Qala win direct clash and consolidate sole leadership

by | Jan 15, 2021 | 20/21, Match Report, News

9 January 2021

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II – Match Day 6 Kercem Ajax Stadium

Gharb Rangers FC : 1

Qala Saints FC : 3

42’ (0-1) Emanuel Buttigieg

80’ (0-2) Ebube Ralph Okpokwu

86’ (0-3) Christian Bugeja

90+2’ (1-3) Frank Attard

Gharb R:

J.P. Cassar, C. Hili, O. Saliba, R. Zammit (J. Muscat), A. Farrugia (F. Attard), L. Dimech (C. Cutajar), L. Attard, M. Grima (A. Tabone), M. Stojanovic, M. Grech, M. Theuma.

Qala S:

M. Muscat, J. Portelli, S. Sillato (E. Galea), M. Zerafa, M. Buttigieg (R. Meilak), S. Muscat (J. Buhagiar), S. Farrugia (C. Bugeja), C. Farrugia, E. Buttigieg, E.R. Okpokwu, M. Xerri.

In the first match from the second round of the BOV Gozo Football League of the second division, Qala Saints obtained three deserved points from a 3-1 win over Gharb Rangers.  With this result Qala remain the only undefeated side in the category and with the points obtained they increased their lead over the other contenders for promotion.

This match was a direct clash between the two teams who ended in the first two places on the table at the end of the first round and Gharb could have reached Qala at the top of the table with a win from this encounter.  However, Qala came out more determined for this match and ended up dominating over their opponents for most of the ninety minutes.  Qala produced more scoring opportunities but for most of the time the strikers were erratic in their finishing and the Maroons had to wait until the final stages to put their minds at rest from the win.  With this result Qala become hot favourites to win promotion this season as they managed to open a comfortable lead over the other challengers at such an early stage of the campaign.

Timeline

Qala were more offensive than their opponents form the early stages of the encounter but for most of the first half the Maroons found it difficult to convert their territorial supremacy into good scoring opportunities.

8’ Gharb’s defence did not manage to clear the ball from their area following a corner kick by Qala’s Charlon Farrugia but form the resultant melee Manwel Xerri’s close ranged attempt was blocked to another corner.

Gharb managed to control Qala’s play but as time passed by the Maroons started to pile more pressure on their opponents.

22’ Qala’s Ebube Ralph Okpokwu entered Gharb’s area from the right flank and from his pass, Manwel Xerri shot was saved to a corner by Gharb’s goalie John Paul Cassar.

28’ The Maroons were again dangerous through a free kick by Charlon Farrugia that ended just wide.

32’ In another good action by Qala a curling shot by Charlon Farrugia just missed the target.

35’ Gharb had their first attempt towards Qala’s goal through a strike form outside the area by Charles Hili that ended over the crossbar.

37’ Qala went very close to scoring but a good shot from outside the area by Samuel Muscat that got a deflection but the ball hit the crossbar.

41’ Gharb’s goalie was called to make a difficult save to turn to a corner another shot from long distance by Emanuel Buttigieg.

42’ (0-1) Qala opened the score when Samwel Muscat delivered the ball inside Gharb’s area from a corner kick and Emanuel Buttigieg fired in goal from close distance.

44’ Qala had a goal scored by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu that was disallowed for an offside infringement.

HT (0-1)

For the second period Qala maintained their momentum while Gharb struggled to produce a reaction in an attempt to recover the deficit.

2’ Gharb’s goalie John Paul Cassar cleared badly inside his area and the ball fell to Samwel Muscat who missed the opportunity to conclude towards goal from an ideal position.

5’ Qala lost another good opportunity to add another goal when Gharbàs defence hesitated to cover their area and Samuel Sillato took advantage of the open space but his shot form an ideal position ended high.

8’ Gharb could have capitalised better when Qala’s keeper left his position but failed to punch away from his area but Ruben Zammit saw his shot towards an open goal that ended high.

17’ Qala were again dangerous through a counter break where Charlon Farrugia released Samwel Muscat who had his shot that ended over the crossbar.

18’ Gharb replied through a shot from outside the area by Charles Hili that ended high.

20’ In another good action by the Maroons a strike by Stefan Farrugia from a good position missed the target.

25’ Qala kept insisting and went again close to scoring through a low shot by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu following a solo action that ended wide.

28’ The same striker had another attempt when he was pressed by a defender that ended over the crossbar.

31’ Qala could have added another goal when Ebube Ralph Okpokwu passed through Gharb’s defence with a personal action but form his low pass Manwel Xerri had his shot from close distance that was blocked by Gharb’s goalie John Paul Cassar and from the rebound Martin Buttigieg had his attempt that was neutralised without difficulty by Gharb’s keeper.

35’ The same goalkeeper was again called to make another intervention to turn to a corner a good shot by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu following a personal action.

35’ (0-2) Qala doubled the score from the resultant corner action, taken by substitute Ryan Meilak, where an effort by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu was cleared off the line by defender Oliver Saliba.  From the rebound a shot by Mawel Xerri was blocked by the defence and the ball fell to Ebube Ralph Okpokwu who fired in goal from close distance.

41’ (0-3) Qala made sure of the win when Ebube Ralph Okpokwu entered the area with a personal action but had his low drive that got a deflection by goalie John Paul Cassar and the ball arrived to substitute Christian Bugeja who placed into an open goal with a low shot.

43’ Qala could have scored a fourth goal but a cross shot by Manwel Xerri was cleared off the line with the goalkeeper beaten by Milos Stojanovic.

45+2’ (1-3) Gharb score their consolation goal when substitute Frank Attard exchanged the ball with Charles Hili and the former surprised the goalkeeper with a fine shot.

FT (GR 1 – QS 3)

Referee: Jareth Grima

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Written by Darren Cassar

GFA Photographer and Website Admin