14 September 2022
GFA 2nd Division Challenge Cup (MD 2) Gozo Stadium
Gharb Rangers FC: 1
St Lawrence Spurs FC: 1
40′ (1-0) Viktor Laketic
66’ (1-1) John Axiak
O. Xuereb, M. Ciangura, J. Agius, C. Cutajar, C. Cardona, G. Debrincat (S. Farrugia 79), V. Laketic, M. Tabone, J. Buttigieg, O. Calleja, N. Attard.
St. Lawrence S:
J. Xiberras, J. Axiak (C. Azzopardi 80’), N. Haber, G. Portelli, C. Grima, L. Cilia (K. Vella 87’), V.J. Saliba (J.M. Portelli 59), L. Portelli, J. Saliba (J. Azzopardi 59), W. Hili, A. Ademilua.
In the first match from Match-Day 2 of the 2nd Division Challenge Cup Gharb Rangers and St, Lawrence Spurs earned a point each from a draw of two goals so that in the end neither team was satisfied.
The two sides needed a win from this match in an attempt to challenge for the first two positions at the end of the round-robin and qualify for the final of the competition, but with this result, Gharb only managed to obtain their first point while the Spurs registered their second draw from two matches. For most of the time, Gharb held the initiative of play and also managed to open the score but they failed to increase their lead the Spurs managed to produce a reaction and saved the result with a goal that arrived midway through the second half. The two sides increased their efforts during the final stages of the encounter but the strikers were erratic in their finishing and failed to capitalise on their respective scoring opportunities.
Gharb came out more determined and during the opening minutes, they held the initiative of play. However, the Spurs resisted well and as they passed by they started to share play with their opponents so that for most of the first half play took place in the midfield.
6’ Gharb could have opened the score but Gabriel Debrincat failed to connect to an inviting cross from the right flank by Christian Cardona.
30’ The Spurs were dangerous through a strike from outside the area by Adebayo Ademilua that was saved to a corner with difficulty by goalie Owen Xuereb.
40’ (1-0) Gharb opened the score through a shot from an angled position at the edge of the area by Viktor Laketic that ended in the far corner and beyond the reach of St Lawrence’s keeper.
After the break play became much more interesting as Gharb tried to push more men forward but St Lawrence remained in contention as they scored the equaliser so that the win could have gone either way.
1’ Gharb created the first scoring opportunity of the second period but a low shot by Christian Cardona following a personal action ended on the side of the net.
2’ The Rangers could have capitalised better when Viktor Laketic entered St Lawrence’s area but his low shot was weak and goalie Joel Xiberras saved without difficulty.
5’ St Lawrence was again dangerous when a shot from outside the area by Adebayo Ademilua was saved to a corner by goalie Owen Xuereb,
14’ Gharb operated another good action from the right flank but the attempt by Carlos Cutajar missed the target.
18’ The Spurs replied with a shot from outside the area by substitute Jurgen Mario Portelli that ended high.
20’ Gharb’s goalie Owen Xuereb made a good intervention to deny the Spurs from scoring as he managed to clear a curing shot by Christian Grima.
21’ (1-1) St Lawrence’s efforts were rewarded as they levelled the score through a strike from outside the area by John Axiak following a clearance by the defence that ended at the upper corner of Gharb’s goal.
25’ Gharb should have capitalised better when Gabriel Debrincat entered St Lawrence’s area but his shot from an ideal position was blocked by goalie Joel Xiberras.
30’ The Rangers were again dangerous through a shot from outside the area by Josef Buttigieg that ended just over St Lawrence’s crossbar.
FT (GR 1 – SLS 1)
Referee: Jason Portelli