Dramatic win put Xewkija in a safer position

by | Mar 18, 2022 | 21/22, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

14 March 2022

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 16) Gozo Stadium

Xewkija Tigers FC: 4

Sannat Lions FC : 3

31’ (red card) Martin Hrubsa (XT)

32’ (0-1) penalty Henry Fabian Solis

40’ (0-2) Henry Fabian Solis

45+1’ (1-2) penalty Elton Aleksandre Da Silva

48’ (1-3) Nebojsa Biculjevic

64’ (2-3) Emiliano Patricio Lattes

88’ (3-3) Haruna Shola Shodija

90+2’ (4-3) o.g. Lorjean Xuereb

90+3’ (red card) Fabian John Xuereb (SL)

Xewkija T:

F. Vella, J. Buttigieg, R. Buttigieg, D. Mercieca, M. Hrubsa, E.P. Lattes, J.G. Vella (N. Micallef), H.S. Shola, J. Saliba (M. Mercieca), E.A. Da Silva,  C. Abela.

Sannat L:

L. Xuereb, L.B. Da Silva, N. Grima,  H.F. Solis, D. Borg, M.M. Uzor, H. Muscat, M. Mifsud, N. Biculjevic, A. Azopardi, F.J. Xuereb.

Xewkija Tigers obtained a dramatic win over Sannat Lions in a direct clash from the relegation zone so that they move three points clear of the same Sannat and are now in a more comfortable position on the table sharing fifth place.  Thus was also Xewkija’s first win after a long period which saw them drop from the top positions to the bottom place on the standings.  The Tigers however are constantly showing improvement from one match to another and since Daniel Bogdanovic joined the technical staff as Team Manager, Xewkija lost one match and earned two positive results.

This was an important match for the two sides as both Xewkija and Sannat before this match were on equal points at the second place from the bottom of the table.  Sannat surprised Xewkija and seemed to head towards a win as they had a two-goal lead for most of the time and played most of the encounter with an extra player on the field since Xewkija had their central defender Martin Hrubsa sent off just after the half-hour mark.  Xewkija however showed character and kept insisting in an attempt to save the result.  Their efforts were rewarded as they clinched the equaliser just before the end of regular time and ended up obtaining the full points at stake by turning the result in their favour with the odd goal from seven with an own goal committed by Sannat’s goalkeeper during stoppage time.


The play was well contested throughout the first half as the two sides were determined to take command of the match.  Sannat managed to be more effective in attack and also took advantage of an extra player on the field as Xewkija had their central defender sent off just after the half-hour mark.

8’ Sannat created the first serious scoring opportunity but an attempt directly from a free-kick by Aaron Azzopardi that ended wide.

11’ Xewkija replied with a counter break by Haruna Shodija Shola who released Rodney Buttigieg.  The latter entered the area but had his strike partially saved by goalie Lorjean Xuereb and from the rebound, the low shot by Emiliano Lattes ended just wide.

18’ Sannat’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb was well placed and saved in two attempts a free-kick by Elton Da Silva.

19’ Xewkija’s goalie was called to save a low shot by Nicholas Grima who was released inside the area by Henry Fabian Solis.

20’ (protests for penalty) Xewkija could have opened the score when Elton Da Silva delivered an inviting low cross from the right-hand side of the goal-line but Rodney Buttigieg failed to connect.  The ball, however, arrived at Emiliano Lattes who crossed from the right flank but the attempt by Rodney Buttigieg got a deflection and the goalkeeper saved the danger among protests by Xewkija alleging handling by Sannat’s defender.

28’ Sannat replied through a header by Nicholas Grima following a cross by Aaron Azzopardi that was blocked with some difficulty by goalie Frankin Vella.

28’ Less than a minute later the same Grima had an overhead kick following a cross by Henry Fabian Solis that ended wide.

29’ Xewkija could have created more danger but a header by Elton Da Silva from a cross by Rodney Buttigieg was well saved by goalie Lorjean Xuereb.

31’ (penalty – red card) Sannat were awarded a penalty while Xewkija ended with a player less on the field when Henry Fabian Solis created pressure on Xewkija’s goalie at the edge of the area and won possession but his shot was blocked by central defender Marti9n Hrubsa.  The referee noted handling by Xewkija’s defender, ordered a penalty and showed a straight red card to Hrubsa 

32’ (0-1) penalty Sannat capitalised from the opportunity and took the lead through the shot from the spot-kick by Henry Fabian Solis.

34’ Xewkija replied with a shot by Elton Da Silva that ended away from the goal.

40’ (0-2) Sannat doubled the score following a prolonged action where the goalkeeper blocked a good shot by Henry Fabian Solis following a personal action, the ball arrived at Matthias Michael Uzor who crossed towards the goalmouth but the goalkeeper failed to hold the ball so that Henry Fabian Solis took advantage and netted from close distance.

45’ (1-2) penalty Xewkija re-opened the issue when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Daniel  Borg on Rodney Buttigieg and Elton Aleksandre Da Silva netted with his shot from the spot-kick.

45+2’ Sannat replied with a shot from outside the area by Matthias Michael Uzor that missed the target.

HT (1-2)

Second Half

Sannat had a better start for the second period and scored an early goal but Xewkija were not demoralised despite the fact that they were playing with a player less and increased their efforts in an attempt to recover the deficit.

3’ (1-3) Sannat regained the two-goal lead through a strike from outside the area by Nebojsa Biculjevic with the ball hitting the post before ending in goal.

8’ Xewkija’s reaction arrived with an attempt directly from a free-kick that ended on the side of the net.

15’ (crossbar) Xewkija were unlucky when a header by Rodney Buittigieg from a corner action hit the crossbar.

19’ (2-3) Xewkije re-opened their chances to save the result when Elton Da Silva delivered a low cross towards the goalmouth and Emiliano Patricio Lattes came from behind the defence and concluded in goal with a low shot.

25’ Xewkija’s keeper made an important intervention to clear a cross by Henry Fabian Solis aimed towards an unmarked Nicholas Grima.

32’ Xewkija were again dangerous when a free kick by Elton Da Silva was blocked and from the resultant loose ball a strike from outside the area by Emiliano Lattes got a deflection and goalie Lorjean Xuereb managed to save with some difficulty.

34’ Sannat replied with an attempt from an angled position by Lucas Baretto Da Silva that was saved to a corner by Xewkija’s goalie Franklin Vella.

40’ Sannat could have made sure of the win when Nebojsa Biculjevic entered Xewkija’s area with a personal action but his low shot was saved by goalie Franklin Vella.

42’ Sannat were again dangerous through a free kick by Aaron Azzopardi that was cleared by goalie Franklin Vella.

43’ (3-3) Xewkija scored the equaliser through a close-range header by Haruna Shola Shodija following a cross by Elton Da Silva. 

45’ Xewkija went close to turn the result in their favour but a strike from outside the area by Emiliano Lattes ended just wide.

45+2’ (4-3) Xewkija managed to score the decisive goal of the encounter when they took the possession from a drop ball, Rodney Buttigieg addressed towards Sannat’s goal and goalie Lorjen Xuereb lost his balance in an attempt to hold the ball and ended up committing an unlucky own goal.

45+3’ (red card) Sannat were reduced to ten players when Fabian John Xuereb was sent off for remarks after Sannat conceded the goal.

FT (XT 4 – SL 3)

Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

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Written by Darren Cassar