out any clear chances to test Revagliatte once again.

With their captain missing, home debutant Ellie Mason was at the heart of Gibraltar’s defence and the new star looked commanding both in and out of possession, while Naomi Victor, who was deputising for Pizzarello at left-back, was proving tough to beat for Faroe Islands’ wingers.    

Having held strong for the remainder of the half, Gibraltar would go on to have the final chance before half-time with their pacey front three all involved.

 

 

A long ball found the feet of Robba who turned before releasing Gilbert down the wing. Gibraltar’s number 10 would beat her marker, before floating a ball into the path of Olivero whose half volley bounced off the wet surface and required Østerø’s intervention to ensure the score remained 1-0 to the Faroe Islands at half-time.

The second half saw more of the same for Gibraltar, with the home support watching on as their team repeatedly denied Faroe Islands any chances, whilst also looking a threat on the counter attack.

With this being said, neither goalkeeper was truly tested throughout the second 45, until the 71st minute when Mason released a long-range goal-bound effort that, were it not for a superb low diving save from substitute goalkeeper Biskopstø, would have nestled into the bottom corner and drawn Gibraltar level.

 

 

With Gibraltar going in search of an equaliser, Janssen Olivero would bring on fresh legs in the form of Tiana Borrell, Akisha Ferrell, Zoe Ballantine and Kayleigh Tellez, however, unfortunately for Gibraltar, the equaliser would not come and the game would end 1-0.

Despite the defeat, there were positives to be had at the Victoria Stadium, none more obvious than the improved performance shown by Gibraltar, who bounced back almost perfectly from Wednesday’s loss to Andorra.

 

 

At the full-time whistle, Head Coach Janssen Olivero said: “We faced an opposition who have come up against some top nations and are involved in World Cup Qualifiers against some of the toughest nations there are in Women’s Football.”

“It’s a massive step up for us. We put a lot of emphasis on a different style of play and it showed the versatility that these players have. Today I thought we found the right balance of solid at the back whilst also being a threat going forward.”

“It’s not about the score for me, it’s about the performance and today has been a massive leap forward for us.”