GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II
Kercem Ajax Stadium – 23 February 2019
Oratory Y FC : 4 (D. Degennaro 21‘, 35’; A. Zammit 51‘, O. Saliba 54‘)
Sammut, G. Attard, E. Buttigieg, K. Farrugia, F. Cini, A. Zammit, O. Saliba, P. Rapa, D. Degennaro, S. Curmi (K. Grima), M. Zammit.
Qala S FC : 0
Xuereb, S. Sillato, C. Gafa, F. Mumford, C. Dingli, M. Buttigieg, M.P. Mumford, B.L. Sammut, J. Mifsud, A. Komljenovic (M. Vella), E. Cordina.
Match abandoned on 63 minutes as the referee was hit by a player
The match between Oratory Youths and Qala Saints, that was played in very difficult weather conditions due to the strong wind and rain that poured at the time of the encounter, ended up abandoned few minutes after the hour mark not because of the bad weather but because of an incident between a Qala player and the referee, when Oratory were leading by four goals and therefore heading towards a win that could have put them in a comfortable place away from the bottom places on the table. The incident happened when Qala’s Emmanuel Cordina was shown a yellow card for remarks towards the officials and during the protests the referee was hit so that the match was immediately abandoned. This deplorable incident was later followed by a pronouncement issued by the Gozo Football Association where it condemned without reservations any violence in football, expressed sympathy with the referee and also said that the case will be followed. Eventually, the Council of the Gozo Football Association decided that Oratory shall be awarded the three points for this encounter and the score is to stand.
The match was obviously overshadowed by the incident. However, the first part of the match turned into a well contested issue as the two sides needed a win in an attempt to improve their position on the table. In the two matches between the two sides of the previous two rounds each team won a match each and the current standing on the table shows that the two sides have the same potential in the category. In this match Oratory took command of play practically after scoring the second goal during the first half and the Maroons gave up their hopes of earning a positive result as they conceded two other goals within the first minutes of play of the second period.
Play during the opening stages of the match took place mainly in the midfield as both sides found it difficult to create serious danger to the respective defence. However, Oratory opened the score on 21 minutes through Daniele Degennaro, who had his first attempt form a corner kick by Keith Farrugia that was blocked by the defence but the same striker took the ball from the rebound and netted from close distance. Qala replied on 28 minutes through an initiative by Aleksandar Komljenovic, who crossed from the left flank but Jake Mifsud hit badly from a good position and the ball ended wide. Oratory doubled the score on 35 minutes through a curling shot by Daniele Degennaro from outside the area that surprised Qala’s keeper Omar Xuereb. Qala could have reduced the deficit on 45 minutes but a good shot by Martin Buttigieg from outside the area was turned to a corner by goalie Richard Sammut.
The Youths came out to the second period with more confidence and on 49 minutes they went close tos coring but a free kick by Manuel Buttigieg was saved in two attempts by goalie Omar Xuereb. On 51 minutes Oratory added another goal when the ball bounced in front of the goalkeeper following a strike from long distance by Anthony Zammit and ended in the net. The score became 4-0 on 54 minutes when Qala’s keeper was again surprised, on this occasion with a cross shot by Oliver Saliba from the right flank, and the ball again bounced inside the small area, hit the post and ended in goal. The match lost much of the interest as Qala seemed demoralised. However, on 63 minutes Qala’s Emmanuel Cordina was sent off for a second bookable offence, the referee was hit by the same player and the match was abandoned.
Referee: Joseph Agius