GFA Division II KO Q/final
Kercem Ajax Stadium
Zebbug R : 1 (G.B. Mfulwane 76’)
B. Saliba, G. Portelli, M. Formosa, F. Cini, O. Calleja, V. Vella, A. Buttigieg, G.B. Mfulwane, P. Camilleri, E. Xuereb (J. Debrincat), R. Grech (C. Borg).
Munxar F : 3 (J. Parnis 32’pen., 84’; M.M. Uzor 81’)
L. Gatt, P. Parnis (F. Azzopardi), K. Borg, C. Gafa, S. Muscat, O. Curmi (M. Azzopardi), M. Matthias Uzor, J. Parnis, P. Said, R. Sammut (C. Bugeja), M. Debrincat.
The holders of the GFA second division Knock Out competition Munxar Falcons, who are also the current leaders of the second division championship in Gozo may defend the honour tied with this competition as they qualified to the semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Zebbug Rovers. This was another interesting match as the two sides are also rivals in the tussle for promotion. Munxar were aiming to take revenge for the defeat conceded against Zebbug in the second division campaign, while Zebbuig were aiming to qualify to the next round of the competition to remain in contention for the honour. The turning point of the well contested encounter arrived during the final stages when Zebbug were reduced to ten players and although Munxar missed a scoring opportunity form a penalty kick, the Falcons scored the two decisive goals of the match.
Zebbug were more dangerous than their opponents during the opening stages of the encounter. On the sixth minute a shot by Ryan Grech was well saved by Munxar’s goalie Liam Gatt. On 25 minutes a free kick by Francesco Cini was partially saved by Munxar’s keeper and from the rebound Zebbug’s Christian Vella had a shot on the run that missed the target. Three minutes later Zebbug were again dangerous through a strike by Elijah Xuereb after receiving from Gibson Mfulwane that ended just over the crossbar. The Rovers were punished for the missed chances as Munxar opened the score on 32 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Patrick Camilleri on Jordi Parnis and the same striker converted from the spot kick. Munxar grew in confidence and on 39 minutes they were again dangerous through a header by Michael Matthias Uzor from a corner kick by Paul Said that was neutralised by Baskal Saliba. Zebbug replied one minute later through a shot from long distance by Francesco Cini that was turned to a corner with difficulty by goalie Liam Gatt.
Play continued to be balanced after the break and on 51 minutes Munxar’s goalie was well placed to neutralise a free kick from an angled position by Francesco Cini. Munxar were also dangerous on 59 minutes through a shot by Paul Said that was partially saved by goalie Baskal Saliba and from the resultant action Munxar’s Jordi Parnis entered the area but Zebbug’s defender Aaron Buttigieg recovered his position in time to clear the ball from the area Munxar could have regained the lead on 68 minutes when they were awarded a second penalty for a foul by Patrick Camilleri on Michael Matthias Uzor. Patrick Camilleri was sent off for his second bookable offence but Munxar’s Michael Matthias Uzor saw his shot from the spot kick ending over the crossbar. Munxar tried to make up for the mistake from the penalty and on 74 minutes Paul Said unmarked Michael Matthias Uzor but the latter had his shot saved in two attempts by Zebbug’s goalie Baskal Saliba. One minute later the same goalkeeper was again well placed to stop a good shot from outside the area by Jordi Parnis. Zebbug managed to level the score on 76 minutes despite playing with a player less on the field when a shot by Gibson Mfulwane had a good shot following a personal action that was deflected to a corner. From the resultant corner kick by Christian Vella, Gibson Botshelo Mfulwane headed in goal with a fine header. Munxar had an immediate reaction and regained the lead on 81 minutes through a header by Michael Matthias Uzor from a corner kick by Jordi Parnis. Munxar maintained their superiority for the remaining minutes of the match and on 84 minutes they practically made sure of the qualification by scoring the third goal through a low drive by Jordi Parnis. Zebbug’s best scoring opportunity arrived on 89 minutes through a shot by substitute Josef Debrincat, after receiving from the other substitute Chris Borg, that missed the target.
Referee: Alex Johnson