3 September 2022
GFA 2nd Division Challenge Cup (MD 1) Gozo Stadium
St Lawrence Spurs FC : 2
Zebbug Rovers FC : 2
12’ (0-1) Daniel Mesa Pineros
48’ (1-1) Luke Portelli
68’ (2-1) Luke Portelli
70’ (2-2) Daniel Mesa Pineros
79’ (red card) Alen Haska (SLS)
St Lawrence S:
J. Xiberras, J. Axiak, G. Portelli, C. Grima, A. Haska, V.J. Saliba, L. Portelli, J. Grima (M. Dingli), D. Micallef, J. Saliba (K. Vella), W. Hili.
B. Saliba, P. Spiteri, I. Buttigieg, M. Formosa (E. Farhat), C. Gauci, D. Mesa Pineros, E. Gauci (J. Magro), C. Cauchi, O. Atzori, G. Grech, O. Mercieca (L. Atzori).
St Lawrence Spurs and Zebbug Rovers started their commitments in the new season by obtaining a positive result from a draw of four goals. The match turned out to be quite entertaining with actions at the two ends of the pitch and where the outcome remained uncertain until the final moments of the encounter. Zebbug’s Daniel Mesa Pineros and St Lawrence’s Luke Portelli determined the final result by scoring a brace each. The Spurs ended the match on a negative note as they were reduced to ten players as their striker Alen Haska was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for protests.
The two side came out with the intention to score an early goal so that play was quite balanced during the first part of the first period. Zebbug managed to take the lead but the Spurs had a good reaction and ended up forcing their opponents to defend for the last part of the first half.
5’ St Lawrence could have scored an early goal but an attempt directly from a free kick by Alen Haska ended wide.
7’ The Spurs were again dangerous but an attempt from a good position by Victor John Saliba following a cross by Alen Haska ended over the crossbar.
8’ Zebbug replied through a free kick by Ian Buttigieg that ended wide.
12’ (0-1) The Rovers opened the score through a first timer from a closed angle by Daniel Mesa Pineros following a cross from the left flank by Eric Gauci.
19’ St Lawrence went very close to level the score but a shot from close distance by Victor John Saliba after receiving from Alen Haska was blocked to a corner by defender Matthion Formosa and from the resultant corner action a strike by Luke Portelli was blocked from the goalmouth by defender Ian Buttigieg.
23’ In another good action by the same Portelli had a good attempt that was partially saved by goalie Baskal Saliba and from the rebound Alen Haska’s header was weak and the goalie recovered in time to save the danger.
The Spurs held the initiative of play until the end of the first half in an attempt to recover the deficit but they failed to create serious danger to Zebbug’s goal.
The match continued to be quite interesting after the break as St Lawrence clinched the equaliser during the opening stages and for the rest of the encounter the two sides tried hard to obtain the win.
3’ (1-1) The Spurs scored the equaliser through a fine shot from outside the area by Luke Portelli that ended out of the reach of Zebbug’s keeper.
9’ St Lawrence could have turned the result in their favour when they operated a counter break and Alen Haska came face to face with the goalkeeper but the striker saw his lob aimed towards an open goal that was neutralised in two attempts by goalie Baskal Saliba.
15’ Zebbug replied through a shot from outside the area by skipper Carl Gauci that ended just high.
23’ (2-1) The Spurs turned the result in their favour when Alen Haska entered the area from the left flank but his shot from an angled position was partially saved by goalie Baskal Saliba with the aid of the post and from the rebound Luke Portelli concluded in goal with a tap-in.
25’ (2-2) Zebbug had an immediate reaction and levelled the score through a direct free kick from long distance by Daniel Mesa Pineros that surprised St Lawrence’s goalie.
34’ (red card) St Lawrence suffered a setback as their main striker Alen Haska was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for protests.
42’ Zebbug had the last opportunity to score the decisive goal but a shot from outside the area by Daniel Mesa Pineros missed the target.
45+2’ St Lawrence went close to obtain a dramatic win but an effort by Luke Portelli from a good position that ended wide and the same striker had a close ranged shot in the following action that was blocked by Zebb’s goalie.
45+4’ St Lawrence’s goalie Joel Xuereb saved the point for his side with a fine intervention and blocked to a corner an attempt by Daniel Mesa Pineros.
FT (SLS 2 – ZR 2)
Referee: Raiden Psaila