Qala turn a defeat into a win

by | Nov 22, 2020 | 20/21, Match Report, News

15 November 2020

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II – Match Day 1 Kercem Ajax Stadium

Qala Saints FC : 3
Gharb Rangers FC : 2

24’ (0-1) Luke Attard
33’ (1-1) Ebube Ralph Okpokwu
45+1’ (1-2) Luke Attard
67’ (2-2) Ebube Ralph Okpokwu
80’ (red card) Ruben Zammit (GR)
86’ (3-2) Ebube Ralph Okpokwu

Qala S:

M. Muscat, J. Portelli, S. Sillato (F. Mumford), E. Galea (R. Meilak), M. Zerafa, J. Buhagiar (S. Muscat), M. Buttigieg, S. Farrugia, C. Farrugia, E.R. Okpokwu, M. Xerri.

Gharb R:

J.P. Cassar, C. Hili, G. Sillato, O. Saliba (M. Theuma), R. Zammit, A. Farrugia, L. Attard, M. Grima (M. Grech), M. Stojanovic, A. Tabone (C. Cutajar), M. Farrugia.

Qala Saints had an excellent start in the campaign as they earned the full points at stake from a 3-2 win over Gharb Rangers.  This was a match between two teams who are both aiming to be very competitive this season.  Qala are determined to make up for the disappointments they had during the past seasons, while Gharb are looking forward to make a return to the top flight.  At the end the match turned out into a well contested encounter where the outcome remained uncertain until the final whistle.  Qala saw more of the ball throughout the encounter but Gharb were well deployed and were also effective with counter breaks.  Qala were trailing by one goal at the end of the first half but the Maroons were not demoralised and managed to turn the result in the favour with two goals scored during the second period.  Qala’s hero was undoubtedly their striker Ebube Ralph Okpokwu who scored the three goals for his side.  Okpoklwu, who was the top scorer of the category last season, is set to be the favourite to retain this personal honour for the second consecutive campaign.

Timeline

The Maroons seemed more aggressive during the opening minutes of play and held pressure on Gharb’s rearguard.

14’ Qala’s Charlon Farrugia had a good shot that was saved with some difficulty to a corner by Gharb’s keeper John Paul Cassar.

18’ The same goalkeeper was called to make another good save following a low shot by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu.

24’ Gharb opened the score in their first serious attempt towards Qala’s goal as Luke Attard received the ball in the midfield, entered the area and netted with a low shot.

29’ Qala replied with a shot form long distance by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu that ended high.

30’ Gharb could have doubled the score but a shot from an angled position by Luke Attard following a personal action ended on the side of the net.

33’ (1-1) Qala levelled the score through a close ranged header by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu following a cross by Michael Zerafa.

45+1’ (1-2)  Gharb regained the lead when Arthur Farrugia passed to Luke Attard at the edge of the area and the latter managed to control the ball despite the pressure of two opponents and concluded in goal with a low shot.

HT (1-2)

Qala continued to express more offensive play after the break and Gharb struggled to defend their one goal lead.

13’ Qala’s substitute Ryan had a good attempt that ended just wide.

22’ (2-2) The Saints levelled the score when Ebube Ralph Okpokwu entered Gharb’s territory with a personal action and fired ion goal with a low shot as he entered the area.

33’ Gharb’s keeper John Paul Cassar was well placed and neutralised a good effort by Charlon Farrugia.

35’ (red card) Gharb were reduced to 10 players when Ruben Zammit was sent off for a foul in the midfield on Ryan Meilak.

41’ (3-2) Qala took advantage of the extra player on the field and turned the result in their favour when a through pass from the midfield by Manwel Xerri was well controlled at the edge of the area by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu and the latter concluded with a fine half volley that ended out of the reach of Gharb’s keeper.

FT (QS 3 – GR 2)

Referee: Patrick Falzon

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Written by Darren Cassar