Kercem re-open chances to challenge for the runners-up position

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

19 March 2022

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 17) Gozo Stadium

Kercem Ajax FC : 1

Ghajnsielem FC : 0

69’ (1-0) Wesley Simeao Dos Santos

Kercem A:

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

Ghajnsielem:

A. Parnis, D. Farrugia, S.F. Bajada (M. Bezzina), K. Mercieca, S. Attard, An. Xuereb (K. Borg), K. Grima, J. De Souza Ferreira, R. Watanabe, L. Grima, I. Nedeljkovic.

The revelation side of the top flight this season Kercem Ajax once again confirmed their excellent run in the championship and obtained a 1-0 win over Ghajnsielem in a match from Match-Day 17.  This was a clash between the two teams who are at second and third place on the table.

Ghajnsielem were aiming to obtain another win in an attempt to extend their recovery from the difficult patch and to extend their lead over the same Kercem.  On the other hand, Kercem were aiming to return to winning ways after a series of matches where they dropped points that saw them losing ground from Ghajnsielem in the tussle for the runners-up position.  Kercem were also motivated to obtain a positive result against Ghajnsielem as they conceded two defeats in the matches between the two sides of the first and second round.

Play for most of the time was well contested but the two sides failed to capitalise from the scoring opportunities.  Overall Kercem produced more scoring opportunities and therefore the win for Ajax was well deserved.  This was also an important match for Kercem’s veteran player Chris Camilleri who marked his 650th appearance in Maltese football.  Camilleri is currently the second Maltese player with the highest appearances in senor teams, just one match less than Xaghra’s Brian Meilak who marked his 651st appearance in local football on the same day. 

Timeline

The play was quite balanced for most of the first half with good scoring opportunities at the two ends of the field.

14’ Kercem produced an interesting action through an initiative by Wesley Simeao Dos Santos, who entered the area, avoided his direct opponent but his shot from a good position ended high.

20’ Ghajnsielem replied with personal action by Ryota Watanabe but the striker concluded weakly and goalie Gaetano Bugeja saved without difficulty.

24’ (crossbar) Kecem were unlucky when a strike from outside the area by Chris Camilleri was stopped by the crossbar.

25’ Ghajnsielem missed an open scoring opportunity when Kenneth Mercieca headed wide an inviting cross from the right flank by Antonio Xuereb. 

26’ Kercem were again dangerous when Wesley Simeao Dos Santos released Sebastien Martinez Turizo but Ghajnsielem’s goalie Adrian Parnis left his position in time to take the ball and denied Kercem’s striker from concluding towards an open goal. 

27’ In another action by Kercem a shot from outside the area by Chris Camilleri missed the target.

32’ The Ajax were again unlucky when Chris Camilleri operated a counter break from the left flank and from his cross the attempt on the run by Sebastien Martinez Turizo hit the base of the post with the goalkeeper beaten.

33’ Ghajnsielem replied with a break by Igor Nedeljkovic who entered the area but had his low drive that was saved to a corner by goalie Gaetano Bugeja.

44’ The Blacks missed another good opportunity to open the score but a header by Jefferson De Sousa Ferreira from a free-kick by Shaun Attard ended wide.

HT (0-0)

Second Half

Play continued to be quite entertaining after the break as both sides tried to obtain the win.  However, as time passed by Kercem produced more scoring opportunities and also managed to score the goal that in the end decided the issue.

20sec. Ghajnsielem almost surprised their opponents in the first action of the second period but a low drive by Igor Nedeljkovic following a break ended wide.

3’ Kercem replied with a strike from an angled position by Chris Camilleri after receiving from Jason Theuma that ended wide.

15’ Ghajnsielem operated a good counter-attack but at the end, the shot by Igor Nedeljkovic was blocked to a corner.

23’ Kercem’s goalie was well placed and saved without difficulty a header by Igor Nedeljkovic following a free kick by Shaun Attard.

24’ (1-0) Kercem opened the score when Wesley Simeao Dos Santos passed through Ghajnsielem’s defence with personal action and netted with a low drive.

Ghajnsielem failed to produce danger in their immediate effort to level the score.

37’ Kercem could have made sure of the win when Sebastien Martinez Turizo entered the area and tried to turn around the goalkeeper but the latter had good timing and managed to save the danger in two attempts.

41’ Ghajnsielem had their best opportunity to save the result when Shaun Attard released Kurt Grima with a long through pass but Kercem’s goalie Gaetano Bugeja managed to block the danger.


FT (KA 1 – GHJ 0)

Referee: Joseph Scerri

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Written by Darren Cassar