GFA KO Division I: Quarter Final
Kercem Ajax Stadium – 18 November 2018
Xewkija T FC : 3 (S. Bajada 14’, 35’; D. Krstic 56’)
Grima, J. Azzopardi (T. Vella), M. Tabone, S.A. Martinez Villa, D. Krstic, C. Bugeja, J. Cefai (O. Spiteri), S.P. Bajada (G. Hili), M. Stojanovic, M. Xerri, D. Bogdanovic.
Kercem A FC : 1 (N. Mercadante Leite Do Canto 61’)
Muscat, D. Cassar, C. Caruana (F. Attard), J. Buttigieg, E. Vella, N.P. Mercadante Leite Do Canto, M. Hrubsa, N. Mercieca, J.P. Mizzi, D. Sakic, F.A. De Oliviera..
Xewkija Tigers scored two goals during the first half and paved the way to a win over Kercem Ajax in a match from the quarter-final stage of the Knock Out competition for the first division. Xewkija’s win arrived following a difficult match as they were forced to suffer Kercem’s initiative for long stretches. However, Xewkija made very good use of their experience as they maintained composure at their defense and capitalized from their best scoring opportunities. Kercem tried hard to remain in contention particularly during the second period when they produced a strong reaction but they found it very difficult to create serious danger. The Tigers administered their lead and practically put their mind at rest from the win with a third goal that arrived before the hour mark.
Kercem came out more aggressive but Xewkija’s defense was well deployed and goalie Mark Grima was not called to make difficult interventions. Xewkija created the first dangerous action of the match on 12 minutes but a strike by Daniel Bogdanovic was deflected to a corner. Xewkija opened the score two minutes later when Daniel Bogdanovic entered Kercem’s territory from the left flank and form his low cross Shaun Bajada concluded in goal with a low shot. Xewkija were again dangerous on 18 minutes but a shot from outside the area by Christian Bugeja ended away from goal. On 34 minutes Kercem’s Martin Hrubsa hit badly from a good position following a free kick by Nathaniel Mercieca and the ball ended wide. One minute later Xewkija doubled the score through a close ranged shot by Shaun Bajada following a cross form the right flank by Joseph Cefai. Kercem went closest to re-open the issue on 43 minutes but a shot by Felipe Augusto De Oliviera ended wide.
During the first part of the second period Kercem produced offensive play in an attempt to re-open the issue. On 48 minutes a free kick by Kercem’s Felipe Augusto De Oliviera ended just wide and three minutes later Xewkija’s keeper Mark Grima saved well an effort by Neto Pedro Macadante Leite Do Canto. On 56 minutes Xewkija increased their lead through a shot on the run by Darko Krstic following a cross from the right by Joseph Cefai. Kercem tried to maintain their pressure and one minute later an effort by Leite Do Canto ended wide. Kercem reduced the score on 61 minutes through Neto Pedro Mercadante Leite Do Canto who placed in goal with a low drive after avoiding his direct opponent inside Xewkija’s area. On 65 minutes Xewkija were dangerous through a strike by Daniel Bogdanovic that ended just high and two minutes later Kercem’s Nathaniel Mercieca had a close ranged shot saved to a corner by Xewkija’s keeper Mark Grima. From the resultant corner action Xewkija’s defender Manuel Tabone cleared the ball from the goalmouth with some difficulty. The same defender was well placed minutes later to block an effort by Joshua Buttigieg from a good position and on 72 minutes Xewkija’s Shaun Bajada had a good attempt after receiving form Darko Krstic that was neutralized by goalie Charlon Muscat. Two minutes later Kercem’s Felipe Augusto De Oliviera had a strike that ended just wide and on 78 minutes Kercem’s goalie Charlon Muscat saved to a corner an effort by Milos Stojanovic who took the ball following some hesitation by Kercem’s defense to clear the danger from the area. Xewkija went again close to seal the win with other goals during the final stages of the encounter. On 85 minutes substitute Owen Spiteri had a good shot that was blocked to a corner and one minute later the other substitute Gennaro Hili had a shot from outside ether area that was saved by goalie Charlon Muscat.
Referee: Ryan Caruana