GFA BOV GFL Division I Gozo Stadium
Xewkija T : 1 (C. Frances 66’)
- Sultana, R. Buttigieg, M. Xerri, M. Hrubsa, J. Azzopardi, J.M. Vella, C. Bugeja, S. Bajada, C. Frances, D. Shields, T. Melo Dos Santos.
SK Victoria W : 0
- Towns, D. Merieca (N. Vella), A. Attard, M. Azzopardi, S. Draskovic, P. Dordevic, J. Refalo, S.F. Bajada, I. Xuereb, J. Attard, I. Grkajac.
Xewkija Tigers regained the top position on the table with the points obtained from a 1-0 win over SK Victoria Wanderers. The Tigers therefore will face their last two matches of the championship against their main contenders for the title with a point ahead of Nadur Youngsters and four more than Ghajnsielem. Xewkija face this encounter against the Wanderers in a difficult moment as they were coming from a defeat conceded in their previous match from the championship and were also eliminated from the GFA Cup in their previous match. Xewkija were determined to make up for this disappointment and managed to obtain the victory with a goal that arrived midway through the second period. The Wanderers did not have any particular need for points from this match as their final position on the table has been established by the result of the match between Oratory Youths and Xaghra United. However, the Citizens are aiming to find their best form for their commitment in the semi-finals of The Malta FA Trophy and their defensive deployment made it more difficult than expected for Xewkija-s strikers to create good scoring opportunities.
Xewkija had their first attempt towards Victoria’s goal on 10 minutes through a shot by Claudio Frances, following a short clearance by Victoria’s rear guard, which missed the target. On 16 minutes the Tigers had a goal by Thiago Melo Dos Santos that was disallowed for handling by the same striker and one minute later the Wanderers replied through a header by Srdjan Draskovic following a free kick from long distance that was cleared off the goalmouth by Manwel Xerri. On 20 minutes the Wanderers risked an own goal when Srdjan Draskovic had a misunderstanding with his goalkeeper Matthew Towns but the latter recovered his position and saved the danger. The wanderers continued to neutralise Xewkija’s initiative and also created the best scoring opportunity before the end of the first half through a shot by Predrag Dordevic on 34 minutes that was well saved by goalie Steve Sultana.
In the sixth minute of play of the second period Xewkija were dangerous through a direct free kick by Shaun Bajada that was neutralised by goalie Matthew Towns and on 51 minutes Victoria’s Predrag Dordevic had a shot from close distance after receiving from Anthony Attard that was blocked by the defence. On the hour mark a shot by Claudio Frances following a free kick by Shaun Bajada ended just wide and on 66 minutes Xewkija scored the decisive goal of the match through a direct free kick by Claudio Frances that surprised completely goalie Matthew Towns. Xewkija tried to increase their pressure on Victoria’s defence and on 73 minutes they could have added another goal but Dene Shields and Claudio Frances failed to connect to an inviting low cross by Thiago Melo Dos Santos. On 76 minutes a header by Rodney Buttigieg following a corner kick by Shaun Bajada was well saved by goalie Matthew Towns and one minute later Xewkija’s keeper Steve Sultana had good timing to take the ball following a cross from the left flank before Predrag Dordevic could hit towards goal. The same goalkeeper was called to make a good intervention on 79 minutes to save to a corner a free kick from long distance by Igor Grkajac and two minutes later Xewkija protested for a penalty alleging handling by Mario Azzopardi before clearing the ball from \Victoria’s area following a cross from the right flank. The Wanderers were again dangerous on 82 minutes through a cross shot by Igor Grkajac that ended wide and on 84 minutes Xewkija could have increased their lead when Victoria’s defence failed to clear the ball from the area following a cross from the left flank but Thiago Melo Dos Santos had his attempt saved to a corner by goalie Matthew Towns. Xewkija had other opportunities to double the score before the end of the match. On 89 minutes a low shot by Thiago Melo Dos Santos following an inviting pass by Shaun Bajada ended just wide and in the second minute of stoppage time the same Brazilian striker concluded high from a good position after receiving from Claudio Frances.
Referee: Daniel Portelli