Sannat Ground


Gharb R         :           1          (A. Ofulue 60’)


  1. Spiteri, C. Gafa’, M. Vella, Ch. Attard (J. Muscat), J. Azzopardi, R. Vella (J. Portelli), Cr. Attard, P.A. Attard, R. Grech (F. Attard), A. Ofulue, D. Bellotti.


Zebbug R       :           0


  1. Saliba, P. Cardona, G. Portelli, P. Camilleri, A. Zammit, C. Borg, M. Cordina, O. Calleja, C. Vella (J. Debrincat), I. Igwemeke, E. Nkwocha.


Gharb Rangers recovered from the unexpected defeat conceded in their previous match of the campaign with a close win over Zebbug Rovers in the last encounter from match-day nine of the second division league.  Gharb needed the full points at stake from this match in an attempt to remain with the other teams who are challenging for promotion and managed to reach their objective with a goal scored on the hour mark.  For the rest of the match the two sides produced some good scoring opportunities and the final score remained uncertain until the final whistle.


Gharb tried to take command of play from the early stages of the match but Zebbug created the first scoring opportunity of the match.  In the third minute Ikechukwu Igwemeke released Chris Borg inside Gharb’s area but the latter saw his low drive ending wide.  Three minutes later Gharb’s Justin Azzopardi had a free kick that passed in front of Zebbug’s goal but the strikers failed to connect from close distance.  Gharb went again close to scoring on 29 minutes but Andrew Ofulue had a header from a corner kick by Ryan Grech that ended just high.  Gharb continued to enjoy territorial supremacy and on 37 minutes Zebbug’s keeper partially saved a free kick by Ryan Grech but from the rebound Renzo Vella concluded incredibly high with an open goal at his mercy.  Zebbug, however, replied one minute later when Chris Borg passed to Ikechukwu Igwemeke inside Gharb’s area but the latter had his shot on the run that ended over the crossbar.


In the second minute of play of the second periods Gharb went again close to scoring but Dylan Bellotti’s attempt following a personal action ended just wide.  The same player once again came face to face with Zebbug’s goalie one minute later but his attempt also ended inches away from goal.  Zebbug replied on 49 minutes through a shot by Chris Borg that ended high and on 52 minutes Zebbug’s Manwel Cordina had an attempt directly from a free kick that was turned to a corner with difficulty by Gharb’s goalie Daniel Spiteri.  The two sides continued to be more offensive in their paly during the second period.  On 54 minutes Gharb’s Paul Anthony Attard had an attempt that was blocked by Zebbug’s goalie Baskal Saliba and five minutes later Zebbug had an effort by Ikechukwu Igwemeke from a good position that ended wide.  Gharb scored the goal that decided the issue on 60 minutes.  Zebbug’s keeper Baskal Saliba saved to a corner with difficulty a shot by Andrew Ofulue.  From the resultant corner kick taken by Christian Attard, Andrew Ofulue took the ball from among the defenders with a fine elevation and headed in goal.  Zebbug replied on 67 minutes through a strike by substitute Josef Debrincat that ended wide.  On 71 minutes Gharb could have doubled the score but a good shot by Dylan Bellotti was stopped by the post.  Three minutes later Zebbug went very close to level the score but Manwel Cordina’s attempt was turned to a corner with difficulty by goalie Daniel Spiteri.  During the final stages the two sides created some good scoring opportunities.  On 82 minutes Zebbug’s goalie Baskal Saliba saved well an effort by Andrew Ofulue.  One minute later the same Ofulue entered Zebbug’s territory with a personal action but his shot was weak and the goalkeeper saved without difficulty.  Zebbug’s last opportunity to save the result arrived on 87 minutes but Mawel Cordina’s free kick was saved to a corner by goalie Daniel Spiteri.  In the following minutes Gharb could have made sure of the victory with at least another goal.  On 89 minutes an effort by substitute Frank Attard from close distance ended wide and during stoppage time Andrew Ofulue had two good attempts on two separate occasions.  In the first attempt goalie Baskal Saliba blocked the danger and central defender Patrick Camilleri cleared the ball from the goalmouth and in the second attempt Ofulue’s shot was stopped by the post so that the score remained unchanged until the end of the encounter.


Referee: Kurt Saliba