GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II
Kercem Ajax Stadium – 26 February 2019
Zebbug R FC : 2 (E. Xuereb 27’, M.P. Vega 87’)
Saliba, M. Ciangura (J. Grech), C. Farrugia, M. Formosa, O. Calleja, L. Meilaq (R. Meilak), L. Farrugia, M. Peres Vega, A. Buttigieg, E. Xuereb (J. Muscat), J. Azzopardi.
Sannat L FC : 3 (E.R. Okpokwu 13’, 90+4’, M. Ciangura o.g. 60’)
Mercieca, S. Mizzi, M. Portelli, F. Camilleri, J. Buttigieg, J. Zammit, E.R. Okpokwu, D. Borg, B. Said, N. Micallef, M. Mifsud (F.J. Xuereb).
In the last match of the third round of the campaign, Sannat Lions earned a 3-2 win over bottom-placed Zebbug Rovers so that with the points obtained they increased their lead on the table to three points over their main rivals for promotion Xaghra United. Sannat took the field as favourites to obtain an easy win as they already did in their match against Zebbug of their previous two rounds. However, Zebbug seemed determined to obtain a positive result in their attempt to earn points and move away from the bottom place on the table and therefore play was well contested and the outcome was only decided in the last action of the encounter.
Sannat tried to take command of play from the early stages of the encounter and in the third minute of play they could have opened the score but a header by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu following a corner kick by Matthew Portelli ended wide. Two minutes later Zebbug replied through a shot from long distance by Marco Ciangura that was neutralised by goalie Courtney Mercieca. Sannat opened the score on 13 minutes when Brandon said arrived on the ball before Zebbug’s keeper and passed to an unmarked Ebube Ralph Okpokwu who guided the ball easily in goal from close distance. On 22 minutes Zebbug replied through a shot by Marcos Peres Vega that ended on the side of the net and on 27 minutes the Rovers levelled the score through a close ranged header by Elijah Xuereb following a corner kick by Aaron Buttigieg. The match continued to be interesting with the two sides trying to take the lead. On 34 minutes Zebbug’s keeper Baskal Saliba made a good save to deny Sannat’s Joseph Zammit from scoring and one minute later Zebbug replied through an effort by Luke Meilak that ended on the side of the net. On 44 minutes Sannat were again dangerous through a counter break by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu but Zebbug’s goalie Baskal Saliba cleared the ball from the territory in time before the same Okpokwu could hit towards an open goal.
After the resumption Sannat tried to increase their pressure on Zebbug’s defence but Zebbug continue to be well deployed and on 55 minutes the \rovers went also close to turn the result in their favour but a header by Lucas Farrugia from an ideal position ended wide. Sannat regained the lead on the hour mark through an own goal committed by Marco Ciangura who headed into his own net in an attempt to clear the ball from the goalmouth following a cross by Matthew Portelli. Zebbug had an immediate reaction but they failed to create danger to Sannat’s goalie so that on 72 minutes Sannat could have increased their lead when Ebube Ralph Okpokwu entered Zebbug’s territory in a counter break and released Brandon Said inside Zebbug’s area but the latter had two consecutive attempts that were blocked by Zebbug’s keeper Baskal Saliba. The same keeper was again called to make an important intervention one minute later when he partially saved a strike by substitute Fabian Xuereb and from the same action, a shot from an angled position by Brandon Said was neutralised by Zebbug’s goalkeeper. On 80 minutes Zebbug had a direct free kick by Marcos Peres Vega that ended high and three minutes later Sannat’s Matthew Portelli had a shot that missed the target. On 84 minutes Zebbug’s keeper kept his side in contention when he turned to a corner with difficulty a shot by Fabian Xuereb following a pass by Joseph Zammit. Zebbug scored their second equaliser on 87 minutes through a fine direct free kick by Marcos Peres Vega that ended out of the reach of Sannat’s keeper. As the match was heading to a draw, in the fourth minute of stoppage time Sannat’s Ebube Ralph Okpokwu entered Zebbug’s area with a personal action and scored the decisive goal with a low shot that ended in the corner of the net.
Referee: George Portelli
EDIT: This match report previously had the wrong photographs