GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I
SK Victoria W : 2 (I. Xuereb 58’, A. Ige 66’)
G. Ratto, N.J. Guerrero, A.G. Attard, R. Grech (J. Buhagiar), A. Touarha (J. Meilak), P. Dordevic, C. Sciortino, I Xuereb, D.U. Monday, A.A. Ige, A. Adesina.
Oratory Y : 2 (R.E. Okpokwu 22’, J. Buttigieg 45+2’)
C. Mercieca, D. Azzopardi, R. Ebube Okpokwu, M. Buttigieg, K. Grima, K. Farrugia, J. Polo Longarela, S. Mbacke, J. Buttigieg (Jo. Attard), M. Azzopardi, G.B. Mfulwane (C. Mercieca).
The direct clash between the two sides at the two places occupying the lower places on the table, Oratory Youths and SK Victoria Wanderers, ended in a draw so that the two sides remain at the same places and in serious relegation trouble. At the end the final result satisfied Oratory Youths more as they remain with a two point lead over the Wanderers. The match turned out in an interesting encounter where each team prevailed over the opponent for a half each.
The Wanderers needed a win from this match to move over the Youths on the table and tried to put some pressure on Oratory’s defence from the early stages. In the second minute of play Oratory’s goalie Courtney Mercieca left his position in time to block an effort by Ajibade Adesina. Two minutes later Victoria’s Ian Xuereb had a shot that was deflected to a corner but as time passed by Oratory came out of their defence and took command of the midfield. On 10 minutes Victoria’s goalie Giacomo Ratto saved a header by Javier Polo Longarela following a corner kick by Kersten Grima and from the rebound Ralph Ebube Okpokwu’s effort was blocked to a corner. Two minutes later a close ranged attempt by Kersten Grima following a free kick from long distance. On 14 minutes Victoria’s goalie Giacomo Ratto turned to a corner with difficulty an attempt by Ralph Ebube Okpokwu and two minutes later a header by Joshua Buttigieg from a corner kick by Daniel Azzopardi ended wide. Oratory opened the score on 22 minutes when Ralph Ebube Okpokwu won the ball from Victoria’s defence and netted with a low shot as he came face to face with the goalkeeper. Oratory were now in the driving seat and tried to control play in the midfield. The Wanderers had their best opportunity to level the score on 41 minutes through a cross shot by Ian Xuereb that ended on the roof of the net. Oratory managed to double the score in the second minute of stoppage time before half time when a shot by Kersten Grima from close distance was blocked by the defence and form the rebound Joshua Buttigieg took the ball and fired in close with a fine strike.
After the break the Wanderers came out more determined in an attempt re-open the issue. On 55 minutes Victoria’s Ajibade Adesina had a header from a cross by Ian Xuereb that ended wide and three minutes later they reduced the deficit when Oragtory’s goalie failed to hold a cross by Chris Sciortino and Ian Xuereb took the ball and concluded into an open goal. Oratory replied one minute alter with allow shot by Joshua Buttigieg that was blocked by Victoria’s Predrag Dordevic. However, the Wanderers kept insisting and on 63 minutes Oratory’s goalie Courtney Mercieca once again had good timing to clear the ball from the area before Ian Xuereb could conclude in goal. Victoria clinched the equaliser on 66 minutes through a header by Abdullahi Ige following a free kick from long distance by Anthony George Attard. The match during the final stages became more exciting and the win could have gone either way. On 72 minutes Oratory lost a good scoring opportunity when Kersten Grima headed over the crossbar from close distance following a cross by substitute Johann Attard. Victoria’s best scoring opportunities arrived in two separate actions around the 80th minute through two shots from outside the area by Ian Xuereb that ended away from Oratory’s goal so that the score remained unchnged until the final whistle.
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann