GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I
Gozo Stadium – 23 December 2018
Ghajnsielem FC : 1 (L.A. De Melo Lima 79’)
Xuereb, J. Tabone, N. Damba, K. Mercieca, Al. Xuereb, An. Xuereb (D. Hili), D. Mercieca, A. Camilleri, K. Grima, A. Oularbi, L.A. De Melo Lima.
Gharb R FC : 4 (C. Attard 5’, H. Santa Rosa Cruz 48’, 83’; J.E. Batista Da Conceicao 66’)
Spiteri, A. Sultansa, J.P. Grima, P.P. Camilleri, C. Attard, J.E. Batista Da Conceicao, H. Santa Rosa Cruz, P. Nunez Del Castillo, N. Stojanovic, O. Xuereb (M. Theuma), M. Grech.
Gharb rangers had an excellent start in the second round of the BOV Gozo Football League Division I as they obtained a convincing 4-1 win over Ghajnsielem. With this result Gharb also moved over the same Ghajnsielem on the table. It was a deserved win flr Gharb. They took an early lead and managed to resist to Ghajnsielem’s reaction. After the break Gharb also took full advantage of some gaps at Ghajnsielem’s rear guard and became much more dangerous through counter break operated mainly by Hugo Santa Rosa Criz and Junior Elisio Batista Da Conceicao. Ghajnsielem disappointed in this match and may have compromised the possibility to take a moid table position and out of the relegation trouble at an early stage of the championship. In this match the Blacks were shocked by Gharb’s aggressive play expressed during the opening minutes and never managed to recover so that they ended up conceding a heavy defeat.
Gharb came out more aggressive and opened the score in the fifth minute of play when Ghajnsielem’s rear guard failed to clear a cross from the left flank by Hugo Santa Rosa Cruz and Christian Attard took advantage and headed in goal from close distance. Ghajnsielem’s reply arrived on 19 minutes through a header by Kenneth Mercieca that ended wide and on 24 minutes Gharb were again dangerous but a direct free kick by Hugo Santa Rosa Cruz was saved to a corner with difficulty by goalie Lorjean Xuereb. The same Gharb striker had a good effort three minutes later that ended wide and on 34 minutes Ghajnsielem were again dangerous but a shot by Kurt Grima from outside the area missed the target. One minute later Ghajnsielem protested for a penalty when a shot by Kurt Grima was blocked by Gharb’s defence and on 39 minutes the Blacks could have levelled the score but a header by Luis Andre De Melo Lima following a corner kick by Alberto Xuereb was well saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri. On 43 minutes Gharb went again close to scoring but a header by Omar Xuereb form a free kick by Christian Attard ended wide.
Gharb had an excellent start in the second period. The Rangers doubled the score on 458 minutes when a through pass by Omar Xuereb form the midfield released Hugo Santa Rosa Cruz who turned around the goalkeeper at the edge of the area and placed easily into an open goal. Ghajnsielem struggled to regain composure and their best reply to Gharb’s goal arrived on 56 minutes through as strike by Kurt Grima form outside the area that missed the target. The Blacks went closer to scoring on the hour mark when a header by Luis Andre De Melo Lima from a melee in front of Gharb’s goalmouth was cleared off the fatal lien by defender Pierre Paul Camilleri. Ghajnsielem were punished from the missed chances on 66 minutes when Hugo Santa Rosa Cruz released Junior Batista Da Conceicao in a counter break and the latter placed in goal, with a low drive as the goalkeeper left his position in an attempt to block the danger. Ghajnsielem were demoralised and on 73 minutes they failed to capitalise when Alberto Xuereb unmarked Kenneth Merciceca inside Gharb’s area but the defence blocked easily the danger. On 75 minutes Gharb’s keeper Daniel Spiteri was well placed to block a shot by Naby Damba and on 83 minutes Gharb operated another counter break, Ghajnsielem’s defence cleared badly and Hugo Santa Rosa Cruz took the ball, entered the area and netted with a low drive. Just after the goal Ghajnsielem were also reduced to ten players when substitute Damon Hili was sent off for protests so that the match lost much of the interest during the remaining minutes and the score remained unchanged.
Referee: Kurt Saliba
Photos: Paul Scicluna