MFA The FA Trophy Rd I
Gozo Stadium – 6 September 2018
Gharb R: 2 (C. Attard 19’, 22’)
Spiteri, A. Sultana, M. Gauci (A. Micallef), C. Attard, P. Djorovic, O. Xuereb, D. Azzopardi (M. Grech), P. Nunez Del Castillo, N. Stojanovic, C.H. Santa Rosa, A. Shkjav.
Xghajra T: 1 (R. Degorgio 63’)
Attard, A. Pulis, D. Cutajar, N. Silva Canas, R. Degorgio, G. Goodip (H. Pace), C. Zammit, C. Magro, .T. Crisafuli, A. Cauchi (G.M. Saliba), G. Attard (G. Brincat).
Gharb Rangers scored two goals in the space of three minutes midway through the first half and paved the way to obtain a win over Xghajra Tornados so that they earned a place in the second round of the second most important competition in Maltese football. Gharb saw more of the ball for long stretches but did not manage to capitalize form the chances so that their opponents remained practically in contention until the final whistle.
The two sides had a prudent approach where Gharb created their first serious attempt on 8 minutes through an effort by Hugo Cruz Santa Rosa that was saved to a corner by goalie Luke Attard and the visitors replied two minutes later through two consecutive attempts by Nestor Luis Silva Canas, who had his first shot partially saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri and his second shot cleared off the fatal line by defender Anthony Sultana. Gharb opened the score on 19 minutes through a fine header by skipper Christian Attard following a corner kick by Nemanja Stojanovic. Xghajra were shocked and on 22 minutes the same Christian Attard doubled the score for the hosts when he fired into an open goal from the rebound as a shot by Ardit Shkjav was partially saved by goalie Luke Attard. Three minutes later Gharb’s goalie Daniel Spiteri was well placed to block an effort by Royter Degorgio and from the rebound Nestor Silva Canas saw his shot ending wide. Xghajra’s goalie was called to make another good save on 33 minutes following a shot by Christian Attarc and on 41 minutes Xghajra’s Simone Crisafulli had a free kick that just missed the target. Just before half time Gharb could have added another goal but a shot by Ardit Shkjav was well saved by goalie Luke Attard.
On 55 minutes Gharb could have added another goal but a strike by Ardit Shkjav was well saved to a corner and form the resultant corner action a header by the same Shkjav was stopped by the post. In another occasions minutes later the same Gharb striker saw his effort well saved by Xghajra’s goalie and on the hour mark a good shot by Gharb’s Nemanja Stojanovic ended just over Xghajra’s goal. Gharb were punished for the missed chances as Xghajra re-opened the issue on 63 minutes when they reduced the deficit through a goal by Royter Degorgio who surprised Gharb’s goalie with a shot from the edge of the area. Xghajra grew in confidence and in the following minutes they threatened Gharb’s defense on two separate occasions through a free kick by Christian Magro that was deflected to a corner and a shot by Nestor Silva Canas that ended on the side of the net. Gharb on the other hand replied with a good attempt by Ardit Shkjav that was saved by the goalkeeper and in another occasion Predrag Dorovic incredibly conclude over the crossbar from close distance following a short clearance by the defense. During the final stages Xghajra increased their efforts in an attempt to force extra time but on two separate occasions Ghrb’s keeper Daniel Spiteri denied Darren Cutajar form scoring with two difficult interventions so that the score remained unchanged.
Referee: Joseph Scerri