Nadur Youngsters crowned Gozitan champions for the 13th time

by | May 3, 2022 | 21/22, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

30 April 2022

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 21) Gozo Stadium

Kercem Ajax FC : 1

Nadur Youngsters FC: 1

79’ (0-1) penalty Joseph Portelli

86’ (1-1) penalty Luiz Henrique Santana Motta

90+1’ (red card) Nicholas Inguanez (KA)

Kercem A:

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

Nadur Y:

S. Sultana (B. Saliba), M. Tabone, L. Moreira, J.M. Vella, I. Xuereb, M.J. Barbosa, S, Cassar, O.P. Bugeja (G. Muscat), G. Farrugia (E. Bruno Domingos),  J. Parnis (J. Portelli), J. Flor Da Silva (J. Zammit).

Nadur Youngsters were crowned as champions for the 2021/2022 BOV Gozo Football League of the first division at the end of their last match of the championship against Kercem Ajax.  The match at the Gozo Stadium was followed by a large number of Nadur supporters who started the celebrations of their 13th title by decorating the stands at the stadium and with entertainment that continued with a street party in front of the premises of the club in Nadur.

The match between Nadur and Kercem, which ended in a draw of two goals, turned out into an interesting encounter as the champions were aiming to end the championship with a win, while Kercem were determined to end the season on a positive note and to make up for the two heavy defeats conceded in the two previous matches against the same Nadur of the first and second round of the championship.  Nadur saw more of the ball throughout the ninety minutes but Kercem defended well and were often dangerous in their offensive actions within Nadur’s territory.  For most of the time, the win could have gone either way as the two sides missed some very good scoring opportunities.  However, the outcome of the encounter was decided by two penalties, one for each side, awarded during the final stages of the match.

This was Nadur’s second draw from the twenty-one matches of the championship and conceded only one defeat throughout the campaign so they ended the championship with a total of fifty-six points.  Nadur dominated the competition and deserved the main honour in Gozitan football.  The team was initially managed by Branko Nisevic as a head coach and showed its strength from the first matches of the season so that when Nisevic left to take the role as the coach of Premier side Hamrun Spartans, his replacement Paul Camilleri, who was the assistant coach, managed to handle the responsibility and maintained the excellent form until the end.  Nadur was undoubtedly superior to any other side in Gozitan football from all aspects.  They dominated most of the matches, scored an impressive number of seventy goals in twenty-one matches and conceded only fourteen goals.  Brazilian striker Marcelo Barbosa won the top scorer of the category by scoring twenty-four personal goals and the remaining forty-six goals were scored by ten other different players.  Nadur also had three of their players, Marcelo Barbosa, Stefan Cassar and Joseph Zammit, who won the BOV Player of the month during the season while young striker Joseph Zammit was called to form part of the U/21 National team.

At the end of the match Ms Charmaine Borg, the BOV manager for the Gozo Region, Dr Samuel Azzopardi, the President of the GFA, and other officials of the association presented the medals and the trophy representing the title to Nadur Youngsters among celebrations of the numerous supporters.


Nadur came out more aggressive than their opponents and gave the impression that they were determined to earn a handsome win as they did in the other two matches against Kercem in the other two rounds of the championship.  However, the champions were probably distracted by the festive atmosphere and were erratic in their finishing.  Kercem, on the other hand, deployed their best possible formation and managed to maintain an organised defensive deployment and as time passed by they created danger within Nadur’s territory.

6’ Nadur could have scored an early goal when Marcelo Barbosa took the ball from Kercem’s defence but the Brazilian striker was denied from concluding towards goal from close distance with an effective recovery by the defence.

8’ (protests for penalty) Nadur protested for a penalty when Marcelo Barbosa ended up on the floor as soon as he entered the area.

13’ Kercem operated a dangerous breakthrough on Joshua Buttigieg but the striker had his low shot that was saved to a corner by goalie Steve Sultana.

14’ Nadur replied with an effort from an angled position by Jordi Parnis that was blocked to a corner by the defence.

18’ The Youngsters went again very close to scoring but a low drive by Judivan Flor Da Silva passed in front of an open goal and there were no other strikers to connect.

21’ Nadur’s Stefan Cassar has a shot from a closed angle that was blocked to a corner with the aid of the post by defender Nicholas Inguanez.

22’ In the following action Nadur were unlucky as an effort by Judivan Flor Da Silva hit the post and the goalkeeper recovered to save the danger.

23’ The Ajax produced an immediate reaction through an effort by Euller Da Silva Rodrigues that ended just high.

28’ The same Brazilian striker threatened Nadur’s defence with a low shot from the left-hand side but the ball ended wide as striker Joshua Buttigieg was late to hit a tap-in.

32’ Kercem’s goalie Joel Micallef saved without difficulty a low shot by Jordi Parnis who was at an unmarked position.

34’ The Ajax were again dangerous through a header by Andrew Mizzi following a corner kick by Nathaniel Mercieca that ended over the crossbar.

44’ Nadur could have capitalised better when Kercem’s defence failed to clear the ball from their area but in the end, a shot by Lucas Moreira was well saved by goalie Joel Xuereb.

45+1’ Kercem went very close to surprising their opponents when they operated a counter break and entered Nadur’s area with passing between Joshua Buttigieg, Euller Da Silva Rodrigues and Sebastien Martinez Turizo but the latter had his shot on the run that was turned into a corner by goalie Steve Sultana.

HT (0-0)

Second Half

After the resumption, the match continued to be well contested as Nadur kept insisting to complement the festive atmosphere while Kercem were in contention to end the season with a prestigious result against more quoted opponents.

8’ Nadur went close to opening the score but an attempt directly from a free-kick by Marcelo Barbosa ended just over the crossbar.

10’ Kercem replied with a shot on the run by Sebastien Martinez Turizo after receiving from Wesley Simeao Dos Santos that ended just wide.

13’ Nadur missed another good scoring opportunity when Jordi Parnis entered the area from the right flank and from his inviting low cross Marcelo Barbosa incredibly concluded over the crossbar from an ideal position.

15’ The same Marcelo Barbosa had another attempt after exchanging the ball with Jordi Parnis but the ball ended away from the goal

25’ Nadur’s ex-player and ex-President Joseph Portelli came on the field as a substitute to replace Jordi Parnis.

31’ Kercem’s goalie Joel Micallef made a difficult save to block an attempt directly from a free-kick by Marcelo Barbosa.

33’ (0-1) penalty Nadur opened the score when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by goalie Joel Micallef on Judivan Flor Da Silva and Joseph Portelli, who was on the field for less than eight minutes, made no mistake from the spot-kick to put the champions in the lead.

39’ (1-1) penalty Kercem were also awarded a penalty for a foul by substitute goalkeeper Baskal Saliba on Sebastien Martinez Turizo and Luiz Henrique Santana Motta converted from the spot-kick to level the score.

45+1’ (red card) Kercem ended the match on a negative note as defender Nicholas Inguanez was sent off for a foul in the midfield on Stefan Cassar. 

FT (KA 1 – NY 1)

Referee: Stefan Pace

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Written by Darren Cassar