Goldwin denied Iliev in the 48th minute, just before Ribas made three further changes, Styche on for Badr, Kyle Casciaro replaced Graeme Torrilla and Coombes came on for Liam Walker.
Instantly the physical presence of Styche began to prove a huge handful for Antov and Bozhikov in the heart of the Bulgarian defence.
As the second half developed Gibraltar grew into the game with Ribas’ substitutions having the desired effect. Annesley, showing some aggression was booked in the 73rd minute and the hosts were finding it more and more difficult to get through the Gibraltar defence. Coombes ever willing and hardworking was also proving difficult for the Bulgarians to get a grip on.
The energy Gibraltar showed in the second half was there for all to see. Kyle Casciaro was cautioned for a foul on Kovachev late on and arguably Malinov should have received the same treatment from the match official as he dumped Annesley to the ground a minute later.
Against the 66th best team in the World (according to the latest FIFA World Rankings) Gibraltar’s much improved second half performance, with Head Coach Julio Ribas living every minute of the action in his usual style from the touchline, saw the game end 3-0, and despite not being able to trouble the Bulgarian goal, this game was all about preparations and getting players ready for the weekends huge game versus San Marino.