27 April 2022
BOV GFA Cup (semi-final) Gozo Stadium
Qala Saints FC : 0
Ghajnsielem FC : 3
35’ (0-1) Lawrence Grima
45+1’ (0-2) Igor Nedeljkovic
61’ (0-3) Johnny Camilleri
M. Zammit, J. Portelli, Jos. Buttigieg, Jsf. Buttigieg (C. Farrugia), M. Buttigieg, S. Muscat (S. Farrugia), E. Buttigieg, P. Muscat (M. Zerafa), B. Said, E.R. Okpokwu, M. Xerri.
A. Parnis (L. Buttigieg), K. Borg, Al. Xuereb, D. Farrugia, S.F. Bajada (D. Bogdanovic), K. Farrugia, K. Grima (M. Bezzina), J. De Sousa Ferreira (J. Camilleri), R. Watanabe, L. Grima (T. Sciberras), I. Nedeljkovic.
Ghajnsielem gained the opportunity to make up for a disappointing season by contesting the second most important honour in Gozitan football. The Blacks will be playing the final of the BOV GFA Cup after obtaining a 3-0 win over second division champions Qala Saints in the second semi-final match of the competition.
In the semi-final match, Ghajnsielem were the favourite to obtain the qualification but the match turned out to be more difficult than expected as the Blacks had to wait for more than half an hour to open the score. Ghajnsielem paved the way to the win by scoring two goals during the first period so that they took the driving seat and neutralised Qala’s reaction after the break. Qala were therefore worthy opponents as they were well deployed in their defence for most of the encounter and showed character during the second period as they still managed to produce offensive play despite the fact that they started the second half trailing by two goals. The third goal scored by the Blacks just after the hour mark practically sealed the issue but the Maroons kept insisting in an attempt to score a consolation goal until the end of the encounter.
Ghajnsielem will be facing champions Nadur Youngsters in the final, which will also be the last competitive match for the 2021/2022 football season on the sister island. The BOV GFA Cup final will be contested by the two sides who were expected to be the protagonists this season, where Nadur lived up to the expectations and won the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division and the BOV Knock Out Competition for the top flight, while Ghajnsielem ended up as the runners-up in the championship and were also finalists in the Knock Out competition. The final between Nadur Youngsters and Ghajnsielem will be the fifth match between the two sides this season. The first match from the championship ended in a draw, Nadur won the league match in the second round, Ghajnsielem won the match in the third round and Nadur won the final of the Knock-Out competition.
Ghajnsielem tried to put pressure on their opponents from the first minutes of play but Qala was well deployed and made it more difficult than expected for their opponents to create serious danger. However, Ghajnsielem managed to pave the way to the qualification by scoring two goals before the break.
14’ Qala went very close to surprising their more quoted opponents but Emanuel Buttigieg failed to connect from close distance following a free kick by Samwel Muscat.
17’ (crossbar) The Blacks missed a very good scoring opportunity when a header from close distance by Igor Nedeljkovic following a cross from the right flank was partially saved by Qala’s keeper Mattia Zammit and from the rebound, the shot by the same Nedeljkovic hit the crossbar.
33’ Qala’s goalie Mattia Zammit was well placed and neutralised a header by Kurt Grima following a cross by Alberto Xuereb.
35’ (0-1) Ghajnsielem opened the score when Qala’s keeper cleared badly a free kick by Alberto Xuereb and from the resultant melee Lawrence Grima fired in goal from close distance.
43’ Ghajnsielem should have capitalised better but Daniel Farrugia bit badly after receiving from Kevin Farrugia, Qala’s defence failed to clear the danger and Ryota Watanabe won the possession but his close-range attempt was well saved by goalie Mattia Zammit.
45+1’ (0-2) Ghajnsielem doubled the score when Igor Nedeljkovic entered Qala’s area and placed in goal as the goalkeeper left his position in an attempt to block the danger.
Qala came out for the second period in a better shape and could have re-opened the issue during the initial stages but Ghajnsielem defended well, added another goal just after the hour mark and administered play for the rest of the encounter.
2’ Qala’s Ebube Ralph Okpokwu received the ball inside Ghajnsielem’s area but his low shot from an angled position ended on the side of the net.
5’ The Maroons were again dangerous through a strike from outside the area by Peter Muscat that ended just wide.
7’ Ghajnsielem’s substitute goalkeeper Luke Buttigieg made a good intervention to save a low shot by Samwel Muscat.
10’ (protests for penalty) Qala protested for a penalty alleging handling when a shot by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu was blocked by Ghajnsielem’s defence.
16’ (0-3) Ghajnsielem punished their opponents for the missed chances and scored their third goal through a tap-in by substitute Johnny Camilleri following a low inviting cross by Kurt Grima.
20’ Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg saved with some difficulty to a corner effort by Joseph Buttigieg and from the resultant corner kick by substitute Charlon Farrugia a header by Emanuel Buttigieg
24’ (crossbar) Ghajnsielem went again close to scoring but a strike by Alberto Xuereb hit the crossbar.
26’ Qala could have reduced the score but an effort by Brandon Said following a low shot by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu was partially saved by the goalkeeper and the defence cleared the danger.
31’ Ghajnsielem’s goalie made the best save of the match when he turned to a corner a strike from outside the area by Qala’s substitute Stefan Farrugia.
38’ Ghajnsielem went very close to scoring another goal but a curling shot by Igor Nedeljkovic after receiving from Johnny Camilleri just missed the target.
FT (QS 0 – GHJ 3)
Referee: Slobodan Petrovic