Holders Ghajnsielem come from behind to clinch a place in the Cup final

Holders Ghajnsielem come from behind to clinch a place in the Cup final

BOV GFA Cup s/final

Gozo Stadium – 1 May 2018

MATCH DETAILS

Ghajnsielem FC : 5 (J.G. Vella 24’, L.A. De Melo Lima 47’, 48’, 86’, 95’)

Cassar, An. Xuereb (D. Atzori), D. Mercieca, L.A. De Melo Lima, C, Dingli, A, Oularbi (N. Belhadj), K. Grima, J.G. Vella, D. Hili, Al. Xuereb (I. Behadj), J.J. Sndobal Guarin.

Oratory Y : 4 (S. Mbacke 2’, J. Buttigieg 10’, R. Ebube Okpokwu 14’; B.G. Mfulwane 79’)

Mercieca, J. Buttigieg, S. Mbacke, J. Attard, S. Azzopardi (C. Mercieca), A. Bezzina, L. Mba Mutasi, M. Buttigieg, R. Ebube Okpokwu, G. Attard (A. Zammit), B.G. Mfulwane.

MATCH REPORT

In the first semi final of the BOV GFA Cup holders Ghajnsielem and Oratory Youths produced an entertaining match that turned out into a nine-goal thriller that was only decided in extra time.  The two sides had the motivation to obtain qualification to the second most important honour in Gozitan football as the Blacks were aiming to defend the trophy won by defeating the same Oratory in the final at the end of the last season, and also to extend their positive run in the last part of the championship where they came out of the relegation zone at a crucial moment and ended up in the fourth place on the final standings.  On the other hand the Youths were seeking to make for the disappointment that they were relegated to the lower category with a defeat conceded the previous weekend in their last match of the championship. The Youths seemed heading towards qualification as they scored three early goals and regained the lead with a fourth goal that arrived minutes after Ghajnsielem’s equalizer. However, the Blacks saved the result before the end of regular time and dictated matter during extra time so that they won the right to play in the final.  This will be Ghajnsielem’s third final this season as they already contested the Super Cup at the beginning of the season and the Knock Out competition, but they are still chasing the first honour as they concede defeats in the previous two at the expense of Xewkija Tigers and Victoria Hotspurs respectively.

Oratory opened the score in the third minute of play through a header by Secke Mbacke following a corner kick by Johann Attard and on 10 minutes the Youths doubled the score with a strike by Joshua Buttigieg after receiving from Botshelo Gibson Mfulwane.  Ghajnsielem seemed shocked and on 14 minutes Oratory scored their third goal with a low shot by Raph Ebube Okpokwu who entered the area with a personal action.  Ghajnsielem recovered from the difficult start and on 22 minutes Oratory’s Aleandro Bezzina cleared the ball from the goalmouth following a melee from a corner kick by Alberto Xuereb.  The Blacks scored their first goal on 24 minutes through a close ranged shot by Joseph George Vella following a low cross by Kurt Grima.  On 34 minutes Ghajnsielem’s Luis Andre De Melo Lima entered Oratory’s area with a personal action on the right flank but his attempt was well blocked to a corner by goalie Courtney Mercieca.  The same goalkeeper was well placed on 44 minutes to save with difficulty a half volley by Joseph George Vella. One minute later the same Ghajnsielem striker could have reduced the score but his shot from close distance was stopped by the post and form the rebound Luis Andre De Melo Lima hot badly and goalie Courtney Mercieca saved the danger.

Ghajnsielem leveled the sore with two quick goals scored during the opening minutes of the second period.  On 47 minutes a shot by Joseph George Vella was blocked by the defense and the same Vella took the ball from the rebound, passed to Luis Andre De Melo Lima who fired in goal from close distance.  One minute later Ghajnsielem’s Luis Andre De Melo Lima took the ball from Oratory’s defense and the Brazilian striker lobbed easily onto an open goal.  The match became much more interesting as the two sides were aiming to take the lead. On 72 minutes Ghajnsielem had a good scoring opportunity but a shot by Damon Hili ended high.  Oratory regained the lead on 79 minutes when Ghajnsielem’s rearguard failed to clear a corner kick by Johann Attard and Botshelo Gibson Mfulwane netted from close distance.  Two minutes later the Youths were again dangerous but a cross shot by Johann Attard ended on he roof of the net.  On 82 minutes a shot by Ralph Ebube Okpokwu following a corner action ended away from Ghajnsielem’s goal and in another action by Oratory on 84 minutes Ghajnsielem replied with a corner kick by Joseph George Vella but Alberto Xuereb had his shot that ended just over the crossbar.  Ghajnsielem leveled the score on 86 minutes when Joseph George Vella had a low pass from the left flank that arrived to Luis Andre De Melo Lima who guided the ball in goal.  During the remaining minutes of regular time the two sides tried not to compromise their possibility for qualification and therefore the score remained unchanged and the match had to go into extra time.

Ghajnsielem scored the goal that actually decided the semi final in the fifth minute of play of the first period of extra time when Ali Oularbi entered Oratory’s area with a personal action and form his inviting low pass Luis Andre De Melo Lima pushed the ball in goal, and scored his fourth personal goalie the match.  On 103 minutes Ghajnsielem could have added another goal whe they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Oratory’s goalie Courtney Mercieca on Luis Andre De Melo Lima, but the same Brazilian striker had his shot from the spot kick that ended high.  Oratory kept insisting in an attempt o level the score and on 114 a good shot by Johann Attard was deflected to a corner by Oratory’s defense. One minute later Ghajnsielem’s substitute Daniel Atzori had a shot from a good position that ended on the side of the net and Oratory’s last opportunity to level the score arrived on 118 minutes but an effort by substitute Charles Mercieca ended wide.

Referee: Fyodor Zammit

Victoria Hotspurs turn a defeat into a win to lift the KO cup

Victoria Hotspurs turn a defeat into a win to lift the KO cup

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I

Gozo Stadium – 18 April 2018

MATCH DETAILS

Ghajnsielem FC : 1 (M.A. Morgon Filho 29’)

Grech, An. Xuereb (K. Grima), D. Mercieca, L.A. De Melo Lima, K. Mercieca, Al. Xuereb, A. Oularbi, J.G. Vella, D. Hili, M.A. Morgon Filho, J.J. Sandobal Guarin.

Victoria H : 3 (C. Camilleri 66’, C. Mercieca 76’, E. Da Silva 87’)

Parnis, J. Pace, J. Bajada, K. Farrugia, D. Sowatey, F. Apap, C. Mercieca, E. Lattes, C. Camilleri, E. Da Silva, G. D.L. Galder.

MATCH REPORT

Victoria Hotspurs, who were already mathematically champions of the BOV Gozo Football League Division I confirmed their excellent moment of form during the second half of the football season by winning the GFA KO completion for the first division.  The Hotspurs lifted the trophy for the first time in their club history with a victory over Ghajnsielem. The Blacks were contesting the second final of the season as they were finalists in the Super Cup in the match that opened the 2017/2018 football season in Gozo, a final which they lost at the expense of Xewkija Tigers.  The two sides had good reasons to aim for the honour as the Hotspurs needed to add another trophy to compliment a very successful run during this season while the blacks were aiming to make up for some disappointment in the championship by winning an important honour. As a result the match turned out into an interesting match where Ghajnsielem ended the first half with a one-goal lead but the Hotspurs turned the result in their favour with two goals that arrived midway through the second period.  The match lived up to the expectations as the outcome remained uncertain until the final stages. Ghajnsielem had a good reaction during the last part of the encounter in an attempt to force extra time but the Hotspurs scored a third goal minutes from the end of the match which led to protests by Ghajnsielem’s players who also had a player sent off.

The two sides came out determined to take command of ply and both sides produced some very good scoring opportunities. In the fourth minute of play Victoria’s Elton Da Silva entered the area with a personal action but had his shot partially saved by goalie Joseph Grech.  Jonathan Bajada took the ball from the rebound but his shot ended away from Ghajnsielem’s goal. Two minutes later Ghajnsielem were awarded a penalty for a foul by Daniel Sowatey on Luis Andre De Melo Lima but Ghajnsielem’s Joseph George Vella had his shot from the spot kick that was partially saved by goalie Adrian Parnis.  Ali Oularbi headed in goal from the rebound but the goal was disallowed as Oularbi was inside the area before the penalty kick. The Hotspurs tried to produce a reaction after the scare and in the following minutes they produced some pressure on Ghajnsielem’s rear guard. On 10 minutes a shot by Elton Da Silva was saved to a corner by goalie Joseph Grech and five minutes later another attempt by Victoria’s Da Silva was blocked by Ghajnsielem’s keeper.  From the same action Ghajnsielem’s Ali Oularbi tried to pass back to the goalkeeper but the ball arrived to an unmarked Elton Da Silva who had his shot form an ideal position that ended high. On 24 minutes Ghajnsielem’s keeper Joseph Grech was called to make a good intervention to turn to a corner a shot from an angled position by Jason Pace and three minutes later an attempt by Emiliano Lattes ended wide. Ghajnsielem opened the score on 29 minutes through an excellent curling shot from an angled position by Marco Antonio Morgon Filho that ended out of the reach of Victoria’s keeper.  The Hotspurs tried to regain territorial supremacy and on 34 minutes they went close to scoring but a first timer by Chris Camilleri following a cross by Elton Da Silva ended wide.  On 45 minutes the Hotspurs went again close to level the score but a shot by Christian Mercieca following a short clearance by the defence was deflected to a corner with the goalkeeper beaten.

The Hotspurs maintained their momentum after the break and on 52 minutes they operated a prolonged action inside Ghajnsielem’s area but the final shot by Emiliano Lattes was blocked by the defence.  Five minutes later Victoria’s Ferdinando Apap concluded just wide form close distance following an inviting cross by Chris Camilleri and on 58 minutes Ghajnsielem replied through a shot from long distance by Alberto Xuereb that ended wide.  One minute later a first timer by Victoria’s Elton Da Silva who received from Dwomoh Lombas Galder missed the target and on 63 minutes an effort by Christian Mercieca following a good move by Elton Da Silva ended away from Ghajnsielem’s goal.  Two minutes later Ghajnsielem’s goalie Joseph Grech was called to make a good intervention to save a shot by Chris Camilleri following a low cross by Dwomoh Lombas Galder but on 66 minutes the Hotspurs scored the equaliser when Elton Da Silva entered the area with a personal action from the right flank and from his low cross Chris Camilleri fired in goal despite the challenge from his direct opponent.  The Hotspurs turned the result in their favour on 76 minutes when Elton Da Silva released Christian Mercieca inside Ghajnsielem’s territory and the young striker lobbed over the goalkeeper who left his position in an attempt to block the danger. Ghajnsielem replied three minutes later through a personal action by Luis Andre De Melo Lima who entered the area but his shot ended on the side of the net.  The Blacks had their best opportunity to level the score on 86 minutes but Alberto Xuereb’s shot-cross passed in front of Victoria’s goal without finding any striker ready for the tap-in. In the following action the Hotspurs sealed the victory with the third goal when Elton Da Silva entered the area with a personal action but his low drive hit the post.  The ball arrived to Victoria’s Christian Mercieca who passed to Elton Da Silva, who was in an offside position, and the Brazilian striker concluded in goal from close distance.  The goal led to strong protests by Ghajnsielem’s players for the offside position of Victoria’s scorer but the match officials kept by their decision and before the restart Ghajnsielem’s skipper Kenneth Mercieca was sent off for pushing the referee.  During the remaining minutes of the match the Hotspurs controlled their lead as Ghajnsielem lost any hopes of recovering the score.

After the match the President of the Gozo Football Association Dr Samuel Azzopardi and other top GFA officials presented the medals and trophy of the Knock Out competition for the first Division to Victoria Hotspurs among the celebrations of the players, officials and supporters.

Referee: Sandro Spiteri