Ghajnsielem remain sole challengers to the leaders

by | Jan 25, 2022 | 21/22, Match Report, News

18 January 2022

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 10) Gozo Stadium

Ghajnsielem FC : 4

Kercem Ajax FC : 1

28’ (1-0) Michael Bezzina

39’ (2-0) Kurt Grima

41’ (3-0) Ryota Watanabe

49’ (3-1) penalty Luiz Henrique Santana Motta

88’ (4-1) Johnny Camilleri

Ghajnsielem FC:

A. Parnis, De. Bogdanovic (Da. Bogdanovic), Al. Xuereb (L. Grima), D. Farrugia, K. Mercieca, S. Attard, M. Bezzina (K. Farrugia), K. Grima, J. De Sousa Ferreira, R. Watanabe, J. Camilleri.

Kercem A:

J. Micallef, D. Cassar, N. Mercieca, L.H. Santana Motta (J. Grech), N. Inguanez, S. Martinez Turizo, J. Buttigieg (J. Theuma), C. Camilleri, A. Mizzi, W. Simeao Dos Santos (C. Attard), E. Da Silva Rodrigues.

In the first match of the new year in Gozitan football, Ghajnsielem registered the second consecutive win by defeating Kercem Ajax and with the points obtained they regained the second place on the table.  The match between Ghajnsielem and Kercem Ajax was a direct clash for the second place as both sides were on equal points before this match and with this result Ghajnsielem become the main challengers to the current leaders as the Blacks remain six points away from the leaders.

For this match the two sides had some of their regular players missing.  Kercem had their regular goalkeeper Gaetano Bugeja missing due to suspension but include in their starting line-up their recent signing veteran Chris Camilleri, who started the season with Nadur Youngsters.  During the final stages of the match Kercem also introduced as a substitute Christian Attard who was signed from Victoria Hotspurs.  On the other hand Ghajnsielem were without their prolific striker Igor Nedeljkovic due to a suspension, and also without striker Jhon Arboleda Valencia and Sam Frank Bajada who are both injured.

Kercem tried to surprise their opponents during the first part of the match but failed to capitalise from their scoring opportunities so that Ghajnsielem came out of their defence as time passed by and paved the way to the win by opening a three-goal lead before half time.  After the break Kercem tried to re-open the issue while Ghajnsielem operated mainly with counter breaks, taking advantage of more space within Kercem’s territory.  However, the two sides were very erratic in their finishing so that Ghajnsielem remained in control of the result and made sure of the win by scoring a fourth goal during the final stages of the encounter.


Kercem seemed more motivated during the opening minutes but play took place mainly in the midfield as Ghajnsielem tried to be organised in an attempt to keep their area clear from danger.

9’ The Ajax created the first attempt towards goal through a low shot from outside the area by Chris Camilleri that ended wide. 

10’ Ghajnsielem replied with a close ranged shot by Dejan Bogdnovic that was saved in two attempts by goalie Joel Micallef.

18’ Kercem’s young goalkeeper was well placed and blocked a good shot by Michael Bezzina after receiving from Johnny Camilleri.

20’ Kercem operated a counter break where Chris Camilleri released Euller Da Silva Rodrigues, but the striker ended on the floor following a challenge from an opponent.  From the resultant advantage Kercem’s Wesley Simeao Dos Santos hit badly and the ball ended away from goal.

21’ The Ajax were again dangerous through a strike by Joshua Buttigieg that missed the target.

26’ Ghajnsielem’s defence failed to clear the ball from their area and the ball arrived to Joshua Buttigieg who concluded wide from a good position

28’ Ghajnsielem also failed to capitalise from a potential scoring opportunity when Shaun Attard’s attempt from close distance was blocked by Kercem’s keeper Joel Micallef.

28’ (1-0) Ghajnsielem managed to open the score in the following action when the ball arrived to Michael Bezzina who fired in goal with a good shot that was out of the reach of the goalkeeper.

Kercem seemed demoralised and Ghajnsielem started to control play with authority.

39’ (2-0) The Blacks doubled the score when Kercem’s defence cleared the ball away from their area following a corner action and Kurt Grima surprised the goalkeeper with a fine strike from long distance that ended in the upper corner of the net.

41’ (3-0) Ghajnsielem added another goal that arrived through a shot from an angled position by Ryota Watanabe.

HT (GHJ 3 – KA 0)

Second Half

After the resumption Kercem had an excellent start and reduced the score from a penalty but they missed some other scoring opportunities so that the Blacks continued to enjoy the supremacy. 

2’ (penalty) Kercem were awarded a penalty for handling by Daniel Farrugia following a shot by Sebastien Martinez Turizo.

4’ (3-1) penalty The Ajax reduced the deficit with the shot from the spot kick by Luiz Henrique Santana Motta

8’ (goal disallowed) Kercem’s goalie failed to hold a low shot from outside the area by Johnny Camilleri and the ball ended in the net but the goal was disallowed for an offside infringement as another player was obstructing the view of the goalkeeper.

9’ The Blacks could have regained a three-goal lead but Johnny Camilleri failed to connect to an inviting low cross by Ryota Watanabe.

10’ The Ajax operated a counter break through Joshua Buttigieg who had his attempt blocked just outside the area by goalie Adrian Parnis.  From the rebound the same Buttigieg tried a low shot by Kenneth Mercieca recovered and cleared the ball to a corner.

13’ Ghajnsielem should have capitalised when the defence did not clear a ball aimed to Johnny Camilleri so that the latter entered the area without pressure but the goalkeeper had excellent timing and blocked the danger in two attempts.

22’ Ghajnsielem’s Dejan Bogdanovic had a good shot from outside the area after receiving from Johnny Camilleri that ended just high,

22’ Kercem had an immediate reply but Chris Camilleri missed a good scoring when he received the ball at an unmarked position following some hesitation by Ghajnsielem’s defence and concluded wide.

24’ Kercem went again close to re-open the issue but a shot from a good position by Joshua Buttigieg ended high.

35’ Kercem’s striker Joshua Buttigieg had another opportunity to score a second goal but his shot after receiving from Nathaniel Mercieca ended wide.

42’ Kercem’s goalie Joel Micallef left his area in time to clear the ball from outside the area before striker Johnny Camilleri could arrive and hit towards an open goal.

 43’ The Blacks missed another good scoring opportunity when a shot by Ryota Watanabe following a clearance by the defence ended away from goal.

43’ (4-1) Ghajnsielem sealed the win through a tap-in by Johnny Camilleri following a low cross from the right flank by Kurt Grima.

FT (GHJ 4 – KA 1)

Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

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Written by Darren Cassar