Gharb earn the fifth draw but remain without a win

by | Mar 4, 2023 | 22/23, GFL 2nd Div, Match Report

25 February 2023

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division II (MD 12) Kercem Arkafort Stadium

St Lawrence Spurs FC: 1

Gharb Rangers FC; 1

27’ (1-0) James Grima

61’ (1-1) penalty Vitor Gabriel Soarez Souza

St Lawrence S:

J. Xiberras, A. Ademilua, G. Portelli, C. Grima, L. Portelli, J. Grima, C. Azzopardi, J.M. Portelli, J. Saliba, W. Hili, J. Axiak.

Gharb R:

E. Bajada, S. Farrugia, M. Ciangura, C. Cardona, C. Buttigieg, J.P. Grima, J. Buttigieg, D. Galea, V.G. Soarez Souza, O. Calleja, N. Attard.

St Lawrence Spurs and Gharb Rangers earned a point each from a draw of two goals so that the former retained their eight-point lead over the same Gharb but both teams remain in the last two places on the table.  The Spurs needed a win to join the challenge for the third spot, while Gharb was aiming to obtain the first win in the campaign so that they could re-open their chances to avoid the bottom place on the table.  With this result, the Spurs remain two points behind two other teams occupying the mid-table position while Gharb are almost certain to end the campaign in the last place.  The final result of the encounter was just as the two sides were rewarded for their respective efforts to obtain the win.

Timeline:

St Lawrence was undoubtedly the better side during the first period and for most of the time they produced pressure on Gharb’s defence.  The Spurs were often erratic in their finishing so they did not manage to convert their superiority into a comfortable lead.

11’ The Spurs were dangerous through a shot from outside the area by James Grima that ended just high.

17’ St Lawrence went again close to open the score but a header by Christian Grima from a corner kick by Jurgen Mario Portelli.

19’ Gharb’s keeper Etienne Bajada was called to make a difficult intervention to turn to a corner an effort by Jurgen Mario Portelli.

27’ (1-0) St Lawrence opened the score through a direct free kick by James Grima that ended out of the reach Gharb’s keeper.

38’ Gharb replied with a good shot from an angled position by Cyriel Buttigieg that was well blocked with difficulty by goalie Joel Xiberras.

39’ The Spurs were again dangerous but a direct free kick by Adebayo Ademilua ended just wide.

HT (1-0)

Second Half

For the second period, Gharb came out determined and managed to recover the deficit with a goal scored on the hour mark for the rest of the encounter the match became much more interesting and the outcome became uncertain.

5’ Gharb’s Vitor Gabriel Soarez Souza went very close to level the score but his attempt from a good position ended just wide.

9’ St Lawrence could have created more danger but Adebayo Ademilua hit badly from a good position and the ball ended wide.

13’ The Spurs missed an opportunity to add another goal but Luke Portelli’s shot from close distance following a prolonged action ended away from goal. 

14’ (1-1) penalty Gharb was awarded a penalty for an intervention by St Lawrence’s goalie Joel Xiberras on Vitor Gabriel Soarez Souza and the same Brazilian striker scored the equaliser with his shot from the spot kick.

38’ Gharb could have turned the result in their favour but a strike by Cyriel Buttigieg was partially saved by goalie Joel Xibberas and the defence cleared the danger.

39’ St Lawrence missed a good scoring opportunity when Wayne Hili released Jurgen Mario Portelli within Gharb’s area but the latter saw his low shot passing in front of an open goal as the strikers failed to arrive for a potential tap-in.

FT (SLS 1 – GR 1)

Referee: Reuben Spiteri Delicata

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Written by GozoFA