21 February 2021
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I – Match Day 8 Gozo Stadium
Kercem Ajax FC : 2
Xewkija Tigers FC : 0
50’ (penalty missed – saved) Emiliano Patricio Lattes (XT)
52’ (red card) Nicholas Micallef (XT)
73’ (1-0) Andrew Mizzi
86’ (2-0) Anthony Zammit
G. Bugeja, J. Theuma, A. Xiberras, J. Buttigieg (P. Parnis), A. Mizzi, S. Saldanha, O. Spiteri (N. Mercieca), S. Attard, A. Zammit, J.P. Mizzi, M. Potezica.
F. Vella, J. Axiak, J. Vella, N. Micallef, J. Buttigieg, J. Xuereb, C. Mifsud (A. Borg), M. Dingli (J. Cefai Bonnici), M. Hrubsa, E.P. Lattes, T. Grech (C. Axiak).
Kercem Ajax registered a deserved 2-0 win over Xewkija Tigers and with the points obtained they re-joined Victoria Hotspurs at the fourth place on the standings. Kercem came out more determined for this match and dictated matters for long stretches. The Ajax also created good scoring opportunities and could have opened the score at an earlier stage of the match. However, Kercem’s strikers were often erratic in the finishing during the first hour of play but they made up for the previous mistakes and clinched the win with two goals scored during the final stages of the encounter.
Before this match Xewkija were favourite to obtain a positive result as they were among the group of the top teams. Xewkija practically compromised the possibility to obtain a positive result from this match during the opening minutes of the second period as they failed to convert a penalty and were also reduce to ten players as they had a player who was sent off.
With this result Xewkija fell to the third place on the table while Kercem made a decisive step to reach their ambition by retaining securing a comfortable position on the table and away from the risk of relegation.
Kercem seemed more motivated form the early stages of the match and Xewkija were forced to protect their area.
2’ Kercem could have scored an early goal but Joshua Buttigieg had a shot following a cross by Adrian Xiberras that ended wide.
10’ Kercem operated a good action where Samuel Saldanha entered the area but had his close ranged attempt that blocked by the defence to a corner.
12’ Kercem were again dangerous when Jean Paul Mizzi delivered the ball inside Xewkija’s area from a free kick but Andrew Mizzi had his shot that was saved to a corner by goalie Franklin Vella.
13’ In another dangerous action by Kercem, Samuel Saldanha had a header following a cross from the right flank that ended high.
15’ Xewkija continued to suffer Kercem;s play and the latter created another scoring opportunity from a free kick by Jean Paul Mizzi but Anthony Zammit’s attempt ended wide.
22’ The same Anthony Zammit received the ball inside Xewkija’s area but from his cross Andrew Mizzi headed badly and missed the opportunity to address towards goal.
24’ Xewkija’s goalie Franklin Vella was well placed and neutralised a shot by Joshua Buttigieg.
27’ Xewkija’s first attempt towards Kercem’s goal arrived when Kercem’s defence hesitated to keep the possession and ended up conceding a corner action. From the corner kick by Tristan Grech, a header by Nicholas Micallef ended high.
29’ Xewkija created a good scoring opportunity when Emiliano Lattes released Joel Xuereb but the latter saw his lob over the goalkeeper who was out of his position that ended wide.
31’ Xewkija had an attempt from a free kick by Emiliano Lattes that ended high.
32’ Kercem went again close to scoring when he entered Xewkija’s territory but his lob towards an open goal ended just over the crossbar.
43’ In another offensive action by the Ajax, a shot by Jason Theuma ended high.
45+2’ Kercem had their last scoring opportunity of the first half through an attempt by Joshua Buttigieg from a good position but the striker hit badly and the goalkeeper saved the danger without difficulty.
After the break Kercem tried to maintain the initiative of play while Xewkija continued defend for most of the time and to created their offensive play through sporadic counter breaks
5’ (penalty missed – saved) Xewkija had a golden scoring opportunity when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Owen Spiteri on Emiliano Lattes but the latter saw his shot form the spot kick that was well saved by Kercem’s keeper Gaetano Bugeja.
7’ (red card) Xewkija were reduced to 10 players when Nicholas Micallef was sent off for foul language.
Kercem took advantage of the extra player on the field of play and increased their supremacy over their opponents.
12’ The Ajax could have capitalised better but a shot by Andrew Mizzi from a good positin ended high.
22’ Xewkija’s keeper Franklin Vella made a good intervention to partially save a header by Joshua Buttigieg and from the rebound the attempt by Andrew Mizzi was blocked to a corner by the defence. From the resultant corner action a shot by Jean Paul Mizzi was blocked by the defence and efforts by Samuel Saldanha and substitute Nathaniel Mercieca were blocked by Xewkija’s keeper.
26’ Kercem’s Joshua Buttigieg delivered a good cross inside Xewkija’s goalmouth but Andrew Mizzi hit badly form close distanced and the ball ended wide.
28’ (1-0) Kercem were rewarded for their efforts and opened the score through a direct free kick by Andrew Mizzi that ended out of the reach of Xewkija’s keeper.
38’ The same goalkeeper Franklin Vella left his area in time to block an effort by Andrew Mizzi and from the rebound, the same Mizzi took the ball but his attempt towards an open goal was blocked by defender John Axiak and the defence cleared the danger.
41’ (2-0) Kercem made sure of the win when Xewkija’s keeper once again left his area to take the ball before striker Joshua Buttigieg could conclude towards goal and from the short clearance the ball arrived to Anthony Zammit who lobbed towards goal from long distance.
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri