GFA BOV GFL Division I
Gozo Stadium

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Oratory Y: 1
(E.F. Da Silva Santos 17’)

Camilleri, K. Borg, J.P. Longarela, M. Gauci, B.P. Longarela, K. Farrugia, B.P. Palou (K. Grima), A. Debrincat (J. Bonnici), D. Azzopardi (M. Galea), E.F. Da Silva Santos, M. Buttigieg.

Kercem A: 2
(E. Vella 63’, T. Grozev 80’)

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

In the first match of the GFA BOV GFL Division I championship for the season 2016/2017, Kercem Ajax came from behind and earned the full points at stake from a victory over Oratory Youths with the odd goal from three.  The match was well contested where Oratory expressed the better play during the first hour of play but as Kercem scored the equaliser, the Youths lost composure, ended with a player less on the field and compromised the possibility to start the championship on a positive note.  Kercem practically earned the victory because they made good use of their experience.  The Ajax suffered Oratory’s play but managed to remain in contention as they only conceded one goal.

The Ajax prevailed over the Youths in the latter part of the encounter as Oratory were demoralised and found it very difficult to produce a reaction with a player less on the field.  As expected the two sides made use of the several new signings, where the attention was mainly on the foreign players who were making a debut in the Gozitan championship.  Oratory’s strikers Everton Felipe Da Silva Santos and Bartomeo Perello Palou, left an excellent impression during the first part of the match, while Kercem’s striker Trayo Grozev distinguished himself from among the debutants by providing the pass to Kercem’s equaliser and by scoring the decisive goal of the encounter.

Play was quite balanced during the opening stages as both Oratory and Kercem were cautious at their defensive departments and ready to surprise their respective opponents with fast breaks.  Kercem produced the first dangerous action of the encounter on 6 minutes but Ognejn Rolovic’s header following a cross by Trayo Grozev was neutralized by goalie Leonard Camilleri.  The Youths replied four minutes when Everton Felipe Da Silva Santos won a ball from Kercem’s defence, came face to face with Kercem’s goalie just outside the area but the Brazilian striker saw his lob towards an open goal that ended just wide.  On 16 minutes Kercem failed to take full advantage of a melee in front of Oratory’s goal as Trayo Grozev concluded wide from close distance.  The Ajax were immediately punished for the missed chance as one minute later Oratory opened the score through a close ranged header by Everton Felipe Da Silva Santos following a cross from the left flank by Andrea Debrincat.  The Ajax tried to produce a quick reaction and on 25 minutes they went close to scoring but an attempt from close distance by Trayo Grozev was saved to a corner with difficulty by goalie Leonard Camilleri.  Kecem went again close to level the score on 37 minutes when Ognjen Rolovic passed through Oratory’s rearguard but his low shot was well saved by goalie Leonard Camilleri.

Kercem tried to increase their efforts after the break but Oratory were well deployed and kept the danger away from their area.  Oratory were also very effective in the midfield and on 47 minutes they operated a good move through a through pass by Keith Farrugia but Andrea Debrincat’s shot was neutralised by goalie Franklin Vella.  Kercem continued to struggle to produce danger towards Oratory’s defence but as the Youths seemed in command Kercem levelled the score.  On 63 minutes Trayo Grozev entered the area from the right flank and from his low cross Elton Vella placed in goal with a shot towards the far post.  Oratory seemed lost composure and on 69 minutes they ended with a player less on the field as Javier Polo Longarela was sent off following a second caution received for a foul on Ognjen Polovic.  Kercem could have turned the result in their favour on 75 minutes when Ognjen Rolovic entered the area with a personal action but his low drive towards the far post ended inches wide, while striker Trayo Grozev arrived just late and failed to connect with the ball.  Kercem however managed to take the lead on 80 minutes through a fine heder by Trayo Grozev following a cross from the right flank by Elton Vella.  Six minutes later the Ajax could have sealed the victory when Ognjen Rolovic entered the area with a personal action but goalie Leonard Camilleri left his position in time and managed to clear the danger

Referee: Jules Ngangue