BOV GFA Cup Preliminary Round
Kercem Ajax Stadium – 1 November 2019
Kercem Ajax FC : 4
Zebbug Rovers FC : 2
26’ (0-1) penalty Tiago Barbosa
38’ (1-1) Anthony Zammit
45’ (2-1) Andrea Debrincat
54’ (2-2) Tiago Barbosa
70’ (3-2) Andrea Debrincat
90+2’ (4-2) Darko Krstic
J.P. Cassar, D. Cassar, S. Martinez Villa, J. Buttigieg, A. Debrincat, T. Vella, A. Oularbi, D. Krstic, N. Mercieca, A. Zammit, B. Polo Longarela.
Saliba, C. Farrugia, M. Formosa, R. Grima, L. Farrugia, O. Farrugia, F. Attard, J. Azzopardi (M. Grima), E. Galea, P.P. Buttigieg, T. Barbosa.
Referee: Joseph Scerri
First division side Kercem Ajax came from behind and scored two late goals to earn qualification to the quarter-final of the BOV GFA Cup with a 4-2 win over second division side Zebbug Rovers. Kercem were the better side throughout the encounter but they struggled to convert their superiority into a comfortable lead at an early stage of the encounter. In the next round of the competition, Kercem will now meet Ghajnsielem.
Kercem took command of play from the early stages but Zebbug were determined to be challengers to the more quoted opponents and for more than an hour they remained in contention for qualification.
5’ Kercem created the first serious attempt at goal but a low shot by Borja Polo Longarela ended just wide.
15’ Darko Krstic passed through Zebbug’s defence with a personal action but his shot ended just wide.
24’ Zebbug replied through a low shot from close distance by Tiago Barbosa that was saved in two attempts by goalie John Paul Cassar.
26’ (0-1) Zebbug were awarded a penalty for a foul by Josiah Buttigieg on Tiago Barbosa and the sae Brazilian striker converted from the spot kick to put Zebbug in the lead.
29’ Kercem could have levelled the score but a close ranged header by Andrea Debrincat was cleared off the line by Zebbug’s central defender Peter Paul Buttigieg to a corner. From the same corner action taken by Nathaniel Mercieca, a header by Anthony Zammit was well saved by Zebbug’s keeper Baskal Saliba.
35’ The Ajax once again threatened Zebbug’s defence through a close ranged effort by Andrea Debrincat following a pass by Thomas Vella ended wide.
38’ (1-1) Kercem’s efforts were rewarded as they recovered the deficit when a shot from outside the area by Ali Oularbi was partially saved by goalie Baskal Saliba and from the rebound Anthony Zammit concluded in goal.
45’ (2-1) The Ajax turned the result in their favour when Nathaniel Mercieca delivered a cross inside Zebbug’s area and Andrea Debrincat surprised the goalkeeper and headed in goal.
Kercem continued to hold command of play but Zebbug continued by operate some dangerous breaks.
54’ (2-2) Zebbug scored the equaliser when Tiago Barbosa defended the ball inside Kercem’s area despite the challenge of his direct opponent, so that the striker placed behind Kercem’s keeper with a low drive.
Kercem were shocked.
64’ Zebbug created danger inside Kercem’s area through an overhead kick by Frank Attard when the goalkeeper was outside his position but the ball ended wide.
Zebbug failed to capitalise from the good moment so that Kercem recovered and regained command of play.
65’ Kercem’s Andrea Debrincat had a fine header from a good position that was cleared of the line by defender Emmanuel Galea.
70’ (3-2) Anthony Zammit entered Zebbug’s territory from the right flank and from his low shot Andrea Debrincat arrived in time and concluded with a tap-in.
90+2’ (4-2) Kercem sealed the win when Darko Krstic entered Zebbug’s area from the right , turned around the goalkeeper and managed to place in goal despite his position at a close angle.