"Great win and glad to have our first win in the bag!" tweeted Kyle Casciaro after sealing Gibraltar's first victory as a UEFA member nation in Wednesday night's friendly against Malta in Faro. "Over the moon."
In only their fifth game since being admitted to UEFA, Gibraltar recorded their maiden success thanks to 27-year-old Casciaro. The breakthrough in their 1-0 triumph came on 64 minutes when substitute Adam Priestley's cross was cleared by the Maltese defence, only for Joseph Chipolina to head the ball over the top. It fell to Lincoln FC striker Cascairo, who beat Andrew Hogg in the Malta goal with a neat volley. Gibraltar held on for victory at their adopted home in Portugal to spark celebrations in Faro – and on the Rock.
"Today we did what we have been working hard at in training – keeping our shape and trying to keep possession," beamed Gibraltar captain Roy Chipolina. "I feel we gave a very professional performance and we are very happy to get our first win." His Lincoln team-mate Ryan Casciaro added: "We were compact and countered well and this is the formation we have to adopt moving forward. We deserved to win as we had the best chances."
Ryan Casciaro's pleasure was doubled by the fact his younger brother got the winner; the only shame was that older sibling Lee – who scored along with both Chipolinas when Gibraltar gained their first competitive victory of any sort in a 7-5 UEFA Futsal EURO qualifying defeat of San Marino last year – was out nursing a knee injury. "It feels incredible playing with your brothers on the pitch and I hope my older brother Lee comes back soon," he said.
"Seeing Kyle score the winner in a UEFA friendly was amazing. He has the potential to be the best, lead the line and cause chaos for defenders with his pace and left foot. I hope he keeps working hard and putting in the shifts."
Gibraltar's spirits are now soaring as they prepare for their first competitive fixture, their UEFA EURO 2016 Group B opener against Poland on 7 September.
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