Nadur leave it late to win direct clash

by | Feb 10, 2023 | 22/23, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

5 February 2023

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 13) Gozo Stadium

Kercem Ajax FC : 0

Nadur Youngsters FC : 2

76’ (0-1) penalty Igor Nedeljkovic

90+3’ (0-2) Joseph Zammit

Kercem A:

D. Spiteri, D. Cassar, N. Mercieca, L.H. Santana Motta, B. Da Cruz, O. Rolovic, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, G. Cardona (C. Attard), K. Formosa, S. Azzopardi.

Nadur Y:

S. Sultana, L.B. Da Silva, M. Tabone, I. Xuereb, M. Jr. Barbosa, S. Cassar, G. Hili, J. Xerri (J. Zammit), G. Muscat (G. Farrugia), I. Nedeljkovic, P. Dordevic.

Nadur Youngsters took full advantage of Qala’s slip on Match Day-13 and obtained three precious points from a 2-0 win over challengers Kercem Ajax to take sole leadership on the table, with a two-point lead over Qala and a six-point lead over the Ajax.

Kercem needed a win from this encounter to reach the same Nadur on equal points but Nadur was also aiming for the win in this direct clash to open a lead over their rivals who are involved in the tussle for the title.  The two sides also had a regular player each missing due a suspension, Nadur’s Joseph Mario Vella and Kercem’s Jason Theuma.

The match produced some exciting moments and the win could have gone either way.  Nadur made good use of their experience in such matches as they were resilient during the opening stages and as time passed by they pushed more players forward and play became more balanced.  The two coaches, Nadur’s Mark Buttigieg and Kercem’s Eton Vella prepared well their players for this top of the table clash as both teams were well organised in their defence and also produced good play with some potential scoring opportunities.  For most of the time the strikers missed their best respective chances in front of the goal and the encounter seemed heading towards another goalless draw as happened in the match between the same two teams of the first round.

The match was practically decided during the final stages, just after the half-hour mark of the second period, when Nadur was awarded a penalty for an infringement noted by the assistant referee in a challenge between Kercem’s defender Santana Motta and Nadur’s Igor Nedeljkovic, and the Youngsters made no mistake from this opportunity.  Kercem lost composure and during the remaining minutes of play, Nadur dictated matters and made sure of the win by scoring a second goal second from the final whistle.


Kercem tried to take control of the play from the early stages and seemed determined to put as much pressure as possible on Nadur’s rear guard.  Nadur, however, resisted well and as time passed by they came out of the defence and the match became much more contested and entertaining.

1’ Kercem’s Bruno Da Cruz had an attempt directly from a free kick that ended wide.

6. Ajax could have created more danger when Pablo Vinicius Ferreira passed inside Nadur’s area but Ognjen Rolovic failed to connect and the ball ended wide.

17’ Nadur produced their first dangerous action within Kercem’s territory when Marcelo Barbosa entered Kercem’s area but his attempt from an angled position ended on the side of the net.

21’ Kercem’s goalie was almost surprised when the ball bounced in front of the goalmouth from a free kick by Marcelo Barbosa but the extreme defender recovered well and cleared the danger to a corner.

23’ Kercem replied with a shot from a long distance by Luiz Henrique Santana Motta that missed the target.

36’ Nadur missed the best scoring opportunity of the first half when Marcelo Barbosa released Igor Nedeljkovic who entered the area from the left-hand side but the Serbian striker concluded incredibly high from an ideal position.

HT (0-0)

Second Half

Play continued to be quite interesting after the break and both teams created situations which could have led to potential scoring opportunities so that a win in this match could have gone either way.

7’ Kercem were denied a certain goal when Pablo Vinicius Ferreira unmarked Ognjen Rolovic inside Nadur’s area, the latter addressed the ball towards an open goal as the keeper left his position in an attempt to block the danger but central defender Ian Xuereb recovered and deflected the ball to a corner.

10’ Nadur replied with an attempt directly from a free kick from a long distance that was neutralised by Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri.

18’ Nadur’s Stefan Cassar had a shot from outside the area but the ball ended away from the goal.

26’ Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri was well placed and blocked a close-ranged attempt by substitute Gabriel Farrugia after receiving from Marcelo Barbosa.

29’ (0-1) penalty Nadur was awarded a penalty when Luiz Henrique Santana Motta ended on the floor inside his area in an attempt to challenge Igor Nedeljkovic and the Assistant Referee noticed handling by the defender and after more than a minute of protests Igor Nedeljkovic converted his shot from the spot kick to put his side in the lead.

39’ Nadur could have doubled the score when Marcelo Barbosa released Gabriel Farrugia inside Kercem’s area but the latter had his low shot aimed towards a goal that was deflected to a corner by goalie Daniel Spiteri.  From the resultant corner action, a header by Predrag Dordevic from an ideal position ended wide.

45+3’ (0-2) Nadur made sure of the win when Igor Nedeljkovic won the ball from Kercem’s defence at the edge of the area and unmarked substitute Joseph Zammit netted with a low curling shot towards the far post.

FT (KA 0 – NY 2)

Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

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Written by GozoFA