29 January 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 12) Gozo Stadium
Qala Saints FC : 0
Nadur Youngsters FC : 0
70’ (red card) Joseph Mario Vella (NY)
O. Attard, L. Grima, Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, M. Buttigieg (Jsh. Buttigieg), J.Y. Suzuki Bicudo (S. Attard), A. Carvalho, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis (N.C. Njoku), R.C. Prudente, M. Xerri.
S. Sultana, L.B. Da Silva, M. Tabone, I. Xuereb, J.M. Vella, M. Jr. Barbosa, S. Cassar, G. Hili, G. Farrugia (J. Zammit), I. Nedeljkovic, P. Dordevic.
In the main match from Match Day 12 of the main championship in Gozo, Qala Saints and Nadur Youngsters earned a point each from a goalless draw so that the two sides remain at the top of the table on equal points.
The direct clash between the co-leaders pulled the largest crowd to the Gozo Stadium for local matches this season. The importance of the encounter undoubtedly conditioned the two coaches, Qala’s Shaun Bajada and Nadur’s Mark Buttigieg, as they both had a prudent approach where the key players of each side were neutralised. The match, therefore, turned out in a typical tie where both teams were more concerned to protect their respective area and to avoid compromising the match by conceding a goal. The serious scoring opportunities were rare but as time passed by the match became more exciting as both Qala and Nadur have the right players who could have scored the match-winner.
Although the outcome of the encounter is a just result, the two teams missed an opportunity to take the lead over the other and more than that they both allowed a third team. Kercem Ajax, to join the race for the title.
Qala and Nadur both had a defensive deployment and as a result for most of the time, the play took place in the midfield where the two goalkeepers were not called to make frequent interventions. As time passed by the two sides tried to be more adventurous but the respective strikers were erratic and missed some good chances to put their respective side in the lead.
7’ Nadur created the first serious scoring opportunity of the encounter when Gennaro Hili received the ball inside Qala’s area but his low shot was well saved to a corner by keeper Owen Attard.
11’ (protests for penalty) Qala protested for a penalty following a tussle for the ball by Nadur’s defender Ian Xuereb and Qala’s midfielder Ayesller Carvalho.
19’ Qala could have created more danger when Nadur’s defence failed to clear the danger from their area following a throw-in and the ball arrived to Ayesller Carvalho who hit badly from a close distance and his effort ended wide.
20’ Nadur’s goalie Steve Sultana was well placed and blocked a good attempt by Qala’s Jordi Parnis.
24’ Nadur were denied from scoring when Marcelo Barbosa received the ball in an unmarked position inside Qala’s area but Barbosa’s low drive aimed towards an open goal was cleared off the line to a corner by central defender Emanuel Buttigieg.
29’ Nadur missed another good scoring opportunity when Gabriel Farrugia released Marcelo Barbosa and later delivered an inviting low cross towards the goalmouth but Igor Nedeljkovic incredibly lifted over the crossbar with an open goal at his mercy.
42’ The Youngsters were again dangerous through a strike by Marcelo Barbosa from a good position that ended wide.
45+1’ Qala’s goalie Owen Attard made a difficult intervention to deny Nadur from taking the lead when he managed to block a close-ranged shot by Marcelo Barbosa following a cross for the right flank by Igor Nedeljkovic.
Nadur came out more aggressive for the second period and held territorial supremacy but Qala was well-organised and neutralised Nadur’s play. As time passed by the match became more contested and the outcome remained uncertain.
24’ The first serious scoring opportunity of the second half arrived from Qala through a free kick by Ayesller Carvalho that ended high.
25’ (red card) Nadur were reduced to ten players when Joseph Mario Vella was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Jordi Parnis.
32’ Nadur went again close to score when Qala’s rear guard did not clear the ball from the area following a free kick by Gennaro Hili and the ball arrived to Lucas Baretto Da Silva who had his shot deflected to a corner by the defence.
34’ Qala were also dangerous when Nadur’s defence cleared a free kick by Ayesller Carvalho and substitute Shaun Attard saw his overhead kick from the edge of the area turned with difficulty to a corner by goalie Steve Sultana.
45+1’ (protests for penalty) Qala protested for a penalty when Rafael Conrado Prudente ended up on the floor as soon as he entered the area following a challenge with Manwel Tabone.
45+3’ Qala had the last scoring opportunity of the encounter when Nadur’s defender Manwel Tabone headed badly in an attempt to clear a free kick by Ayesller Carvalho but goalie Steve Sultana managed to save the danger to a corner with the aid of the crossbar. From the resultant corner kick by the same Carvalho, Rafael Conrado Prudente saw his header neutralised by Nadur’s keeper.
FT (QS 0 – NY 0)
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann