Zebbug save the result with a dramatic equaliser

by | Jan 26, 2022 | 21/22, GFL 2nd Div, Match Report, News

23 January 2022

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II (MD 7) Kercem Arkafort Stadium

Zebbug Rovers FC : 3

Xaghra United FC : 3

19’ (1-0) Nathan John Cini

45+3’ (2-0) Nathan John Cini

55’ (2-1) Matthias Cordina

60’ (2-2) penalty Shemar Tristan Blair

69’ (2-3) Shemar Tristan Blair

90+1’ (3-3) Daniel Mesa Pineros

Zebbug R:

Om. Xuereb, M. Formosa (I. Buttigieg), E. Bugeja, C. Gauci, D. Mesa Pineros, E. Gauci, M. Camilleri Psaila (O. Atzori), N.J. Cini, M. Grech, R. Saliba (J. Bonnici), P. Spiteri.

Xaghra U:

L. Camilleri, J. Bajada, S. Galea, S. Galea, A. Farrugia, L. Sultana, S.T. Blair, M. Cordina, S. Bonello, F. Cauchi, E. Galea, B. Meilak.

In the first match from Match-Day 7 of the campaign Zebbug Rovers and Xaghra United shared the spoils in a draw of six goals so that neither side managed to improve their respective status on the standings.  With this result Zebbug missed an opportunity to reduce their gap from the leaders while Xaghra remained with other two teams who are aiming to avoid the bottom of the table.

During the match each side prevailed over the other for a half each.  Zebbug produced more offensive play during the first half and took the break with a two-goal lead.  Xaghra however produced an impressive comeback after the break and turned the result in their favour.  Xaghra could have put their minds at rest from the win during the dying moments but missed an open scoring opportunity so that Zebbug managed to save the result with a last-gasp goal.

Timeline

Zebbug had a good start and were more aggressive than their opponents so that Xaghra struggled to share play in an attempt to recover from the difficult situation.

3’ Zebbug’s Daniel Mesa Pineros had two attempts in separate occasions that missed the target.

8’ A free kick by Zebbug’s Eman Bugeja was deflected to a corner.

19’ (1-0) The Rovers took the deserve lead when Xaghra’s defence failed to clear a cross  by Daniel Mesa Pineros and Nathan John Cini took the ball and fired in goal from a good position.

Xaghra’s reaction was sterile.

26’ Zebbug were again dangerous but a shot by Eman Bugeja ended just high.

28’  The Rovers could have capitalised better but a header by Carl Gauci following a corner kick by Eric Gauci ended high.

29’ Xaghra had their first serious attempt towards goal through a header by Silvan Bonello following a free kick by Matthias Cordina that ended high.

40’ Xaghra could have levelled the score when a header by Shemar Tristan Blair was partially saved by Zebbug’s goalie and from the resultant melee Zebbug’s Eric Gauci cleared the danger from the goalmouth to a corner.

45+3’ (2-0) Xaghra were punished for the missed chance as the Rovers doubled the score through a shot from outside the area by Nathan John Cini that surprised Xaghra’s goalie Leonard Camilleri

HT (2-0)

Second Half

Xaghra were not demoralised and came out for the second period determined to recover the score.  They managed to reduce the deficit, kept insisting and turned the result in  their favour.

10’ (2-1) Xaghra reduced the score through a strike form outside the area by Matthias Cordina that ended out of the reach of Zebbug’s goalie.

15’ (2-2) penalty Xaghra were awarded a penalty for a foul by Nathan John Cini on Shemar Tristan Blair following a corner action and the same striker converted from the spot kick.

Xaghra kept insisting while the Rovers lost composure and for some minutes play became rough with protests from the two sides.

24’ (2-3) Xaghra took the lead when Zebbug’s defence failed to clear a through pass by Arthur Farrugia and Shemar Tristan Blair took advantage, entered the area and placed in goal with a low drive.

Zebbug increased their efforts during the final stages but Xaghra seemed in a position to defend their lead.

42’ Xaghra missed a golden scoring opportunity to seal the win when Shemar Tristan Blair entered the area following a counter break, the striker exchanged the ball inside the area with skipper Savio Galea when the two players were facing the goalkeeper, but the striker saw his shot with an open goal at his mercy that was stopped by the post and from the rebound the same Tristan Blair concluded wide.

45’+1’ (3-3) Xaghra were punished for the missed scoring opportunity as Zebbug scored the equaliser through a header by Daniel Mesa Pineros following a free kick by Eman Bugeja.

FT (ZR 3 – XU 3)

Referee: Jason Portelli

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