GFA BOV GFL Division I
Ghajnsielem : 0
R. Sammut (L. Buttigieg), An. Xuereb, K. Hili, J.J. Sandoval Guarin, K. Mercieca, D. Atzori (K. Grima), A. Tramboo, Al. Xuereb, C. Dingli (D. Hili), S. Azzopardi, J. Camilleri.
Xewkija T : 2 (D. Shields 32’, T.Melo Dos Santos 74’)
S. Sultana, J. Azzopardi (J. Cefai), M. Xerri, D. Sakic, G. Hili, J.M. Vella, S. Bajada (P. Buttigieg), C. Frances, E. Vella, D. Shields (T. Vella), T. Melo Dos Santos.
Xewkija Tigers scored a goal in each half in their match against Ghajnsielem so that they obtained a victory with the least possible effort and arrives to the last match of the championship with a one point lead over their main challengers for the title Nadur Youngsters. During this match Xewkija held territorial supremacy for most of the encounter but they found it more difficult than expected to make sure of the victory by scoring the second goal at an earlier stage of the encounter. Xewkija’s main aim in this match was undoubtedly to win the full points at stake with the least possible effort and without risking much before their last match of the championship against their challengers Nadur Youngsters. With this result Xewkija only need a draw from the direct clash to win the title for the eighth time in their history. On the other hand Ghajnsielem struggled to be competitive in this match. They were in a depleted side as Ferdinando Apap, Chris Camilleri and Stefan Cassar were missing due to a suspension while Emiliano Lattes, Edison Bilboa Zarate and Renan Telles were not include dint he starting line-up. As a result the Blacks, who already knew that they were out of the contention for the title, were forced to defend their area for long stretches and they rarely created danger towards Xewkija’s goal.
The Tigers took command of play from the very beginning and tried to score an early goal. On 14 minutes a header by Thiago Melo Dos Santos from a cross by Dene Shields ended on the top of the net and on 23 minutes Xewkija’s Claudio Frances hit badly at the edge of the area and the ball arrived to Dene Shields who saw his attempt well saved by goalie Richard Sammut. On 27 minutes a header by Thiago Melo Dos Santos following a cross by Gennaro Hili ended wide and two minutes later Xewkija’s Dene Shields operated a counter break and from his pass Claudio Frances had his attempt that ended away from Ghajnsielem’s goal. Xewkija opened the score on 32 minutes when Ghajnsielem’s keeper failed to clear the ball from the goalmouth following a cross form the right flank by substitute Joseph Cefai and Dene Shields took advantage and netted from close distance. Xewkija were again dangerous on 42 minutes through a shot by Claudio Frances that was saved by goalie Richard Sammut and on 45 minutes Ghajnsielem created a good opportunity to level the score when John Camilleri entered Xewkija’s area following a counter break but from his cross Daniel Atzori failed to connect and the ball passed across an open goal and ended wide.
After the resumption Xewkija continued to dominate play and also increased their efforts to score the second goal. On 50 minutes Ghajnsielem’s keeper Richard Sammut was well placed to neutralise an effort by Claudio Frances and two minutes later a half volley by Dene Shields following a cross by Joseph Cefai was also neutralised by Ghajnsielem’s keeper. In the following action an attempt by Thiago Melo Dos Santos failed to connect to an inviting cross by Dene Shields. On 62 minutes Ghajnsielem operated and effective break through John Camilleri but Xewkija’s keeper left his position in time to clear the ball at the edge of the area. Xewkija seemed confused and in the following action the Blacks won a corner action and the defence failed to clear the ball from the area but Kenneth Mercieca and Stefan Azzopardi both had their attempts blocked by the defence. Xewkija recovered from a difficult moment and on 64 minutes Ghajnsielem’s keeper was again called to make a good save following a shot form long distance by Claudio Frances. On 73 minutes a header from a good position by Thiago Melo Dos Santos following a cross by Shaun Bajada ended just wide but Thiago Melo Dos Santos made up for his mistake one minute later when he doubled the score with a low shot from the edge of the area after receiving from Shaun Bajada. During the final stages of the match Xewkija seemed more confident and on at least two occasions they could have added another goal. On 83 minutes Thiago Melo Dios Santos had a low shot that ended wide and in the first minute of stoppage time the same Brazilian striker had another good attempt from close distance that missed the target.
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri