GFA BOV GFL Division I
Gozo Stadium

Kercem A: 2    (O. Rolovic 8’, T. Grozev 45+1’)

Vella, J. Buttigieg, P.J. Taylor, M. Tabone, O. Spiteri, O. Rolovic, J.P. Mizzi, A. Mizzi (L. Grima), M. Mifsud (A. Buttigieg), P. Kyumurdzhiev, T. Grozev.

Victoria H: 0

Parnis, M. Bamba, C. Mercieca, D. Farrugia, J. Portelli (K. Farrugia), S. Attard, J. Bajada (M. Bezzina), H. Maciel, C. Mercieca (J. Vella), S. Gwar, O.I. Guobadia.

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Kercem Ajax registered their second consecutive win from the first two matches of the championship in their match against Victoria Hotspurs.  Kercem showed great improvement from their previous match and held supremacy during the first period where they opened a two goal lead and also missed an opportunity form a penalty.  Kercem defended well after the break and also went close to score more goals following counter breaks.  Kercem produced a collective effort which frustrated Victoria’s play so that the latter once again failed to live up to their expectations despite the potential of their players.  The match was quite entertaining and produced offensive play with several actions at the two ends of the field.  Kercem however were deployed better on the pitch and were also more confident in their play.  On the other hand the Hotspurs failed to express their play at the midfield and the defence was often exposed to Kercem’s breaks.  Moreover, Victoria’s strikers were well controlled by Kercem’s defence apart from a series of erratic finishing the Hotspurs were denied from re-opening the issue on more than one occasion due to some important interventions by Kercem’s keeper Franklin Vella.    With the points obtained Kercem are now occupying the top of the table on equal points with champions Ghajnsielem.

Kercem, who had  Elton Vella missing due to an injury, seemed more aggressive during the opening minutes and in the fourth minute of play a header by Ognejen Rolovic following a cross by Joshua Buttigieg ended wide.  One minute later the Hotspurs replied through a shot by Sibi Gwar that was blocked by goalie Franklin Vella and from the rebound Christian Mercieca concluded wide.  Kercem however opened the score in the 8th minute when Ognejen Rolovic entered the area with a personal action and fired in goal from close distance.  The Hotspurs continued to suffer Kercem’s play and the Ajax could have doubled the score on 13 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Jonathan Bajada on Andrew Mizzi.  However, Trayo Grozev had his shot from the spot kick that was saved to a corner by goalie Adrian Parnis. Victoria tried to recover from the difficult moment but on 16 minutes Jason Portelli hit badly from a good position following a low cross by Shaun Attard.  Three minutes later Kercem’s goalie Franklin Vella as well placed to neutralise an effort by Sibi Gwar and on 29 minutes Kercem’s striker Trayo Grozev escaped Victoria’s defence following a counter break and also turned around the goalkeeper outside the area but the Bulgarian striker had his attempt addressed towards an open goal that was cleared by Moussa Bamba. The Hotspurs had a good scoring opportunity on 31 minutes when Henrique Maciel entered the area with a personal action but had his low shot addressed to the far post that was saved to a corner by goalie Franklin Vella.  The same goalkeeper was again called to make two consecutive difficult interventions following a strike from outside the area by Charles Mercieca and an attempt form the rebound by Henrique Maciel.  Kercem replied two minutes later through a direct free kick from long distance by Ognejen Rolovic that was saved by goalie Adrian Parnis.  Kercem doubled the score in the first minute of play of the stoppage time when Trayo Grozev entered the area with a personal action and netted with a low shot that was out of the reach of goalie Adrian Parnis.

The Hotspurs tried to produce a reaction from the early stages of the second half and on 47 minutes a good effort by Henrique Maciel was saved to a corner by goalie Franklin Vella.  From the resultant corner kick the same goalkeeper saved to another corner a close ranged header by Charles Mercieca. On 50 minutes the Hotspurs were again dangerous but Sibi Gwar had a close ranged shot following a personal action that was saved by Kercem’s goalie.  Kercem recovered from the difficult moment and were also dangerous on 58 minutes through a shot from an angled position by Trayo Grozev that ended just wide.  Three minutes later Kercem’s Ognejen Rolovic concluded away from goal from a good position following a cross from the right flank.  On 65 minutes the Hotspurs protested for a penalty alleging handling by Kercem’s defender in a confused action inside the area and two minutes later the Ajax could have made sure of the victory by Joshua Buttigieg concluded wide from close distance following a inviting low cross by Ognejen Rolovic.  Kercem were again dangerous on 77 minutes but a lob from long distance by Trayo Grozev with the goalkeeper out of his position ended high.  One minute later the Hotspurs had a good strike by Osa Icecream Guodabia that was saved to a corner by goalie Franklin Vella and their last opportunity for the Citizens to reduce the deficit arrived on 79 minutes but a goal by substitute Michael Bezzina was disallowed for an offside infringement.

Referee: Glenn Tonna