Ghajnsielem win seven-goal thriller and earn qualification

by | Mar 12, 2021 | 20/21, Match Report, News

10 March 2021

BOV GFA Cup Preliminary Round Gozo Stadium

Ghajnsielem FC : 4

Victoria Hotspurs FC : 3

22’ (1-0) Ismael Belhadj

43’ (2-0) Jhon Arboleda Valencia

45+1’ (2-1) Paulo Santos De Azevedo

52’ (3-1) penalty Alberto Xuereb

68’ (4-1) Ismael Belhadj

77’ (4-2) Shaun Attard

89’ (4-3) Henrique Maciel

Ghajnsielem FC:

L. Buttigieg, K. Borg, Al. Xuereb (K. Mercieca), A. Agyeman, K. Farrugia, M. Bezzina, J. Arboleda Valencia, J.G. Vella (S.F. Bajada), K. Grima (N.I. Belhadj), R. Buttigieg (I. Belhadj), J. Camilleri.

Victoria H:

M. Grima, L. Grima, C. Attard (J. Parnis), J.M. Vella, C. Mercieca (S. Bajada), J. Pace (A. Azzopardi), H. De Souza Maciel, D. Farrugia, J. Tabone (J. Azzopardi), S. Attard, P. Santos De Azevedo.

Ghajnsielem obtained a dramatic 4-3 win over Victoria Hotspurs and will now face Sannat Lions in the Quarter Final stage of the BOV GFA Cup.  This was the last match from the Preliminary Round of the competition, a match that was postponed due to a tight schedule of matches from December to February.  The two teams had important changes in their starting line-up from the formation which is typically used in the championship, but both Victoria and Ghajnsielem were aiming to earn the qualification for the quarter final stage of this second most important competition in local football.

The match turned out into a well contested encounter where Ghajnsielem were in the driving seat for most of the time but the Hotspurs kept insisting and had an impressive comeback during the final stages so that the outcome remained uncertain until the final whistle.


The Hotspurs came out more determined and during the opening minutes they maintained pressure on Ghajnsielem’s defence, but the latter gained confidence as time passed by and produced more dangerous actions.

9’ Victoria’s first attempt towards goal arrived when Christian Attard released Christian Mercieca inside Ghajnsielem’s area but the latter hit badly and goalie Luke Buttgieg neutralised the danger.

13’ Ghajnsielem replied with an effort by Rodney Buttigieg inside Victoria’s area but his final shot was blocked by goalie Mark Grima.

20’ Ghajnsielem could have created more danger when Alberto Xuereb entered Victoria’s area with a personal action but his shot was weak and goalie Mark Grima saved without difficulty.

22’ (1-0) Ghajnsielem opened the score when Johnny Camilleri prolonged with a header a free kick from long distance and the ball arrived outside the area to Ismael Behadj, who entered the field of play less than two minutes earlier as a substitute, and the latter surprised the goalkeeper with a low shot.

24’ In another dangerous action by the Blacks, Victoria’s defence cleared badly and a shot on the run from outside the area by Keith Borg ended wide.

26’ The Hotspurs replied through a low shot by Shaun Attard that was neutralised by Ghajnsielem’s keeper Luke Buttigieg.

The Hotspurs kept insisting.

34’ Victoria’s striker Shaun Attard had a shot from the left hand side that missed the target.

35’ Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg made a good save to block a close ranged shot by Henrique Maciel following a cross form the right flank by Daniel Farrugia.

38’ The same Maciel had another attempt through a low shot that almost surprised Ghajnsielem’s goalie but the extreme defender maintained his position and the ball ended in corner.

43’ (2-0) Ghajnsielem punished their opponents while they were increasing their pressure as the Blacks doubled the score through a low shot by Jhon Arboleda Valencia after receiving from Ismael Belhadj.

45+1’ (2-1) Victoria Hotspurs re-opened the issue when Jason Pace delivered a ball from the right flank towards Ghajnsielem’s area and Paulo Santos De Azevedo concluded in goal from close distance.

HT (2-1)

For the second period play became much more interesting as the Hotspurs increased their efforts to level the score while Ghajnsielem were well organised at their defence and operated dangerous counter breaks.

2’ Victoria Hotspurs could have levelled the score when Henrique Maciel released Christian Mercieca in a counter break but the latter incredibly concluded wide from an ideal position.

7’ (3-1) penalty Ghajnsielem were awarded a penalty for a foul by Daniel Farrugia on Jhon Arboleda Valencia and Alberto Xuereb converted from the spot kick.

15’ The Hotspurs replied through a header by Paulo Santos De Azevedo from a free kick by Henrique Maciel that ended wide.

21’ Victoria’s Jason Pace had a shot from long distance that missed the target.

23’ (4-1) Ghajnsielem increased their lead when John Camilleri produced a good move on the left flank and from his pass Jhon Arboleda Valencia prolonged to Ismael Belhadj who surprised the goalkeeper with a fine shot form the edge of the area.

32’ The Hotspurs reduced the score when a strike by Henrique Maciel was stopped by the post and from the rebound Shaun Attard concluded easily in goal.

39’ Ghajnsielem had a shot by Michael Bezzina that ended high.

44’ (4-3) The Hotspurs re-opened their chances to save the result when a cross by Lawrence Grima surprised Ghajnsielem’s and the ball arrived to an unmarked Henrique Maciel who deposited the ball in goal from lose distance.

The Hotspurs tried to increase pressure during the remaining minutes in an effort to force extra time.

45+3’ The Hotspurs went closest to scoring through a cross shot by Henrique Maciel that ended on the roof of the net.

FT (GHJ 4 – VH 3)

Referee: Emanuel Grech

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Written by Darren Cassar