After our cup heroics (well for the first half only), the Boca lads were back in league action and looking to close the gap at the top of the 2nd Division table. The manager wasn’t able to attend the game due to his ongoing tax evasion court case, so ‘El Presidente’ stepped down, literally, to take charge of the team on match day. The floating hotel sailing into it’s rightful position was proving to be a popular distraction for alot of Gibraltar, they almost seemed to forget that there was a game to watch down at Gibraltar’s home of football. The game itself was a scrappy affair with Boca just edging the possession, that was until 2 smash and grab goals put them in the box seat. We got a goal back through our top scorer but no sooner had we thought we were back in the game, their best player on the pitch had our defence in a daze and he slotted home past Phil. Seb got a late consolation from a header but that was the last action of the game as Boca crumbled to another defeat.
Upon hearing news of the gaffer’s court case, the Boca board announced that they stood by him but felt he should have this game off and travel abroad to get his mind right. Rib was the man who was given the unenviable task to replace Berllaque on the touchline. The XI chosen to start this game were Phil, Sam, Eliy, Crofo, Nali, Bear, Rick, Paul, Seb, Sene and Hamza. Boca started the game off on the front foot, Karlos with some great work on the left crossed for Bear who hit a good chance wide. Rick who was enjoying a great game, got himself stuck in and was all over the opposition midfield throughout the game. He slid in and cleanly won the ball, and looked up to play a ball to Hamza, who was just beaten to it by the keeper. More Boca domination led to a corner which Rick crossed in to Eliy, the centre-half controlled well but fired his shot over. Rick again linked up with Hamza who was fouled 20 yards out, Karlos put the resulting free-kick wide as the Boca fans were getting frustrated with the lack of goals despite the opportunities. Sam then got booked for a very robust challenge on their centre-mid, the free kick was given but the Pegasus players continued to argue that it should have been a harsher punishment. This was cue to a Bear classic: ”He’s got the free-kick, now tell him to stop crying like a little girl.” This must have healed the player as he jumped straight up and carried on playing the game. The half-time whistle blew and Boca were the happier team but the scoreline remained goalless.
The teams reappeared for the 2nd half and Crofo was getting stuck into challenges as soon as the whistle blew, he made a superb tackle which released Karlos who passed to Hamza but the striker picked the wrong pass in the penalty area and the opportunity came to nothing. Against all the run of play, Pegasus went up the other hand and managed to string 2 opportunities together which resulted in the January player of the month making 2 great saves from close range, their striker was unmarked for both chances but couldn’t the in-form keeper. Good opportunities continued to come for Boca with Karlos and Hamza shooting wide and Rick shooting straight at the keeper. Boca were finally made to pay for their lackadaisical finishing as the ‘flying horses’ pumped forward a hopeful ball down the middle of the park, the defence let the ball bounce and their striker latched onto it and slotted it home. As so often happens after a goal, Pegasus doubled their lead just 3 minutes later. Their striker ran onto another through ball, beat the offside trap and its was 2!
The stand in gaffer reacted immediately to going two-nil down by bringing on Bosh for Pau, and he made an instant impact delivering an inch-perfect ball from the right into Hamza. The striker controlled, brought it down and smashed it into the net. The swift retrievment of the ball from the net to the center circle just showed the Boca desperation. Nali then came on for Mo as Rib chose to play 3 at the back. Hamza was beginning to get very frustrated with the referee and quickly got himself into the book after a shout of ”killo f*** youuu”. Boca’s frustrations grew further as Sam went down on the right wing with what looked like a pulled hamstring, Pegasus didn’t stop play and their skilful striker eased his way round numerous tackles and slotted home past Phil.
That looked to be the game clincher and Kow came on to replace the injured Sam. Rick and Bear soon found their names in the book as well with ref seeming to have lost his control on the game. Minor issues of dissent were being punished with cautions. Hamza continued to show frustration after winning a free-kick, he swung a flailing arm at the player who committed the foul and the referee had a dim view of it and produced a second yellow and sent him off. That didn’t deter Boca though and as the game trickled into the 90th minute, Bear floated a free-kick into the area, with the area overloaded with players and the keeper caught in no man’s land, Seb rose to nod into the net and we believed we could nick a result. As soon as the game restarted though, the referee blew the whistle and brought the game to an end. An unlucky 3-2 loss when we thought the lads did enough to win but as the old adage goes, there’s only one stat that matters!
Man of the Match sponsored by Heineken went to Rick for his great play in midfield, he was involved in almost every good thing that Boca did and was a constant threat with his passing and combative nature. He was unlucky not to score in the game and will be determined to set the record straight in his next game. A special mention also has to go the new unofficial head of recruitment, Daniella has started off her role very well but introducing various new fans to the Boca way of life, she let herself down in this game though. The unofficial board are happy to give her a chance for the next few games, we’ll keep you posted on how she does.