20 December 2020
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I – Match Day 4 Gozo Stadium
Xewkija Tigers FC : 2
Oratory Youths FC : 1
6’ (red card) Jhon Sandobal Guarin (XT)
7’ (0-1) penalty Rafael Rodrigues Ledesma
64’ (1-1) Rodney Buttigieg
69’ (red card) John Axiak (XT)
85’ (2-1) Rodney Buttigieg
F. Vella, J. Axiak, J, Vella, N. Micallef, J. Buttigieg, C. Antunes Pavlidis (J.Cefai Bonnici), R. Buttigieg, J. Xuereb (L. Camilleri), O. Xuereb (M. Dingli), T. Grech, J. Sandobal Guarin.
R. Sammut, P. Rapa, K. Chvedukas, K. Farrugia (D. Atzori), R. Rodrigues Ledesma (C. Borg), D. Azzopardi, E. Gauci (S. Curmi), S. Azzopardi, J. Attard (G. Vella), D. Galea, J. Xerri.
Xewkija Tigers obtained a dramatic 2-1 win against Oratory Youths and registered their fourth consecutive win so that they are sole leaders on the table with maximum points. In this match the Tigers once again showed great character as they managed to turn a defeat into a win despite the difficult conditions. In the previous match Xewkija obtained the win by recovering from a deficit of two goals and in this match they were trailing their opponents by one goal and with a player less on the field for more than an hour of play. Moreover, soon after they scored the equaliser they were reduced to nine players but the Tigers still managed to win the match with a goal that arrived five minutes from the end of regular time. The protagonist in Xewkija’s win was undoubtedly striker and captain Rodney Buttigieg who scored the two goals for his side that determined the outcome if this encounter.
The final result was a setback to Oratory as they seemed in a position to win at least a point from this match but ended up leaving the pitch empty handed and remain at the bottom place on the table without a point from four matches.
The two sides started the match with the intention to take command of play as they both had the aim to win the points at stake for different reasons. Xewkija needed to extend their perfect start in the championship while the youths were determines to win the first point in the league after three consecutive defeats in the previous matches.
6’ (red card – penalty) Oratory surprised their more quoted opponents when Karolis Chvedukas entered Xewkija’s area following a break but ended on the floor in the area following a contact with central defender Jhon Sandobal Guarin. The referee ordered a penalty and also showed the red card to Xewkija’s defender so that the Youths opened the score through the penalty kick by Rafael Rodrigues Ledesma.
8’ Xewkija replied through an attempt by Joel Xuereb, after receiving from Claudio Antunes, but goalie Richard Sammut was well placed and neutralised the danger.
11’ Oratory were again dangerous through a header by Karolis Chvedukas following a cross from the right flank by Jurgen Attard that was well saved by Xewkija’s goalie Franklin Vella.
16’ Oratory could have created more danger but a shot on the run by Eric Gauci following a cross by Rafael Ledesma ended over the crossbar.
17’ Xewkija protested for a penalty when Claudio Antunes ended on the floor inside Oratory’s area following a contact with two defenders following a free kick form long distance.
As time passed by Oratory grew in confidence and seemed in control of play and continued to create more dangerous action than their opponents.
36’ Oratory created a dangerous action inside Xewkija’s territory when Rafael Ledesma won the ball from the goalkeeper at the edge of the area but Xewkija’s defender Josiah Buttigieg recovered well and took the ball in time to deny Ledesma from concluding towards an open goal.
The Youths continued to be in control of the match during the opening stages of the second period abut as time passed by Xewkija increased their efforts in an attempt to recover the deficit.
9’ Oratory protested for a penalty when Karolis Chvedukas ended on the floor inside Xewkija’s area following a free kick by Paul Rapa.
10’ Xewkija created their first serious scoring opportunity of the match but a header by Rodney Buttigieg following a cross by substitute Joseph Cefai, ended wide.
18’ Xewkija were again dangerous through a low shot by Rodney Buttigieg following a personal action that was partially saved by goalie Richard Sammut and the ball ended in a corner as Xewkija’s strikers arrived late to take the possible rebound.
19’ (1-1) Xewkija levelled the score from the resultant corner action as Tristan Grech deliverd the ball from the corenr kick and Rodney Buttigieg suprrised the defence and headed in goal from close distance.
The match became much more interesting as the two sides went all out to take the lead.
24’ (red card) Xewkija ended with nine players as defender John Axiak was sent off after receiving a second yellow crd for a foul on Joseph Xerri.
Xewkija were not demoralised and in the following minutes they were more offensive than their opponents.
27’ Xewkija’s Rodney Buttigieg unmarked Joel Xuereb inside Oratory’s area but the striker hit baldy and goalie Richard Sammut blocked the danger but awarded a corner kick to the Tigers as he failed to keep the ball inside the pitch.
28’ From the following corner kick by Xewkija’s Tristan Grech, Oratory’s keeper did not hold the ball and from the resultant melee consecutive attempts by Rodney Buttigeig and Nicholas Micallef were blocked on the line by Oratory’s defenders.
30’ Oratory replied through a shot from outside the area by Karolis Chvedukas after receiving from substitute Chris Borg that ended wide.
34’ Xewkija’s keeper Franklin Vella was well placed and neutralised without any difficulty a strike form outside the area by Oratory’s David Galea.
38’ Oratory had another good attempt by Karolis Chvedukas that missed the target.
40’ (2-1) Xewkija turned the result in their favour when Oratory’s defender Daniel Azzopardi headed backwards in an attempt to clear a free kick from long distance by Xewkija’s goalie Franklin Vella and the other defender David Galea arrived late in an attempt to clear the ball from the danger area so that Xewkija’s Rodney Buttigieg took full advantage of the mishap and lobbed into an open goal as the goalkeeper left his position in an attempt to clear the ball from the area.
Oratory’s reaction for the remaining minutes was sterile and Xewkija managed to defend their one-goal lead with nine players on the field until the final whistle.
FT (XT 2 – OY 1)
Referee: Daniel Portelli