21 December 2022
GFA BOV GFL 1st Division (MD 9) Gozo Stadium
Kercem Ajax FC : 0
Qala Saints FC: 2
25’ (0-1) Julian Yoiti Suzuki Bicudo
59’ (0-2) Jordi Parnis
D. Spiteri, N. Mercieca, L.H. Santana Motta, J. Theuma (N. Theuma), B. Da Cruz, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, G. Cardona (D. Cassar), K. Formosa, S. Azzopardi, M.V. Da Costa Soares Da Silva.
O. Attard, L. Grima, Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, M. Buttigieg, J.Y. Suzuki Bicudo, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis (A. Carvalho), R.C. Prudente (J. Xerri), N.C. Njoku (Jsh. Buttigieg), M. Xerri.
In the main match from Match Day-9 of the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division, Qala Saints won the full points at stake from a deserved 2-0 win over Kercem Ajax. With this result, Qala is now co-leaders on the table together with the reigning champions Nadur Youngsters while Kercem suffered a setback in their ambition to be serious challengers for the title as they fell five points behind the top place.
The match was a direct clash between two teams who had a very good performance during the first round and were probably the two teams who expressed better play. The match between the two sides in the first round ended in a draw of six goals and therefore there were expectations for another contested encounter on this occasion. However, in this match, the Maroons were in better form and produced more offensive play so for most of the time Kercem were forced to protect their area and struggled to create danger within Qala’s territory. For this match Qala had influential midfielder Ayesller Carvalho missing from the starting line-up since he is still recovering from an injury, but the Saints still managed to prevail in the midfield as they seemed in a better physical condition and very effective in the recovery of possession. Qala’s win matured with a goal scored in each half while Kercem’s reaction arrived at a very late stage during a period when they also seemed frustrated and very erratic in their finishing.
Qala was more aggressive during the first part but they found it very difficult to convert their play into attempts towards the goal so the scoring opportunities were quite rare. Kercem were defending their area with authority but they conceded a free kick midway through the first half and compromised the rest of the encounter.
25’ (0-1) Qala opened the score when they were awarded a free kick for a foul on Rafael Conrado Prudente and Julian Yoiti Suzuki Bicudo placed in the upper corner of the net with his shot from the set-piece.
35’ Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri was almost surprised when Qala’s Suzuki Bicudo had another attempt directly from a free kick but the keeper saved in two attempts.
37’ Kercem continued to suffer Qala’s play and the Maroons were again dangerous through an attempt from an angled position that ended wide.
The Ajax came out for the second period determined to produce a reaction and enjoyed supremacy for some minutes. However, Qala maintained their composure, neutralised Kercem’s initiative and consolidated their lead by scoring the second goal just before the hour mark.
13’ Kercem missed a good opportunity to level the score when Marcos Soares Da Silva released Karl Formosa inside Qala’s area but the latter had his attempt that was blocked by goalie Owen Attard.
14 (0-2) The Ajax were punished immediately for the missed opportunity as Qala capitalised from the following counter break when Nathan Chukwudi Njoku passed to Jordi Parnis at the edge of the area and the latter placed towards the far corner of the net with a fine shot.
17’ Qala could have added another goal but Rafael Conrado Prudente and Jordi Parnis failed to conclude towards goal following a prolonged action inside Kercem’s area.
33’ Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri denied Qala from scoring another goal when he blocked with difficulty a good strike by Jordi Parnis.
34’ The Maroons recovered the ball in the following action and Julian Yoiti Bicudo passed through Kercem’s defence but his low drive aimed towards an open goal was cleared from the goalmouth by Kercem’s defender Samuel Azzopardi.
37’ The Ajax could have re-opened the issue but a free kick by Marcos Soares Da Silva ended just wide.
41’ The same Soares Da Silva had a shot on the run after exchanging the ball with Pablo Vinicius Ferreira but the attempt ended away from goal.
FT (KA 0 – QS 2)
Referee: Alex Johnson