GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I
SK Victoria W : 0
G. Ratto, J. Buhagiar (J. Refalo), I. Xuereb, A.G. Attard, D.U. Monday, C. Sciortino, P. Dordevic, N. Vella, A.A. Ige, A. Adesina, S. Baala.
Gharb R : 2 (M. Barbosa 6’, B.P. Longarela 59’)
D. Spiteri, A. Sultana, D. Stojanovic, J. Azzopardi, J.P. Grima, B. Polo Longarekla, D. Bellotti, M. Bezzina, J. Portelli (L. Meilak), M. Nwankwo, M. Barbosa (J. Camenzuli).
In the first match from Match-Day 9 of the championship Gharb Rangers obtained an important 2-0 win over SK Victoria Wanderers and confirmed their positive performances produced so far this season. The was the second consecutive win for the newly promoted side and with the points obtained from the match, which was also a direct clash between two sides who were in the relegation zone, they moved to safer waters leaving the Wanderers at the bottom of the table and in serious relegation trouble. Gharb’s win arrived with a goal scored in each half. The Rangers scored an early goal and remained in the driving seat for most of the encounter as they managed to resist to Victoria’s sporadic actions and practically sealed the victory with a second goal scored one minute before the hour mark. Gharb were rewarded for their determination to obtain the full points at stake while the Wanderers once again showed lack of character as they failed to express a reaction once they found themselves in a difficult moment.
Gharb came out much more aggressive and could have opened the score in the fifth minute of play when Moses Nwankwo won a ball from Victoria’s defence but his two consecutive attempts were saved by Victoria’s keeper Giacomo Ratto. Gharb however opened the score one minute later when Marcelo Barbosa exchanged the ball with Moses Nwankwo, entered Victoria’s area and lobbed over the goalkeeper who left his position in an attempt to block the danger. Gharb were again dangerous on 14 minutes but a strike by Borja Polo Longarela was deflected to a corner by Victoria’s defence. Two minutes later Victoria’s striker failed to capitalise form a melee in front of Gharb’s goalmouth following a corner action and on 24 minutes the Wanderers were unlucky when a direct free kick by Predrag Dordevic was stopped by the crossbar. On 29 minutes Gharb’s Darko Stojanovic headed wide a corner kick by Josef Portelli and on 32 minutes the Wanderers replied through a strike by Predrag Dordevic that ended over the crossbar. Victoria created a potential scoring opportunity in the third minute of stoppage time before half time but a header by Abdullahi Ige following a cross by Ian Xuereb was weak and goalie Daniel Spiteri saved without difficulty.
In the second minute of play of the second period Gharb created a dangerous action within Victoria’s are and defenders Ajibade Adesina and David Udo Monday managed to clear with difficulty form the goalmouth a cross by Moses Nwankwo addressed to an unmarked Marcelo Barbosa. The Citizens replied on 49 minutes through a free kick by Abdullahi Ige that ended wide and one minute later a header by Gharb’s Moses Nwankwo following a free kick by Michael Bezzina was saved by the goalkeeper with the aid of the crossbar and from the rebound the same Nwankwo fired incredibly away from goal when he was in an ideal position. On 53 minutes the Wanderers went again close to level the score but an overhead kick by Predgrag Dordevic following a corner action was deflected on the crossbar by Gharb’s keeper Daniel Spiteri. Gharb scored their second goal on 59 minutes when Marcel Barbosa entered Victoria’s area from the left flank and from his cross Moses Nwankwo headed inside the area and Borja Polo Longarela came from behind the defence and headed past the goalkeeper. Gharb continued to be well deployed on the field and were also in control of play. On 82 minutes Gharb’s Moses Nwankwo entered Victoria’s area but defender Anthony George Attard recovered in time and denied the strike from concluding towards goal with a fine intervention. One minute later a cross-shot by Abdullahi Ige ended over Gharb’s goal and on 88 minutes Gharb’s striker Marcelo Barbosa had an excellent strike from outside the area following personal action that ended just over the crossbar. In the first minutes of stoppage time before the end of the match Gharb’s substitute Luke Meilak had a good shot following a corner action that ended on the side of the met and two minutes later the Wanderers replied through a header by Sunday Baala following a free kick by Anthony George Attard that was easily saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri. In the fifth minute of stoppage time the Wanderers had Ajibade Adesina sent off for hitting Gharb’s Anthony Sultana when the ball was not in action.
Referee: Daniel Portelli