GFA KO Division II S/final
Gozo Stadium – 16 April 2019
Sannat L FC : 4 (B. Said 13’, 77’; E.R. Okpokwu 45’, J. Zammit 85’)
Mercieca, N. Micallef, F. Camilleri, J. Buttigieg, J. Zammit, E.R. Okpokwu, D. Borg, E. Gauci, B. Said (C. Mifsud), D. Bellotti, F.J. Xuereb.
Xaghra U FC : 0
Azzopardi, J. Bajada, J. Xiberras (J. Camilleri), D. Bajada, K. Hili (S. Sultana), M.M. Uzor, S. Galea, M. Mamo, G. Farrugia, A. Farrugia, J.G. Vella.
Sannat Lions scored two goals in each half in the semi-final match against Xaghra United and became the second finalist for the second most important honour for the second division. This was a match between the two protagonists for the title and promotion of the second division and therefore this match was expected to indicate the favourite for the main honour which has to be determined in the last match of the campaign. In this match Sannat were determined to make up for their previous disappointment in the league match and were also motivated to show that they are aiming to win the double this season. They dictated matter for long stretches and ended up winning a deserved qualification.
For this match Xaghra had some regular players missing and their main striker Johnny Camilleri was not included in the starting line-up. Sannat took command of play from the early stages and in the third minute of play a shot from the edge of the area by Joseph Zammit following a clearance by Xaghra’s defence ended wide. On 6 minutes a header form close distance by Ebube Ralph Okpowku following a cross by Branson Said ended wide but on 13 minutes Sannat opened the score when a shot by Joseph Zammit hit the crossbar, a close ranged shot by Ebube Ralph Okpowkwu from the rebound was partially saved by goalie Frankie Azzoaprdi and Brandon Said netted from close distance. Xaghra’s reaction was sterile and on 23 minutes Sannat went again close to scoring when a free kick by Joseph Zammit was stopped by the crossbar and from the rebound Ebube Ralph Okpokwu hit badly from an ideal position so that the defence recovered and cleared the danger form the area. The first serious attempt at Sannat’s goal arrived on 28 minutes through a free kick by Joseph George Vellla that missed the target and on 39 minutes Xaghra had another attempt from a free kick by the same Vella, but goalie Courtney Mercieca was well placed and neutralised without difficulty. Sannat doubled the score on 45 minutes through a header by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu following a free kick by Nicholas Micallef that surprised Xaghra’s defence.
Xaghra tried to produce a reaction after the break but Sannayt were in the driving seat and continued to be more effective in their play. On 48 minutes Ebube Ralph Okpokwu entered Xaghra’s area, turned around the goalkeeper but defender Savio Galea recovered in time and cleared the danger to a corner. The same Okpokwu produced a personal action on 70 minutes but his shot on the run ended high and three minutes later the same striker took the ball following an action by Brandon Said but Xaghra’s keeper Frankie Azzopardi saved to a corner. Xaghra had an attempt through a shot on the run by Gabriel Farrugia on 75 minutes that ended away from Sannat’s goal and on 77 minutes Sannat scored their third goal when Dylan Bellotti entered Xaghra’s area with a personal action but as floored in a challenge with his direct opponent. The referee awarded the advantage rule as the ball arrived to an unmarked Brandon Said who fired in goal from close distance. Xaghra were demoralised and Sannat continued to dominate the encounter during the remaining minutes. On 80 minutes Brandon Said entered Xaghra’s area with a personal action but defender David Bajada recovered and cleared the ball to a corner to deny the striker from adding another goal. Four minutes later Sannat’s keeper was called to make a good save following another attempt from a free kick by Joseph George Vella and on 85 minutes Sannat sealed the win with the fourth goal that arrived through a strike by Joseph Zammit following a personal action.
Referee: Shaun Calleja