Kosovo 1-0 Gibraltar
Gibraltar put on an impressive solid and resolute performance in the Stadiumi Fadil Vokrri this evening, losing by a solitary deflected goal against much fancied hosts Kosovo.
Julio Ribas made changes to the starting XI from last month’s European Qualifier away in Switzerland. Kyle Goldwin replaced Dayle Coleing in goal, Lee Casciaro and Aymen Mouelhi also came into the team, as did Mohamed Badr who made his international debut.
As expected, in the first half Kosovo has the majority of the possession. In front of an expectant home crowd Kosovo were expected to entertain and score goals, especially given the fact that they managed to score three times in a 5-3 defeat away to England in their last international. However as the half progressed the home team were becoming more and more frustrated.
Gibraltar’s tactical setup, defensive block and positional movements have improved no end under Julio Ribas. This was evident in Prishtina this evening. Mouelhi anchored the midfield, sitting in front of the two Chipolinas at the heart of the Gibraltar defence. The wide men Casciaro and Britto were constantly protecting their full backs, as their manager demands and the hosts could not find a way through in the first half.
At half time Coleing replaced Goldwin in the Gibraltar Goal. And as the seconf half went on, Kosovo were bemoaning more and more frustrated. This was their big chance to entertain their home fans, yet their were up against stiff and unexpected resilience.
Alain Pons, Andrew Hernandez and Jamie Coombes replaced Lee Casciaro, Ethan Britto and Tjay De Barr midway through the second half. More of the same.
In the 69th monute, somewhat fortunately, Kosovo took the lead. A deflected Hasani shot trickled past the helpless Coleing in the Gibraltar goal. 1-0.
Coleing’s night was to get worse as he had to come off injured in the 77th minute. Ethan Jolley had replaced Aymen Mouelhi too by this point.
Despite setback Gibraltar stood firm, so much so that with 3 minutes of injury time left, Kosovo ran the ball into the corners to see out time!
At the full time whitsle, despite Kosovo’s dominance of possession both teams had two shots on target in the game. Plenty of positives for Julio Ribas to bring home.
Georgia next then for Gibraltar in Tuesday evening’s European Qualifier at the Victoria Stadium! Could It be a repeat of last October’s international on home soil?