GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I
Gozo Stadium – 17 March 2019
Kercem A FC : 3 (A. Debrincat 67’, T. Vella 70’, 81’)
Dizdarevic, D. Cassar, A. Zammit (A. Azzopardi), A. Debrincat (P. Debono), T. Vella, M. Hrubsa, N. Mercieca, O. Spoiteri, J.P. Mizzi, M. Perisic, F.A. FDe Oliviera.
Xewkija T FC : 2 (H.T. Barbosa Honorato 17’pen, M. Dingli 90+1’)
Grima (K. Attard), J. Azzopardi, C. Bugeja, C. Antunes Pavlidis, G. Hili, J. Cefai Bonnici (M. Dingli), J.M. Vella, L, Cilia, M. Stojanovic, H.T. Barbosa Honorato (J. Axiak), D. Bogdanovic.
Kercem Ajax regained their hopes to avoid relegation with three precious points earned form a 3-2 win over Xewkija Tigers. With this result Kercem once again pulled with them two other teams at the bottom of the table so that at the end of Match-Day 17 three teams ended up at the bottom of the table, while the other two teams above them are within a gap of three points. The match between Xewkija and Kercem ended up into an encounter where each team prevailed over the other for a half each. This was Kercem’s second win over Xewkija in the championship and the former also remain undefeated by Xewkija in the championship as the match between the two sides of the first round ended in a draw of two goals.
Xewkija seemed determined to make up for their previous two consecutive defeats conceded in their previous two matches and dictated matters through the first half. However, the first serious scoring opportunity arrived form Kercem on the third minute of play through a counter break but Andrea Debrincat’s was stopped for a dubious offside position when he arrived at the edge of the area and was facing Xewkija’s keeper. On 10 minutes Xewkija’s Claudio Antunes entered Kercem’s area but his attempt was practically cleared by goalie Vladimir Dizdarevic so that central defender Martin Hrubsa cleared the danger form the goalmouth to a corner. From the same corner action Xewkija protested for a penalty when Halleson Tiago Barbosa Honorato’s header was blocked by Kercem’s defence. Two minutes later Xewkija were again dangerous but Luke Cilia concluded badly form a good position after receiving from Milos Stojanovic. Xewkija opened the score on 17 minutes when the referee awarded penalty for a foul by Daniel Cassar on Halleson Tiago Barbosa Honorato and the latter converted from the spot kick. Xewkija kept insisting and three minutes later Luke Cilia had a clos eranged shot that was blocked by Kercem’s keeper Vladimir Dizdarevic. Kercem replied on 21 minutes when Felipe Augusto de Oliviera won a ball from Xewkija’s defence at the edge of the area but his low shot was neutralised by Xewkija’s keeper Mark Grima. On 25 minutes Kercem’s central defender Martin Hrubsa missed to take advanatage of a potential scoring opportunity inside Xewkija’s area when goalie Mark Grima failed to hold a ball from a corner action so that the defence recovered and cleared the danger from the melee in front of Xewkija’s goal. One minute later Kercem’s goalie Vladimir Dizdarevic was again called to make a good intervention when he saved in two attempts a shot by Claudio Antunes and on 27 minutes Xewkija were unlucky when a shot by Milos Stojanovic following a cross by Gennaro Hili was stopped by the post. Two minutes later Xewkija’s striker Halleson Tiago Barbosa Honorato had a shot on the run form a good position that missed the target and on 31 minutes a strike by Xewkija’s Christian Bugeja was well saved by goalie Vladimir Dizdarevic. Xewkija continued to put pressure on Kercem’s defence during the final stages of the first half and on 35 minutes Luke Cilia entered Kercem’s area but his low rive was cleared in time to a corner by central defender Martin Hrubsa. One minute later Kercem protested for a penalty alleging handling when Xewkija’s defence blocked a cross form the right flank and on 38 minutes Xewkija’s Luke Cilia entered Kercem’s territory but his shot ended away from goal. Four minutes later Xewkija could have added another goal but a shot by Halleson Tiago Barbosa Honorato following a personal action ended just high.
For the second period Kercem tried to produce a reaction but during the opening minutes Xewkija defended well and kept the danger outside the area. On the hour mark Xewkija’s keeper was well placed to neutralise an attempt by Felipe Augusto De Oliviera. Kercem however clinched he equaliser on 67 minutes when a long through pass by Jean Paul Mizzi arrived to an unmarked Andrea Debrincat who controlled the ball, entered the area and fired in goal with a fine strike. Xewkija were demoralised and three minutes later Kercem turned the result in their favour through a close ranged header by Thomas Vella following a cross by Owen Spiteri. Kercem protested for a penalty on 74 minutes following an intervention by substitute John Axiak on Thomas Vella and on 81 minutes Kercem increased their lead through another goal by Thomas Vella who received the ball inside Xewkija’s area, turned around a defender and fired easily in goal. During the final stages of the encounter Xewkija tried hard to recover the deficit but on 84 minutes a free kick by Daniel Bogdanovic was saved by Kercem’s goalie Vladimir Dizdarevic. Xewkija only managed to reduce the deficit with a goal that arrived in the first minute of stoppage time through a free kick form long distance by substitute Mark Dingli and the ball bounced inside Kercem’s area and surprised goalie Vladimir Dizdarevic and ended in goal.
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri