9 October 2021
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I – Match Day 6 Gozo Stadium
Xewkija Tigers FC : 0
Ghajnsielem FC : 2
45’+5’ (0-1) penalty Igor Nedeljkovic
65’ (0-2) Shaun Attard
E. Cirrincione, J. Axiak (M. Mercieca), J. Vella, J. Buttigieg, R. Buttigieg, J. Xuereb (J. Saliba), M. Hrubsa (N. Micallef), E.P. Lattes, T. Grech (M. Dingli), J.G. Vella (O. Xuereb), H. Shodija Shola.
A. Parnis, K. Borg, D. Farrugia, K. Mercieca, S. Attard (J. Camilleri), An. Xuereb (K. Grima), K. Farrugia, J. Arboleda Valencia, J. De Sousa Ferreira (M. Bezzina), R. Watanabe (D. Bogdanovic), I. Nedeljkovic.
Ghajnsielem obtained their fifth consecutive win in the championship in their match against Xewkija Tigers and with the points obtained they regained the top of the table. Ghajnsielem held territorial command throughout the encounter but in this match they found it more difficult than expected to produce open scoring opportunities. The Blacks had to wait until the final seconds of the first half to open the score and managed to put their minds at rest from the win by scoring a second goal midway through the second half.
Xewkija were coming from a series of poor performances in the previous matches where they conceded fourteen goals in three matches and as a result they took the field with a defensive deployment in an attempt to protect their area as much as possible. The Tigers however compromised the possibility to obtain a positive result during the dying moments of the first half as they took the break trailing by one goal, and failed to capitalise from some good chances to re-open the issue during the final stages of the encounter.
For this match Xewkija had Dylan Mercieca and Carlo Aibela missing due to suspension and released striker Rafael Rodolfo Da Silveira, but gave a debut to Italian keeper Emanmuel Cirrincione. On the other hand Ghajnsielem gave a debut to Japanese striker Ryota Watanabe since their player coach Daniel Bogdanovic was dropped from the list of players eligible to play for this season.
Ghajnsielem came out more aggressive with the intention to take an early lead but Xewkija seemed well organised at their defence and managed to avoid conceding goals as happened in their previous matches.
5’ The first serious action at goal saw the two debutants as protagonists as Ghajnsielem’s striker Ryota Watanabe had a low shot following a personal action that was well saved to a corner by Xewkija’s keeper Emmanuel Cirrincione.
21’ Xewkija replied through a shot by Rodney Buttigieg that ended away from goal.
As time passed by play took place in the midfield as the two defensive departments prevailed over the respective strikers.
35’ The two sides were forced to make a substitution of their respective central defender as Xewkija’s Martin Hrubsa and Ghajnsielem’s Jeferson De Sousa Ferreira suffered an injury during the same action and both without any contact with an opponent.
40’ Ghajnsielem had their best opportunity to take the lead when Ryota Watanabe delivered the ball towards the far post from a free kick but Shaun Attard’s attempt from a good position missed the target.
45’+4’ (penalty) Ghajnsielem were awarded a penalty when Igor Nedeljkovic ended on the floor inside the area following a challenge with goalie Emmanuel Cirrincione and the same Serbian striker opened the score with the shot from the spot kick.
Play during the second period continued to be dictated mainly by Ghajnsielem with very few scoring opportunities. Xewkija found it difficult to produce a reaction for most of the time but when the Blacks reduced their rhythm, the Tigers created some opportunities where they could have re-opened the issue.
20’ (0-2) Ghajnsielem doubled the score when Jhon Arboleda Valencia delivered an excellent cross form the left flank towards te small area and Shaun Attard arrived on the ball and headed past goalie Cirrincione.
25’ Xewkija had a good opportunity to reduce the deficit when Haruna Shodija Shola released Joel Xuereb inside Ghajnsielem’s area but the latter saw his low shot that shaved the post and ended wide.
37’ Xewkija once again threatened Ghajnsielem’s rear guard through an attempt directly from a free kick by Joseph George Vella that ended just high.
42’ Ghajnsielem gave away an opportunity to their opponents when Xewkija’s Haruna Shodija Shola took the ball from the defence at the edge of Ghajnsielem’s area and passed to Rodney Buttigieg but the latter incredibly hit badly from close distance so that the goalkeeper saved the danger without difficulty.
FT (XT 0 – GHJ 2)
Referee: Fyodor Zammit