By Georgios Tontos
It is a fact! Our national team achieved a historic qualification to UEFA’s Nations League C, after two consecutive draws against San Marino and Liechtenstein.
A good start with two victories against their opponents last September and October, but also the two draws in November, gave Gibraltar first place with eight points. An absolutely fair result, considering the stability and the undefeated course throughout for our national team, who have learned how to get positive results, even without a win.
The stress and pressure of staying on top were evident in the last two games. In the away game in San Marino last week, Gibraltar lined up defensively. Zero shots on goal were the remarkable stats as Gibraltar had the opportunity to advance with a 0-0 draw with San Marino.
It was clear that a victory in central Italy would ensure a comfortable promotion, but this never happened, as it could not create dangerous opportunities, with the hosts threatening significantly and Dayle Coeling saving Gibraltar from a disastrous goal.
In the second half, the team was competitive and more aggressive. Tjay De Barr missed the easiest chance of the game, failing to score from very close range in an advantageous position.
After this draw, the match against Liechtenstein could be described as a final, with Gibraltar playing for two positive results. The match started in the best way, as Liam Walker’s corner was turned into the Liechtenstein net by their own player Frommelt. From there, Gibraltar battled to ensure their goal lead stood and were very unlucky to go in at 1-1.
In the second half, Julio Ribas’ team was careful, trying to maintain the status quo, without being significantly threatened by the opponent. The hard work of the whole team led to great success, with Ribas and his players setting up a small party on the pitch after the match.
The best is yet to come for our national team, and it is safe to say that these players have shocked Europe with their historic promotion.