GFA Gozo Football League Division I
16 September 2018 – Gozo Stadium
Victoria H FC : 3 (E.A. Da Silva 18’, 48’, 56’pen.)
Parnis, F. Apap, L. Grima, J.M. Vella, C. Mercieca (A. Mizzi), S. Miloskovic, C. Camilleri (A. Debrincat), J. Pace, D. Sowatey, E.A. da Silva, E.P. Lattes.
Nadur Y FC : 2 (M.J. Barbosa 37’ pen., Y.DJ. Messias 43’)
Vella, T. Souza De Silveira, D. Farrugia, L. Tabone, K. Farrugia, M.J. Barbosa, D.M. Bustos, Sh. Attard, J. Buttigieg, Sa. Attard (B. Said), Y.DJ. Messias.
Champions Victoria Hotspurs had an excellent start in the BOV Gozo Football League 2018/2019 as they obtained a 3-2 win over Nadur Youngsters who are considered among the serious challengers for the main honours this season. This was the last match from Match-Day 1 of the championship which also generated great interest due to the credentials of the two sides in Gozitan football. As a result the match attracted a large crowd to the Gozo Stadium and the two teams lived up to the expectations as the encounter turned out into a well contested issue where the result remained uncertain until the dying moments. In this match the Hotspurs confirmed their strong potential particularly at their defense where they rarely concede opportunities to their opponents. The Hotspurs consolidated their strong squad that they had last season and consolidated their play where manage to produce a collective effort that is converted in goals through their main striker Elton Alexandre Da Silva, who scored the three goals for his side in this match. Nadur tried hard to prevail over their opponents in this match. They held some territorial supremacy during the first half and also took the break in the lead. However, Nadur committed some defensive mistakes in this match that at the end compromised their possibility to obtain a positive result from this encounter. Nadur also lacked character especially during the difficult phases in the second period as they suffered Victoria’s reaction and failed to administer the lead that they produced during the first half.
Nadur came out more aggressive and in the second minute of play they were dangerous through a low cross by Shaun Attard that was addressed to the far post towards Yuri Messias but central defender Daniel Sowatey risked an own goal by clearing the danger to a corner. On 7 minutes a direct freekick by Nadur’s Thiago Souza De Silveira ended just wide. Nadur continued to enjoy supremacy but on 18 minutes Nadur’s central defender Thiago Souza De Silveira lost a challenge with Victoria’s Elton Alexandre Da Silva who entered the area and fired in goal with a low shot towards the far post. The Youngsters replied on 26 minutes through a shot from long distance that was neutralized by goalie Adrian Parnis. Two minutes later Nadur’s defense failed to clear a low cross by Christian Mercieca and the ball arrived to Elton Da Silva who saw his low shot well saved by goalie Franklin Vella. The same goalkeeper was called to make a difficult save on 31 minutes to turn to a corner a strike by Christopher Camilleri after receiving from Stanimir Miloskovic. On 37 minutes Nadur were awarded a penalty for a foul by Lawrence Grima on Marcelo Junior Barbosa and the same Nadur striker converted from the spot kick. Nadur grew in confidence and two minutes later the same Barbosa had a header following a cross from the left flank that ended just high. Nadur turned the result in their favour on 43 minutes through a spectacular acrobatic finishing by Yuri De Jesus Messias following a cross from the right flank by Marcelo Barbosa, with the ball ending in goal despite the attempt of the goalkeeper to clear the danger.
The Hotspurs took command of play from the early stages of the second period as they seemed determined to recover the score. On 47 minutes an effort by Elton Da Silva from close distance was blocked by Nadur’s rearguard in front of the goalmouth but one minute later the score became 2-2 when Elton Alexandre Da Silva received a ball inside Nadur’s area and placed in goal with a low drive. Nadur continued to suffer from Victoria’s aggressive play and also continued to commit mistakes at their defense. On 53 minutes a strike by Chris Camilleri after receiving from Stanimir Miloskovic ended just wide and on 55 minutes Victoria were awarded a penalty when defender Josef Buttigieg handled the ball in a corner action and Elton Alexandre Da Silva converted from the spot kick to put his side in the lead for the second time in the match. The Hotspurs continued to be the better side and on 70 minutes Nadur’s keeper kept his side in contention when he blocked a shot by Emiliano Lattes. Five minutes later Victoria’s Christian Mercieca had a good shot that ended just wide and Nadur replied on 80 minutes through a free kick by Daniel Mateo Bustos that was stopped by the post and the defense cleared the danger. The Hotspurs went again close top make sure of the victory on 84 minutes but a strike by Christopher Camilleri was saved with some difficulty by goalie Franklin Vella. One minute later the Hotspurs were almost punished for the missed chances as Nadur’s Yuri De Jesus Messias received a ball at the edge of the area but his low shot was saved in two attempts by goalie Adrian Parnis and the score remained unchanged.
Referee: Fyodor Zammit