11 March 2020
GFA Division I KO S/final Gozo Stadium
Gharb Rangers FC : 1
Victoria Hotspurs FC : 3
59’ (0-1) Emiliano Patricio Lattes
73’ (0-2) Christian Mercieca
80’ (red card) Dylan Bellotti (VH)
90+2’ (1-2) Aleksandar Komljenovic
90+3’ (1-3) Emiliano Patricio Lattes
D. Spiteri, A. Sultana, J.P. Grima (P.P. Camilleri), O.G. Fernandes, P. Djorovic (A. Komljenovic), P. Vinicius Ferreira, J. Grima (R. Zammit), S. Sillato, J. Xuereb, S. Muscat, D. Sakic.
A. Parnis, L. Grima, E.M. Sidqy, C. Mercieca, J. Pace, A. Mizzi, J. Bajada, S.P. Bajada (D. Bellotti), H. De Souza Maciel, E.A. Da Silva (K. Borg), E.P. Lattes.
Victoria Hotspurs obtained a 3-1 win over Gharb Rangers in the second semi-final of the GFA Knock Out competition for the first division and will, therefore, have the opportunity to make up for their disappointing performances in the championship by winning the main honour this season. The Hotspurs will face Nadur Youngsters in the final of this competition.
In this match, the Hotspurs struggled more than expected to impose their superiority and for most of the match, Gharb was in contention to register a surprise qualification. However, the Hotspurs managed to capitalise better from their opportunities after the break and paved the way to the deserved win by taking a two-goal lead, as Gharb only managed to reduce the deficit with a goal that arrived too late in the game when there was no time left to level the score and to force extra time.
Victoria Hotspurs as expected took command of play but they gave away some good scoring opportunities during the opening stages so that Gharb came out of their defence in the second part and also threatened Victoria’s defence on more than one occasion.
8’ The Hotspurs could have scored an early goal when Emiliano Lattes left the ball to Christian Mercieca following a low cross from the left flank by Henrique Maciel, and from Mercieca’s low cross the attempt by Emiliano Lattes from close distance was blocked by Gharb’s goalkeeper Daniel Spiteri.
11’ Gharb’s keeper was well placed to block a low shot by Emiliano Lattes.
14’ Victoria Hotspurs almost opened the score when a lob by Christian Mercieca was partially saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri but the same goalkeeper cleared the ball from the goalmouth among the protests by Victoria’s players claiming that the ball has crossed the fatal line.
17’ A shot by Victoria’s Elton Da Silva ended just over the crossbar.
23’ Gharb’s keeper Daniel Spiteri saved a low shot by Elton Da Silva
29’ Gharb almost surprised their opponents when John Paul Grima defended the ball inside Victoria’s area in a personal action but his low shot was saved in two attempts by goalie Adrian Parnis.
34’ Gharb’s keeper made another important intervention when he blocked another close ranged attempt by Christian Mercieca following a low inviting pass by Henrique Maciel.
41’ Gharb went again close to open the score but a free kick by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira ended just wide.
43’ In another dangerous action by Gharb Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes released Pablo Vinicius Ferreira who entered Victoria’s area but his shot aimed towards the far post ended just wide.
44’ Gharb’s Joel Xuereb entered Victoria’s area with a personal action but his attempt from an angled position missed the target.
For the second period, Gharb maintained their momentum u during the opening minutes they created more danger through counter breaks, as the Hotspurs continued to struggle to impose their superiority.
14’ (0-1) The Hotspurs managed to take the lead when Christian Mercieca won the ball from Gharb’s defence near the right corner flag, entered the area and from his low cross, Emiliano Lattes fired in goal with a shot on the run.
17’ Gharb replied with a shot from a good position that was neutralised by Victoria’s keeper Adrian Parnis.
18’ The Rangers had another attempt through substitute Aleksandar Komljenovic that ended wide.
21’ In another dangerous action by Gharb Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes entered Victoria’s area but his shot ended on the side of the net.
27’ Gharb protested for a penalty alleging handling when Christian Mercieca blocked a personal effort by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira.
28’ (0-2) Gharb was punished for the missed chances as the Hotspurs doubled the score when Henrique Maciel entered Gharb’s territory with a personal action but ended on the floor following a challenge with his direct opponent. The referee allowed the advantage as the ball arrived at Christian Mercieca who took advantage of the situation and placed easily in goal.
31’ Victoria’s keeper was well placed and managed to neutralise in two attempts a striking from outside the area by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira.
35’ (red card) The Hotspurs were reduced to ten players when substitute Dylan Bellotti, who was on the field of play for six minutes, was shown a red card for offensive language.
39’ Victoria’s Henrique Maciel had an attempt from a free-kick that ended high.
45+2’ (1-2) Gharb reduced the score when Victoria’s keeper Adrian Parnis cleared badly from outside his area and the ball arrived to an unmarked Aleksandar Komljenovic who placed easily into an open goal.
45=3’ (1-3) The Hotspurs ended the match on a good note as they re-established the two-goal difference when Henrique Maciel entered Gharb’s area from the right flank and from his low cross Emiliano Lattes concluded in goal with a low shot.
Referee: Jason Portelli