1 October 2022
GFA 2nd Division Challenge Cup (MD 5) Kercem Arkafort Stadium
Zebbug Rovers FC : 1
Gharb Rangers FC : 0
79’ (1-0) Lorenzo Atzori
F. Portelli, P. Spiteri, I. Buttigieg, M. Formosa, E. Bugeja, R. Sacco (O. Atzori), R. Saliba, L. Atzori (O. Mercieca), C. Cauchi, M. Camilleri Psaila, M. Grech (N.J. Cini).
J.P. Cassar, S. Farrugia, M. Ciangura, R. Portelli (A. Cini), C. Cardona, G. Debrincat, V. Laketic, M. Tabone, J. Buttigieg, O. Calleja, N. Attard.
Zebbg Rovers managed to avoid the bottom place of the table at the end of the first phase of the GFA 2nd Division Challenge Cup with a 1-0 win over Gharb Rangers in the last match for the two sides in the competition. The match was well contested for more than an hour but with very few scoring opportunities and the match seemed heading towards a goalless draw. However, Zebbug increased their pressure over their opponents during the last part of the encounter and managed to score the only goal of the match.
For most of the first period play was balanced as both Zebbug and Gharb tried to produce offensive play in an attempt to take the lead. However, the two defensive departments prevailed over the respective strikers and the actions on goal were rare.
12’ Zebbug created the first scoring opportunity but a low shot by Ryan Saliba after receiving inside the area from Matthias Camilleri Psaila was saved to a corner by goalie John Paul Cassar.
13’ Gharb replied with a shot from outside the area by Viktor Laketic that was saved to a corner by Zebbug’s goalie Francesco Portelli.
15’ Gharb’s goalie John Paul Cassar was called to make another save following a shot from outside the area by Ryan Saliba.
34’ Zebbug once again threatened Gharb’s defence but an attempt directly from a free kick by Eman Bugeja was neutralised by goalie John Paul Cassar.
45’ Gharb could have ended the first half in the lead when Viktor Laketic passed inside Zebbug’s area but his attempt was well saved by Zebbug’s goalie Francesco Portelli
The match continued to be well contested as the two sides kept insisting in an attempt to score. However, Zebbug increased their efforts during the final stages and managed to score the goal that decided the issue.
16’ Zebbug could have opened the score when Lorenzo Atzori released substitute Orlando Atzori inside Gharb’s area but Gharb’s goalie John Paul Cassar denied the striker from scoring when he turned the close ranged attempt to a corner.
21’ Zebbug’s goalie was well placed and saved without difficulty a shot from a good position by Viktor Laketic following a clearance by the defence.
28’ Zebbug were again dangerous but a header by Orlando Atzori following a corner action got a deflection by the defence and the ball ended in a corner.
34’ (1-0) Zebbug managed to take the lead when Gharb’s goalie saved partially a header by Orlando Atzori following a free kick by Eman Bugeja and Lorenzo Atzori took the opportunity and concluded in goal from close distance.
45’ Gharb could have saved the result but a shot from outside the area by Michael Tabone ended wide.
45+2’ Zebbug, on the other hand, went very close to make sure of the win when they operated a counter break but the shot by substitute Owen Mercieca was partially saved by Gharb’s keeper and from the rebound the attempt by the other substitute Nathan John Cini was also blocked by the same goalie.
FT (ZR 1 – GR 0)
Referee: Nikola Dordevic