BOV GA Cup Rd. 1
Kerċem Ajax Stadium
Victoria H : 1 (E. Da Silva 47’pen)
A. Parnis, J. Pace, J. Bajada (L. Grima), K. Farrugia, D. Sowatey, F. Apap, C. Mercieca (A. Debrincat), E. Lattes, E. Da Silva, C. Camilleri, H. Maciel.
Kercem A : 2 (O. Rolovic 58’, 87’)
B. Vrndic, P. Kyumyurdzhiev, M. Tabone, A/ Komljenovic, O. Rolovic, J.P. Mizzi, A. Mizzi, E. Vella, N. Mercieca, J. Grech, A. Zammit (M. Mifsud).
Kercem Ajax earned a place with the last eight teams of the BOV GFA Cup with a close win over the current leaders of the BOV Gozo Football league Division I Victoria Hotspurs. This was the only match from the first round of the competition between two sides from the top flight of Gozitan football. Both Victoria and Kercem were aiming to obtain the qualification at stake in an attempt to challenge for the second most important honour of the season. As a result the match was well contested where the two sides tried hard to achieve their objective by avoiding to concede space for the respective opponent. The Hotspurs seemed in a better shape during the first half but they failed to capitalise from their best scoring opportunities. The Hotspurs managed to open the score during the opening stages of the second half but the goal arrived too early so that Kercem had a determined reaction and managed to turn the score in their favour through a brace by their prolific striker Ognjen Rolovic.
The Hotspurs had their first attempt towards Kercem’s goal on 13 minutes but a strike by Kevin Farrugia ended just high. On 19 minutes Victoria’s Elton Da Silva had a good header form a free kick by Emiliano Lattes that was saved by goalie Branko Vrndic and on 22 minutes the Citizens operated a counter break through Chris Mercieca who released Elton Da Silva inside Kercem’s territory but the latter had his attempt that ended on the side of the net. Kercem managed to share more paly during the last part of the first half but the closest that they went to scoring was on 38 minutes through a direct free kick by Jean Paul Mizzi that was saved to a corner by goalie Adrian Parnis. On 42 minute Victoria were again dangerous through a close ranged attempt by Chris Mercieca that was saved by goalie Branko Vrndic.
In the second minute of play of the second period the Hotspurs were awarded a penalty for handling by Manwel Tabone following a cross by Henrique Maciel. Elton Da Silva converted from the spot and put his side in the driving seat. On 57 minutes the Hotspurs could have added another goal but a header by Ferdinando Apap following a corner kick by Emiliano Lattes ended high. Kercem levelled the score in the following action as Jean Paul Mizzi’s cross form the right flank arrived to an unmarked Ognjen Rolovic and the latter fired in goal from close distance. The match became more exiciting as the two sides tried to avoid committing mistakes at the defence. Victoria’s best scoring opportunity arrived on 75 minutes through a shot by Henrique Maciel that ended just wide and Kercem replied two minutes later through a header by Ognjen Rolovic following a cross by Jean Paul Mizzi that just missed the target. As the match was heading towards extra time, on 87 minute Kercem were awarded a free kick from an inviting position and Ognjen Rolovic took full advantage of the situation and surprised the goalkeeper as he netted with an excellent strike. Kercem managed to resist to Victoria’s attempts in the remaining minutes so that they earned a place with the last eight teams in the competition.
Referee: Emanuel Grech