23 January 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division 1 (MD 11) Gozo Stadium
Victoria Hotspurs FC : 3
Qala Saints FC : 4
12’ (penalty – saved) Rafael Conrado Prudente (QS)
12’ (0-1) Rafael Conrado Prudente
30’ (0-2) Jordi Parnis
45’ (1-2) Lucas Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira
55’ (2-2) Dimitri Christian Kassekar
59’ (3-2) penalty Ricardo Silva Faria
75’ (3-3) Rafael Conrado Prudente
90’ (3-4) Rafael Conrado Prudente
K. Barbara, D.C. Kassekar, O. Cremona (J. Grech), O.G. Fernandes, J. Azzopardi (J. Pace), B. Said, N. Inguanez, L. Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira, A. Debrincat, R. Silva Faria, E. Xiberras.
O. Attard, L. Grima, Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, M. Buttigieg (N.C. Njoku), J.Y. Suzuki Bicudo, A. Carvalho, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis, R.C. Prudente, M. Xerri (S. Bajada).
Qala Saints obtained three very important points from a dramatic 4-3 win over Victoria Hotspurs and retained their status as serious challengers for the title. The two sides were aiming for the win for different reasons as each side is involved in the tussle at the two ends of the table.
Victoria Hotspurs had their three recent signings; strikers Ricardo Silva Faria and Brandon Said, and central defender Nicholas Inguanez in the starting line-up; while Qala was back in their best possible formation. The match lived up to the expectations as both Victoria and Qala managed to recover from difficult situations and the outcome was uncertain until the final whistle. Qala was the better side for most of the first half. Qala opened a two-goal lead but the Hotspurs staged an impressive reaction and turned the result in their favour with three consecutive goals before the hour mark. Qala managed to recover from the shock and produced some pressure on Victoria’s defence so that they recovered the deficit and scored the decisive goal on the stroke of regular time.
The main protagonist in Qala’s win was undoubtedly their Brazilian striker Rafael Conrado Prudente who scored his first hat-trick in Gozitan football and consolidated his leadership of the top scorer table with an impressive 13 goals from eleven matches.
The match was well contested during the opening minutes as the two sides tried to take command of the play. However, Qala was more threatening and managed to take the lead at an early stage so they grew in confidence and made it difficult for the Hotspurs to produce an immediate reaction.
10’ Qala operated a dangerous action through Julian Yoiti Bicudo who entered the area with a personal action but insisted too much and ended up missing the moment to conclude towards goal as Victoria’s defence recovered and cleared the ball from the area.
11’ (0-1) (penalty – saved) Qala was awarded a penalty for a foul by Oliver Cremona on Suzuki Bicudo but Victoria’s goalie Kyle Barbara partially saved the shot from the spot kick by Rafael Conrado Prudente and from the rebound the same Brazilian striker fired into an open goal.
24’ The Hotspurs replied through a good shot by Andrea Debrincat after receiving from Brandon Said but goalie Owen Attard was well placed and blocked the danger.
29’ The Maroons were dangerous through a shot by Martin Buttigieg after receiving from Conrado Prudente but the ball ended high.
30’ (0-2) Qala doubled their lead when Rafael Conrado Prudente released Jordi Parnis who entered the area and placed in goal with a low drive as the goalkeeper left his position in an attempt to block the danger.
45’ (1-2) The Hotspurs re-opened the issue when they capitalised from a free kick taken by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes and Lucas Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira netted with a fine header.
After the resumption, the Hotspurs came out more determined and surprised their opponents so they turned the result in their favour with two goals scored before the hour mark. For the rest of the encounter, the play became more contested as Qala tried to recover the score while the Hotspurs were trying to administer their lead.
6’ Qala’s Suzuki Bicudo had a low shot that was neutralised by Victoria’s goalie Kyle Barbara.
10’ (2-2) Victoria levelled the score when Qala’s goalie passed badly from his area and Dimitri Christian Kassekar took the ball and lobbed easily into an open goal.
12’ (2-3) penalty The Hotspurs kept insisting and turned the result in their favour when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Martin Buttigieg on Andrea Debrincat and debutant Ricardo Silva Faria converted from the spot kick in the second attempt, as his first shot was disallowed since a number of players encroached the area.
21’ (goal disallowed) Qala’s Rafael Conrado Prudente concluded in the net with a low shot but the goal was disallowed for an offside infringement.
25’ The Maroons were again dangerous through an attempt from a free kick by Suzuki Bicudo that ended on the roof of the net.
30’ (3-3) Qala recovered the deficit when Rafael Conrado Prudente entered Victoria’s territory following a through pass from the midfield by Ayeslller Carvalho and concluded in goal with a low shot as the striker entered the area.
40’ Qala could have created more danger but an attempt from the edge of the area by Jordi Parnis was weak and goalie Kyle Barbara neutralised without difficulty.
42’ The Hotspurs replied through a personal action by Ricardo Silva Faria who entered the area but central defender Vitor Ferrari Silva managed to block the danger to a corner.
44’ Qala went very close to scoring but a good strike from Rafael Conrado Prudente was blocked by goalie Kyle Barbara and from the rebound, a lob by Jordi Parnis aimed towards an open goal was cleared off the line to a corner by defender Nicholas Inguanez.
45’ (3-4) Qala scored the goal that decided the issue from the resultant corner kick, taken by player-coach Shaun Bajada who came in as a substitute for the last minutes of the encounter, and Rafael Conrado Prudente surprised the defence and headed towards the corner of the net.
45+6’ the Hotspurs had their last opportunity to save the result but a first-timer by Lucas Mancuso missed the target.
FT (VH 3 – QS 4)
Referee: Emanuel Grech