GFA Gozo Football league Division I
14 September 2018 – Gozo Stadium
Xewkija T FC : 5 (D. Krstic 3’, 54’; P.C. Antunes 25’, 68’; C. Bugeja 57’)
Grima, J. Azzopardi, D. Krstic, C. Bugeja (J. Saliba), P.C. Antunes, J. Cefai, O. Spiteri (T. Vella), S.P. Bajada(G. Hili), M. Stojanovic, M. Xerri, D. Bogdanovic.
SK Victoria W : 0
M.T. Towns, A.G. Attard, J.W. Meilak, A.J. Obaje, P. Dordevic, S. Harland (G. Cardona), M. Bamba, A. Touarha, R. Grech (E. Zammit), D.U. Monday, A. Adesina.
Xewkija Tigers started their commitments in the championship with a convincing performance against SK Victoria Wanderers where they managed to express good play and earned three deserved points. Xewkija are aiming to make up for the disappointing campaign that they had last season, where they ended up out of the challenge for the main honour at an early stage of the championship. Xewkija also had a difficult start to this new season, as they conceded a defeat in the Super Cup final, but in this match they seemed determined to regain their status as one of the main teams in Gozitan football. The Tigers showed that they have the potential to be considered among the main challengers to the favourites Victoria Hotspurs, as they have found a balanced deployment of their experienced players in all the departments. Xewkija ended the first half with a two goals scored during the first half following some hesitation at Victoria’s defense, and for the rest of the match they played with more confidence to the point that they ended up dominating over their opponents until the final whistle.
In the first minute of play the Wanderers almost surprised their opponents but a header from close distance by Ajibade Adesina ended high. In the third minute of play Victoria’s central defender Moussa Bamba hit badly in an attempt to pass the ball backwards to his goalkeeper so that Darko Krstic took the ball and lobbed easily into an open goal to put his side in the lead. Victoria were shocked and on 10 minutes Xewkija’s Claudio Antunes entered Victoria’s area from the right flank but form his low cross Darko Krstic failed to connect. In the following action a low shot by Claudio Antunes form an angled position ended wide. Victoria found it difficult to produce a reaction and on 25 minutes Xewkija doubled the score when Victoria’ keeper failed to hold the ball following a cross from the right flank and Pavlidis Claudio Antunes won the tussle with the extreme defender and headed the ball into an open goal. Victoria’s defense continued to commit mistakes due to the pressure created by Xewkija’s strikers and on 28 minutes Victoria’s central defender Moussa Bamba cleared off the fatal line following a melee in fornt of the goalmouth. On 31 minutes Victoria’s keeper Matthew Towns was called to make a good save following a low shot by Owen Spiteri. The Wanderers replied on 35 minutes through a header by Aaron Touarha following a corner kick by Sam Harland that was deflected to a corner by Xewkija’s defense. On 39 minutes a header by Xewkija’s Claudio Antunes following a free kick by Danijel Bogdanovic ended wide and the score remained unchanged until the break.
Xewkija continued to enjoy territorial supremacy from the early stages of the second period and on 54 minutes they added another goal when Claudio Antunes released Darko Krstic who arrived on the ball before Victoria’s goalie and placed easily into an open goal. Three minutes later Xewkija scored their fourth goal through a strike from outside the area by Christian Bugeja after receiving form Shaun Bajada that surprised goalie Matthew Towns. On 59 minutes a good shot by Darko Krstic who was released by Shaun Bajada ended wide. Victoria replied on 66 minutes through a good move by Sam Harland but his effort was blocked to a corner and two minutes later an effort by Victoria’s Predrag Dordevic was neutralized by Xewkija’s keeper Mark Grima. Xewkija scored another goal on 68 minutes through a shot from the edge of the area by Pavlidis Claudio Antunes that surprised Victoria’s keeper. Minutes later Xewkija’s Darko Krstic went close to score another goal but his attempt directly from a free kick ended just wide. On 76 minutes Victoria’s goalie Matthew Towns was called to make the best save of the evening to block a close ranged header by substitute Thomas Vella following a cross from the left flank by Shaun Bajada. Xewkija were again dangerous in the following minutes through shots on separate occasions by Joseph Cefai and Thomas Vella that ended just over the crossbar. On 86 minutes Victoria’s goalie denied Xewkija from scoring the sixth goal with an effective intervention to block a close ranged shot by Darko Krstic.
Referee: Daniel Portelli