GFA BOV GFL DIVISION I
Xewkija T: 1 (D. Shields 55’)
Sultana, J. Azzopardi, M. Hrubsa, P. Buttigieg (S. Galea), J. Cefai, M. Xerri, J.M. Vella, R. Buttigieg, D. Bogdanovic, D. Shields, T.M. Dos Santos.
Oratory Y: 2 (E.F. Da Silva Santos 6’, B. Polo Longarela 77’)
Camilleri, K. Borg, J. Polo Longarela, M. Gauci, B. Polo Longarela, K. Farrugia, B. Perello Palou, D. Azzopardi, E.F. Da Silva Santos (J. Bonnici), M. Buttigieg, A. Debrincat (J. Attard).
Oratory Youths obtained an important win against challengers for the title Xewkija Tigers and with the points obtained they move to a comfortable mid-table position and with a good lead over the teams in the lower part of the table. Oratory, who already had very impressive performances in their matches against more quoted sides, were in a better shape than their opponents and were in control of play for most of the encounter. They managed to score an early goal and suffered Xewkija’s reaction during the opening stages of the second period. However, the Youths resisted through a difficult phase of the match and regained the lead with a goal that arrived through a fast break. On the other hand Xewkija had a disappointing performance which confirms an inconsistent pattern in this first part of the championship. Xewkija are struggling to find the right formation and arte suffering from the absence of some of their most established players due to injuries. With this result the Tigers not only lost ground with the frontrunners of the championship but allowed other teams from the lower part of the table to close their gap from the third position.
The Youths had an excellent start and opened the score in the sixth minute of play when a cross from the right flank arrived to Everton Felipe Da Silva Santos who controlled the ball and netted with a fine shot towards the corner. Xewkija tried to produce an immediate reaction and one minute later a shot by dene Shields ended high. Xewkija were again dangerous on 14 minutes when Thaigo Melo Dos Santos head inside the small area following a corner action but Dene Shields had his close ranged attempt cleared off the line by Daniel Azzopardi. Oratory seemed in control of the match and Xewkija only managed to increase their momentum near the end of the first half. On 45 minutes Oratory’s defence failed to clear a low cross by Daniel Bogdanovic but Martin Hrubsa’s attempt passed in front of an open goal and the ball ended wide. In the first minute of stoppage time before half time a good shot by Thiago Melo Dos Santos from inside the area ended just wide so that the first half ended with Oratory in the lead.
In the fourth minute of play of the second period Oratory could have doubled the score but an effort by Bartomeu Perello Palou was cleared off the line by Xewkija’s central defender Peter Buttigieg with the goalkeeper beaten. Xewkija started to become more effective in their play during the first part of the second period and on 53 minutes a shot by Daniel Bogdanovic, who was challenged inside the area by Javier Polo Longarela, ended just wide. Xewkija levelled the score two minutes later when a cross from the right flank by Rodney Buttigieg arrived to Daniel Bogdanovic at the far post, the latter crossed immediately towards the goalmouth and Dene Shields headed easily in goal from close distance. Oratory continued to suffer pressure for the following minutes and Xewkija could have turned the result in their favour on 57 minutes but Oratory’s goalie Leonard Camilleri was well placed and blocked to a corner a shot on the run by Dene Shields after receiving from Daniel Bogdanovic. One minute later a strike by Daniel Bogdanovic ended just high and on 63 minutes Oratory’s keeper was again at the right place to save a header by Thiago Melo Dos Santos following a cross by Martin Hrubsa. The same goalkeeper made a decisive intervention on 76 minute when he managed to punch away a cross by Daniel Bogdanovic addressed to substitute Sylvan Galea and in the following action Oratory operated a counter break. The ball arrived to Daniel Azzopardi on the left flank and from Azzopardi’s cross the ball arrived to an unmarked Borja Polo Longarela who headed towards the lower corner and pout of the reach of the goalkeeper. Xewkija failed to produce a reaction and the Youths managed to defend their one goal lead until the final whistle.
Referee: Darryl Agius