GFA BOV GFL DIVISION I
Nadur Y: 1 (D. Dos Santos 52’)
Grima, J. Buttigieg, D. Stojanovic, S. Attard, R. Da Silva, C. Hili, M. Hyzler (C. Debono), M. Stojanovic, C. Antunes, J. Grima (M. Zerafa), D. Dos Santos (B. Said).
Victoria H: 0
Parnis, M. Bamba, D. Farrugia, S. Attard, M. Montano, J. Pace (J. Vella), J. Bajada, H. Maciel, J. Tabone (M. Bezzina), C. Mercieca, L. Rene Zome.
Nadur Youngsters obtained three very important points from their match against Victoria Hotspurs so that they ensured sole leadership at the end of match-day six of the championship. The match was considered as direct clash between two teams aiming to be among the challengers for the title. The Hotspurs were aiming to win this match in their attempt to reduce their gap from the leadership and to make up for the difficult start in the championship. On the other hand this was a match where Nadur had the opportunity to show that they deserve the position that they are occupying on the table despite the fact that they were not expected to be among the top teams at the beginning of the championship.
Due to the importance of the encounter the match turned out into a well contested issue where victory could have gone either way and the final score remained uncertain until the end. Nadur managed to pave the way to the victory by producing an excellent performance at their defensive department where they neutralised Victoria’s strikers. Central defenders Ronaldo Da Silva and Darko Stojanovic distinguished themselves throughout the encounter while midfielder Milos Stojanovic led his team mates to produce an effective barrier in front of the defence and to provide breaks through striker Claudio Antunes and Dewide Dos Santos. Nadur’s deployment was not only effective to deny Victoria’s strikers from creating danger but also led to the action that ended with the decisive goal of the encounter. On the other hand the Hotspurs tried hard to win this match and made various changes throughout the ninety minutes to try a right way to put their strikers in a position to hit the target. However, the Hotspurs became confused as time passed by and were in a state of panic during the last part of the match when they tried to increase their pressure in an attempt to level the score.
During the opening stages the Hotspurs held command of play and seemed confident in their play. However they found it difficult to create danger inside Nadur’s area so that the first attempt at goal arrived on 11 minutes through a shot from outside the area by Shaun Attard that ended away from Nadur’s goal. On 16 minutes a shot by Victoria’s Louis Rene Zome ended wide and two minutes later the same striker had an another attempt following a cross by Shaun Attard that missed the target. As time passed by Nadur started to share more play in the midfield but the two defensive departments prevailed over the respective strikers. On 32 minutes Victoria’s Louis Rene Zome and Henrique Maciel failed to connect to an inviting low cross by Jason Pace. Four minutes later Nadur’s keeper Mark Grima was well placed to neutralise a shot by Miguel Montano. Nadur’s best scoring opportunity of the first half arrived on 45 minutes but Joseph Grima’s shot following a personal action ended on the side of the net.
After the break the Hotspurs regained some territorial supremacy and they went very close to scoring on 51 minutes when a header by Moussa Bamba from a corner kick by Miguel Montano was cleared to another corner with some difficulty from the goal mouth by Nadur’s defence. One minute later Nadur scored the goal that at the end decided the issue. Claudio Antunes entered Victoria’s area following a fast break and from his low cross Dewide Dos Santos. Victoria’s reaction was sterile and their best opportunity to level the score arrived on 65 minute but an attempted scissor kick by Louis Rene Zome from a cross by Jonathan Bajada was not effective and the ball ended away from Nadur’s goal. Nadur continued to threaten Victoria’s defence with counter breaks and on 71 minutes they could have doubled the score but a lob by Claudio Antunes was neutralised by goalie Adrian Parnis. Less than a minute later a strike by Victoria’s Henrique Maciel ended over the crossbar. Victoria’s Brazilian striker left his side with ten players for the final stages of the encounter as he was sent off on 85 minutes following a second yellow card received for a foul away from the action on substitute Christian Debono and the score remained unchanged until the final whistle.
Referee: Stefan Pace