7 February 2021
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I – Match Day 6 Gozo Stadium
Nadur Youngsters FC : 0
Xewkija Tigers FC : 2
20’ (0-1) Joel Xuereb
80’ (0-2) Emiliano Patricio Lattes
S. Sultana, M. Tabone, L. Tabone, I. Xuereb, M. Barbosa, C. Camilleri, A. Debrincat (L. Atzori), G. Muscat (M.P. Camilleri), C. Debono (O.P. Bugeja), G. Hili, J. Santos Silva.
F. Vella, J. Axiak, J. Vella, N. Micallef, M. Mercieca (M. Dingli), J. Buttigieg, J. Xuereb (C. Mifsud), O. Xuereb (J. Cefai Bonnici), M. Hrubsa, E.P. Lattes, T. Grech.
Xewkija Tigers scored a goal ion each half in their match against reigning champions Nadur Youngsters and earned three precious points which puts them just one point behind the current leaders Ghajnsielem. Nadur Youngsters came out for this match as hot favourites to win the full points at stake as they seemed in a good moment of form and they were facing a side who suffered a heavy defeat in their previous match in the championship and who were also playing for the first time without their main striker Rodney Buttigieg who was transferred to Ghajnsielem on the last day of the January transfer window.
The match however turned out into a well contested encounter where Nadur had a better start but they failed to capitalise from their best scoring opportunities and as time passed by Xewkija grew in confidence, took the lead and managed to deny their more quoted opponents from creating serious danger towards their goal. In this match Xewkija’s coach Alex Simoncic deployed Emiliano Lattes in the role of the second striker and as a result Xewkija were very effective in their sporadic breaks. Emiliano Lattes also sealed the win by scoring the second goal ten minutes form the end of the match so that Nadur were denied any opportunity to save the result during the final stages.
During the first minutes of play Nadur tried to put pressure on Xewkija’s defence while the latter struggled to protect their area from danger and managed to produce some danger through counter breaks.
1’ Xewkija almost surprised their opponents after just 48 seconds of play when Emiliano Lattes took the ball from a back pass aimed towards Nadur’s keeper but the attempt by Lattes missed the target.
3’ Nadur replied through a header by Andrea Debrincat that was turned to a corner with some difficulty by Xewkija’s keeper Franklin Vella.
5’ The Youngsters went very close to open the score when an attempt form an angled position by Jorge Santos Silva was cleared off the fatal line by Josiah Buttigieg and the ball bounced on the crossbar and ended in a corner.
7’ Nadur were again dangerous through a shot from the left flank by Gennaro Hili that was partially saved by Xewkija’s keeper and from the short clearance the ball arrived to Marcelo Barbosa who had a curling shot that just missed the target.
10’ Nadur were also unlucky when Marcelo Barbosa released Jorge Santos Silva near the far post but the latter saw his effort stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten and the defence cleared the danger from the goalmouth.
19’ Xewkija threatened Nadur’s goal when Emiliano Lattes won the ball from the defence but his strike ended inches of over the crossbar.
20’ (0-1) Xewkija opened the score through a fine move by Joel Xuereb who lobbed over his direct opponent after receiving from Nicholas Micallef and placed in goal with a low shot.
Nadur were shocked but as time passed by they tried to regain composure in an attempt to recover the deficit.
29’ Marcelo Barbosa almost surprised Xewkija’s defence but his overhead kick ended wide.
40’ The same Barbosa had another attempt through a shot on the run after receiving form Chris Camilleri but the ball ended over the crossbar.
45+1’ Nadur protested for a penalty when Jorge Santos Silva ended on the floor inside Xewkija’s area following a contact with an opponent after receiving from Marcelo Barbosa but the referee did not notice any infringement.
Fir the second period Nadur came out determined to maintain pressure on Xewkija in an attempt to level the score but the Youngsters were often erratic in the final pass and continued to find it very difficult to create good scoring opportunities.
24’ Nadur had their best opportunity to recover the score but a low shot by Chris Camilleri, following a low cross from the right flank by Luke Tabone, was blocked by goalie Franklin Vella. From the resultant clearance Nadur won a free kick but the attempt by Marcelo Barbosa from the set-piece ended just wide.
26’ Nadur could have capitalised better a prolonged action inside Xewkija’s area but the final shot by substitute Owen Peter Bugeja from a good position ended wide.
27’ Xewkija replied with a shot from long distance by Emiliano Lattes that was neutralised by Nadur’s keeper Steve Sultana.
33’ Nadur last scoring opportunity of the encounter arrived to Marcelo Barbosa but his shot from the edge of the area got a deflection by the defence and ended in a corner.
35’ (0-2) Xewkija practically made sure of the win by scoring the second goal that arrived through an excellent strike by Emiliano Lattes from an angled position after entering the area with a personal action from the right flank.
During the remaining minutes of the match Nadur’s offensive play was sterile as Xewkija managed to protect their two-goal lead until the final whistle with determination and organisation at their defensive department.
FT (NY 0 – XT 2)
Referee: Alex Johnson