29 October 2022
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II (MD 1) Kercem Arkafort Stadium
Zebbug Rovers FC: 2
St Lawrence Spurs FC: 1
20’ (1-0) Daniel Mesa Pineros
60’ (red card) Baskal Saliba (ZR)
62’ (1-1) penalty Alen Haska
45+3’ (2-1) Daniel Mesa Pineros
B. Saliba, P. Spiteri, I. Buttigieg (M. Camilleri Psaila), C. Gauci, R. Saliba, L. Atzori (O. Mercieca), D. Mesa Pineros, E. Gauci, N.J. Cini (F. Portelli), O. Atzori.
St. Lawrence S:
J. Xiberras, M. Dingli, G. Portelli, A. Haska, V.J. Saliba (L. Cilia), J. Grima, C. Azzopardi, D. Micallef (T. Grech), J.M. Portelli, J. Saliba, W. Hili (J. Xuereb).
In the last match from Match Day-1 of the BOV Gozo Football League of the second division, Zebbug Rovers obtained a 2-1 win over St Lawrence Spurs and started the campaign on an excellent note. The match was quite balanced for long stretches and seemed heading to a draw despite Zebbug playing the last half hour of the encounter with a player less on the field.
The match however was decided during the dying moments when the Spurs missed an opportunity to go into the lead. Still, the ball was cleared off the fatal line while Zebbug scored the decisive goal, deep into stoppage time, when there was no time left for the Spurs to produce a reaction. The match showed that both Zebbug and St Lawrence may look forward to being more competitive in the campaign this season than they were in the previous ones. At the end of Match-Day 1, one could note that the six teams of the category are all motivated to contest for the top spots and therefore one expects that the competition for promotion could involve more teams.
Play for most of the first period was quite balanced but with very few scoring opportunities. Zebbug capitalised from a good action midway through the first half and took the break with a one-goal lead.
9’ The Spurs created the first serious attempt towards the goal of the match but a cross-shot by Mark Dingli from the right flank ended just high.
13’ Zebbug’s keeper Baskal Saliba was well placed and saved in two attempts a strike from outside the area by Alen Haska.
16’ The Rovers replied with a cross-shot from the right flank by Daniel Mesa Pineros that was cleared from the goalmouth with some difficulty by St Lawrence’s goalie Joel Xiberras.
20’ (1-0) Zebbug took the lead when Daniel Mesa Pineros entered St Lawrence’s area with a personal initiative and fired in goal from an angled position.
23’ Zebbug almost risked an own goal when Carl Gauci hit badly in an effort to clear a low cross from the left flank by James Grima but keeper Baskal Saliba recovered well and saved in two attempts with the aid of the crossbar.
St Lawrence failed to produce a reaction after the break and during the opening stages of the second period, Zebbug were more adventurous and could have increased their lead. However, the Spurs gained a penalty in an action where Zebbug had their keeper sent off so that they scored the equaliser and the match became more contested.
3’ Zebbug’s Paul Spiteri had an attempt through a cross-shot that ended on the roof of the net.
8’ St Lawrence’s keeper Joel Xiberras was called to make a good save to keep his side in contention as he blocked a direct free kick by Zebbug’s Daniel Mesa Pineros.
15’ (red card) St Lawrence was awarded a penalty when Zebbug’s goalie Baskal Saliba denied Victor John Saliba a goal-scoring opportunity so that the Rovers ended with a player less as Saliba was sent off for his irregular intervention.
17’ (1-1) penalty St Lawrence clinched the equaliser through the shot from the spot kick by Alen Haska.
29’ Zebbug replied through a free kick by Lorenzo Atzori that ended over the crossbar.
39’ The Spurs were dangerous through a shot by Mark Dingli that was saved to a corner by Zebbug’s substitute keeper Francesco Portelli.
43’ Zebbug could have created more danger but a header by Daniel Mesa Pineros following a bad clearance by St Lawrence’s defence was weak and goalie Joel Xiberras saved without difficulty.
44’ St Lawrence almost turned the result in their favour through an own goal when Zebbug’s substitute Mattias Camilleri Psaila headed badly to his goalkeeper but defender Ryan Saliba recovered in time and avoided a certain goal when he cleared off the line to a corner.
45+3’ (2-1) Zebbug scored the goal that decided the issues seconds from the final whistle when Daniel Mesa Pineros surprised St Lawrence’s defence and the goalkeeper with a header following a free kick from a long distance by Carl Gauci.
FT (ZR 2 – SLS 1)
Referee: Patrick Falzon