Xaghra obtain qualification with late goals

by | Oct 27, 2022 | 22/23, BOV GFA Cup, Match Report, News

25 October 2022

BOV GFA Cup (Prel Rd) Kercem Arkafort Stadium

St Lawrence Spurs FC: 1

Xaghra United FC: 4

30’ (1-0) Christian Azzopardi

72’ (red card) John Axiak (SLS)

73’ (1-1) penalty Leiner Garcia Panesso

85’ (1-2) o.g. Daniel Micallef

88’ (1-3) Joel Xuereb

90+3’ (1-4) Luke Meilak

St. Lawrence S:

J. Xiberras, M. Dingli, J. Axiak, G. Portelli, T. Grech (J. Azzopardi), C. Grima, V.J. Saliba (L. Cilia), C. Azzopardi (J. Grima), D. Micallef, J.M. Portelli, J. Saliba (W. Hili), A. Ademilua.

Xaghra U:

L. Xuereb, J. Bajada (E. Galea), S. Galea, C. Debono (J.K. Farrugia), L. Sultana (J. Formosa), J. Xuereb, M. Cordina, S. Sultana, S. Bonello (L. Meilak), E. Scerri (L.Garcia Panesso), F.J. Xuereb.

Xaghra United left it late to express their usual play and obtained the qualification to the quarter-finals of the BOV GFA Cup with a 4-1 win over St Lawrence Spurs.  Xaghra were the favourites to win this match between two sides from the lower category but the game turned out to be more difficult than expected and for more than an hour of play, they were trailing by one goal.

The Spurs were serious challengers to their opponents for most of the match as they managed to be in control of play, particularly after taking the lead with a goal scored during the first half.  Xaghra showed character and kept insisting in an attempt to recover the score and capitalised on the extra player on the field from the penalty action that led to the equaliser so that during the final stages the Blues dominated and ended up obtaining a win with a large margin.  Xaghra will play against Kercem Ajax in the match from the quarter-finals stage.

Timeline

The play took place mainly in the midfield during the opening stages but as time passed by the Spurs became more dangerous and ended the first half with a deserved lead.

19’ St Lawrence created the first serious attempt towards the goal of the encounter through a header from a good position by Victor John Saliba following a cross from the left flank but goalie Lorjean Xuereb was well placed and blocked the danger.

26’ (protests for penalty) The same goalkeeper was called to make another important intervention to save a shot from close distance by Victor John Saliba.  From the same action, St Lawrence’s Jurgen Mario Portelli took the ball but ended up on the floor as he tried to pass his direct opponent but the referee did not notice any infringement despite the protests by the Spurs.

28’ Xaghra’s keeper Lorjean Xuereb saved without difficulty a header by Adebayo Ademilua following a free kick from the midfield.

30’ (1-0) St Lawrence opened the score when Jurgen Mario Portelli passed from the right flank and from his low cross Christian Azzopardi took the ball and placed it in goal with a low shot.

39’ (protests for penalty) St Lawrence protested for a penalty again when Victor John Saliba tried to pass through two defenders inside Xaghra’s area but the referee waived play-on.

HT (1-0)

Second Half

Xaghra continued to struggle to produce a reaction during the first part of the second period as the Spurs were well-organised and denied their opponents from creating danger.  Xaghra however increased their efforts midway through the second period, clinched the equaliser and turned the result in their favour by scoring three more goals.

27’ (red card) Xaghra were awarded a penalty when St Lawrence’s defence failed to clear the ball from the area and Luke Sultana took the ball but was floored by St Lawrence’s defender John Axiak.  The latter was also sent off after receiving the second yellow card.

28’ (1-1) penalty Xaghra capitalised from the opportunity and levelled the score with the penalty kick by Leiner Garcia Panesso

 31’ The Spurs could have regained the lead but a Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb left his position in time and blocked the ball at the edge of the area as Victor John Saliba was alone in front of the goalkeeper.

32’ St Lawrence’s goalie Joel Xiberras also made an important intervention when he blocked a close-ranged attempt by Xaghra’s substitute Justin Formosa who was ready to hit towards the goal.

34’ St Lawrence’s Victor John Saliba once again threatened Xaghra’s defence but the striker saw his attempt that was blocked by the goalkeeper.

37’ Xaghra went very close to scoring but a shot by Leiner Garcia Panesso after receiving from Joel Xuereb was partially saved by St Lawrence’s goalie and from the rebound, the same Panesso concluded wide from an ideal position.

40’ (1-2) Xaghra took the lead from an own goal committed by St Lawrence’s central defender Daniel Micallef who headed badly in an attempt to clear a cross from the left flank by substitute Luke Meilak and the ball ended in the net and out of the reach of the goalkeeper.

43’ (1-3) The Spurs were demoralised and conceded the third goal which arrived through a tap-in by Joel Xuereb after receiving a low cross by Leiner Garcia Panesso.

45+3’ (1-4) Xaghra sealed the win when St Lawrence’s goalie partially saved a shot from an angled position by substitute Emanuel Galea and from the rebound, Luke Meilak fired into an open goal.

FT (SLS 1 – XU 4)

Referee: Jason Portelli

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Written by GozoFA