GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II
Gozo Stadium – 27 April 2019
Sannat L FC : 1 (D. Bellotti 64’)
Mercieca, S. Mizzi (C. Mifsud), N. Micallef, F. Camilleri, J. Buttigieg, J. Zammit, E.R. Okpokwu, B. Said, M. Mifsud (M. Portelli), D. Bellotti, F.J. Xuereb.
Xaghra U FC : 1 (J.G. Vella 20’)
Attard, J. Bajada, J. Xiberras, D. Bajada, K. Hili (S. Sultana), J. Camilleri, M.M. Uzor, M. Mamo (S. Galea), S.F. Bajada, G. Farrugia, J.G. Vella.
Xaghra United are the champions of the BOV Gozo Football League Division II and therefore earned also promotion to be among the top category of Gozitan football next season. Xaghra success was achieved with a point obtained from a 1-1 draw in the last match of the campaign against their direct rivals Sannat Lions. Xaghra were considered as strong challengers for promotion from the very beginning of the campaign but failed to produce convincing play during the first part. However, the Blues improved their play as time passed by and ended up taking sole leadership in the penultimate match-day of the league. Xaghra practically confirmed their potential in this last match of the campaign where they managed to have control of play and earned the point that they needed to win the mina honour of the category and the promotion. The other challengers for tit title Sannat Lions practically failed to live up to the expectations during the decisive moments as they ended up dropping form the top position just before the direct clash against Xaghra, lost the final of the Knock Out competition and missed their opportunity to force a decider in this last match of the campaign. With this result Sannat will have their last opportunity to win promotion by contesting the play off against Gharb Rangers who ended the first division league in the seond place form the bottom of the final standings.
The match between Sannat and Xaghra turned out into a well contested match where Xaghra administered play for the first hour but as soon as Sannat levelled the score play became more interesting and the outcome remained uncertain until the final whistle.
During the opening stages Xaghra seemed more organised and motivated in their play. On 6 minutes Xaghra’s Sam Frank Bajada received inside Sannat’s area following a free kick by Joseph George Vella but his low shot ended just wide. Xaghra continued to enjoy territorial supremacy but Sannat managed to keep the danger away from their area. However, Xaghra opened the score on 20 minutes through a free kick by Joseph George Vella that ended out of the reach of Sannat’s goalie Courtney Mercieca. On 25 minutes Xaghra could have doubled the score but a shot form a good position was blocked by defender Frankie Camilleri. Sannat’s first serious attempt towards Sannat’s goal arrived on 28 minutes through a shot by Mario Mifsud that ended just high. On 37 minutes Xaghra had another attempt through a curling shot by Johnny Camilleri that ended just over the crossbar. On 43 minutes Sannat could have capitalised better when Xaghra’s keeper failed to clear the ball from the area but Sannat’s striker Brandon Said had his header deflected to a corner by the defence.
Sannat continued to suffer Xaghra’s play and on 47 minutes a first timer by Johnny Camilleri following a cross by Matthias Michael Uzor was saved with the aid of the crossbar by goalie Courtney Mercieca. On 53 minutes a header by Xaghra’s skipper Johnny Camilleri from a corner kick by Joseph George Vella was partially saved by goalie Courtney Mercieca and the defence cleared the danger from the area with some difficulty. On 57 minutes Sannat could have levelled the score when Joseph Zammit headed inside Xaghra’s area but a header by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu was saved by goalie Owen Attard with the aid of the crossbar. Sannat grew in confidence and on the hour mark they protested for a penalty when Joseph Zammit ended on the floor inside Xaghra’s area as he tried to produce a personal action. Sannat clinched the equaliser on 64 minutes through a header by Dylan Bellotti following a corner kick by Joseph Zammit. On 64 minutes Xaghra’s keeper Owen Attard was well placed to block to a corner a good attempt by Brandon Said. During the final stages Xaghra found more space to operate breaks within Sannat’s territory. On 73 minutes Xaghra’s Matthias Michael Uzor from a free kick by Joseph George Vella. On 79 minutes a shot on the run by Xaghra’s Matthias Michael Uzor missed the target and in the second minute of stoppage time Xaghra could have sealed the win but a strike by Johnny Camilleri was saved by goalie Courtney Mercieca. Sannat’s last opportunity to obtain a win from this encounter arrived in the third minute of stoppage time through an attempt by substitute Charlton Mifsud from an angled position that ended wide.
After the final whistle Xaghra’s players, officials and supporters started celebrations for the success achieved, particularly during the presentation of medals and trophies by Mr Horace Laudi, Regional Manager of the Bank of Valletta, in the presence of the President of the Gozo Football Association Dr. Samuel Azzopardi and other officials of the association.
Referee: Alex Johnson