The MFA Boost Diesel FA Trophy – Rd2
Xewkija T : 5 (J.G. Vella 31pen., C. Antunes 37’, 77’pen.; T.M. Dos Santos 55’, M. Stojanovic 90+1’)
F. Vella, M. Gauci, M. Bamba, M. Hrubsa, G. Hili (O. Xuereb), J.M. Vella, M. Stojanovic, J.G. Vella (T. Vella), R. Buttigieg, T.M. Dos Santos, C. Antunes Pavlidis (L. Cilia).
Xghajra T : 2 (R. Degorgio 40’, 61’pen.)
M. Falzon, G. Saliba, G. Attard, D. Cutajar, C. Magro, C. Zammit (N. Zerafa), D. Busutill, N. Tabone, B. Zerafa (S. Crisafulli), R. Degorgio (G. Bonavia), E. Yemer.
Gozitan reigning champions Xewkija Tigers as expected qualified to the third round of the Malta FA Trophy with a win over Xghajra Tornados who play in the third division of the MFA. Xewkija prevailed over their opponents for most of the match but passed through moments where they lacked concentration and conceded two goals which left the qualification at stake until the final stages of the encounter. Xghajra had two players sent off in two action which led to two penalty kicks, but they still take credit for their determination to challenge a more quoted opponent for most of the ninety minutes.
The visitors almost surprised Xewkija during the opening minutes and in the second minute of play a strike from an angled position by Royter Degorgio following a short corner action was neutralised by goalie Franklin Vella. As time passed by Xewkija took full command of play. On 12 minutes a shot by Gennaro Hili was saved easily by Xghajra’s keeper Mark Falzon and less than a minute later Xewkija’s Rodney Buttigieg incredibly concluded wide an inviting pas by Milos Stojanovic. On 21 minutes Xewkija’s Thiago Melo Dos Santos headed over the crossbar a cross by Martin Hrubsa and two minutes later a goal by Xewkija’s Claudio Antunes was disallowed for an offside infringement. Xghajra’s goalie Mark Falzon was again called to make a good intervention on 25 minutes to block a low shot by Milos Stojanovic. On 31 minutes Xewkija were awarded a penalty when Xghajra’s Emre Yemer handled the ball on the line to deflect a strike by Milos Stojanovic on the crossbar. Emre Yemer was sent off for the infringement and from the resultant penalty kick Joseph George Vella fired in goal. Xewkija kept insisting and on 33 minutes Rodney Buttigieg had a lo shot that was partially saved by goalie Mark Falzon and from the rebound the same Buttigieg concluded wide. Xewkija doubled the score on 37 minutes through a low drive from close distance by Claudio Antunes who was released in the area by Milos Stojanovic. Xghajra managed to re-open the issue, despite playing within a player less on the field, on 40 minutes through a lob towards an open goal by Royter Degorgio who received the ball from Brady Zerafa following some hesitation by Xewkija’s defence.
After the break Xewkija regain territorial supremacy. On 51 minutes Thiago Melo Dos Santos had a lob that was turned to a corner with some difficulty by Xghajra’s keeper Mark Falzon and on 55 minutes the Tigers regained the two-goal lead when goalie Mark Falzon partially saved a low shot by Rodney Buttigieg and form the rebound Thiago Melo Dos Santos pushed the ball into an open goal. The visitors were not demoralised and on 58 minutes they went close to scoring but a heder by Noel tabone ended just wide. Less than a minute later Xewkija’s goalie Franklin Vella was called to amek a good intervention following a free kick by Brady Zerafa and on 61 minutes Xghajra were awarded a penalty for a foul y Martin Hrubsa on Noel Tabone. Royter Degorgio converted from the spot kick and re-opened the issue for the second time during the match. Xghajra kept insisting for the following minutes in an attempt to recover the result but on 77 minutes Xewkija operated a counter break and Rodney Buttigieg’s shot was handled on the fatal line by defender Deemer Cutajar. The referee awarded a second penalty to Xewkija and Cutajar was also sent off for the infringement so that Claudio Antunes re-established the two goal lead for the hosts. Xewkija sealed the victory with a fifth goal that arrived in the first minute of stoppage time through a strike by Milos Stojanovic from outside the area.
Referee: Andrea Naudi