GFA Division I KO Q/final
Kercem Ajax Stadium
SK Victoria W : 0
L. Camilleri, A. Adesina, A.G. Attard, G.D. Valdiviezo, D. Udo Monday, P. Dordevic, N. Vella (A. Touarha), I. Xuereb, J. Buhagiar, A.A. Ige, S. Baala.
Oratory Y : 1 (K. Grima 43’)
C. Mercieca, J. Polo Longarela, K. Grima, J. Buttigieg (K. Farrugia), Jo. Attard (D. Azzopardi), C. Mercieca, L. Mba Mutasi, M. Buttigieg (A. Bezzina), Ju. Attard, R. Ebube Okpokwu, A.M. Fotso Moukam
The clash between two teams struggling to move away from the relegation zone in the championship, SK Victoria wanderers and Oratory Youths, produced a well contested encounter that ended in favour of Oratory thanks to a goal scored during tghe final stages of the first half. The two sides were aiming to win the qualification at stake in an attempt to boost their respective confidence prior to their commitments in the matches from the championship. Play was rather balanced during the first half but the Youths went into the break with a one-goal lead. The Wanderers tried hard to recover the deficit but their strikers were often erratic and for most of the time Oratory’s defence managed to neutralise Victoria’s attempts to level the score.
Oratory Youths seemed in a better shape duringthe first minutes of the match and held territorial supremacy over their opponents. On 6 minutes a shot by Ralph Ebube Ekpokwu ended away from Victoria’s goal. The Wanderers replied on 11 minutes through a shot by Predrag Dordevic that was stopped by the woodwork and from the rebound, Ian Xuereb’s attempt missed the target. On 17 minutes Oratory’s Alain Fotso Moukan produced a personal action from the right flank but his low shot was well saved to a corner by goalie Leonard Camilleri. Play became more balanced as time passed by as the Wanderers managed to share more play in the midfield. On 23 minutes Victoria’s Abdullahi Ige had an attempt that ended just wide and the same striker could have concluded better three minutes later but his shot from outside the area failed to hit the target. The Youths opened the score on 43 minutes when Victoria’s defence cleared badly following a corner action and Kersten Grima surprised Victoria’s goalie with a strike from outside the area. The same Grima could have doubled the score in the first minute of stoppage time before half time but his shot ended just high.
The Wanderers came out more determined for the second period and in the fourth minute of play of the second half a cross shot by Ian Xuereb was well saved by goalie Courtney Mercieca. The Youths replied on 54 minutes through a shot form a good position by Ralph Ebube Okpokwu that missed the target and on 59 minutes the Wanderers were again dangerous through an overhead kick by Sunday Baala following a prolonged action inside Oratory’s area that was well saved by goalie Courtney Mercieca. The same goalkeeper was well placed on 62 minutes to neutralise a header by Abdullahi Ige and on 67 minutes Victoria’s Predrag Dordevic had a first time following a low cross by Sunday Baala that was neutralised by Oratory’s keeper. Minutes later Victoria’s Predrag Dordevic had a header from close distance that was weak and the goalkeeper saved without difficulty. Victoria’s last scoring opportunity arrived on 87 minutes through a strike from outside the area by Predrag Dordevic that ended wide. On 89 mintes the Youths could have sealed the victory when Ralph Ebube Okpokwu entered Victoria’s territory with a personal action but he prolonged the ball as he entered the area and goalie Leonard Camilleri saved the danger. The same goalkeeper denied Oratory from the second goal in the second minute of stoppage time when he punched away a strike by substitute Aleandro Bezzina and Victoria’s defence cleared the danger away from the area with some difficulty so that the final score remained unchanged until the final whistle by the referee.
Referee: Paul Apap