17 March 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I: T/4 (MD 18) Gozo Stadium
Kercem Ajax FC : 2
Qala Saints FC : 2
44’ (1-0) Bruno Da Cruz
48’ (1-1) Joshua Buttigieg
65’ (1-2) Jordi Parnis
80’ (2-2) o.g. Manwel Xerri
D. Spiteri, D. Cassar, L.H. Santana Motta, J. Theuma, B. Da Cruz, O. Rolovic, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, G. Cardona, K. Formosa, S. Azzopardi.
F. Vella, L. Grima, Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, J.Y. Suzuki Bicudo (J. Xerri, S. Bajada), Jsh. Buttigieg (K. Mifsud), S. Attard, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis, R.C. Prudente, M. Xerri.
Kercem Ajax and Qala Saints earned a point each from a draw of four goals which in the end did not satisfy either side as Kercem are mathematically out of the challenge for the title, while Qala missed an opportunity to keep their pressure on leaders Nadur Youngsters. With this result, Nadur was handed a second opportunity to become champions for this season before the last matches of the championship with a win in their match from Match-Day 18 against Xewkija Tigers.
The match between Kercem Ajax and Qala Saints was one of the most entertaining matches of the championship this season as the two sides were determined to obtain three points. Both teams once again confirmed that they deserved their current position on the table and that they both had the potential to be challengers throughout the campaign. For this match, Kercem showed significant character as they were coming from two consecutive defeats which pushed them away from the top of the table. Kercem played without any pressure and managed to produce a very positive performance which created some excellent scoring opportunities. On the other hand, Qala was once again without Ayesller Carvalho due to an injury and during the first part of the match, they also lost the service of striker Suzuki Bicudo because of an injury. However, the Maroons shared play with their opponents and during the final stages the win could have gone either way.
Play for most of the first period took place in the midfield where the two defensive departments often prevailed over the respective striker, so serious scoring opportunities were rare.
6’ Qala’s Jordi Parnis had the first attempt towards a goal but his low shot from a good position was well saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri.
7’ (crossbar) The Maroons went very close to taking the lead but a strike by Jordi Parnis was stopped by the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
29’ (goal disallowed) Qala were again dangerous when Jordi Parnis received the ball inside Kercem’s area and from his pass substitute Jamie Xerri placed in the net but Parnis was flagged in an offside position and the goal was not allowed.
34’ Kercem had an attempt by Karl Formosa following a short corner action but the ball ended away from Qala’s goal.
36’ Kercem created their best chance to take the lead when Pablo Vinicius Ferreira entered Qala’s territory and came face-to-face with goalkeeper Franklin Vella but the latter kept a good position and blocked the danger. The same goalkeeper had a good reaction as he also managed to block to corner the shot by Ognjen Rolovic from the rebound.
41’ Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri had good timing and blocked the ball in time to deny substitute Jamie Xerri from concluding towards the goal from close distance.
42’ Qala’s goalie Franklin Vella was again called to make an important intervention to block a shot by Bruno Da Cruz.
44’ (1-0) Kercem opened the score when Ognjen Rolovic unmarked Bruno Da Cruz inside Qala’s area and the latter concluded easily in goal from an ideal position.
Qala came out for the second period determined to recover the deficit and reached their objective after few minutes of play so that they kept insisting and managed to turn the result in their favour with a second goal that arrived midway through the second half. Kercem however recovered from the shock and produced a determined reaction so that they levelled the score and the final result remained uncertain until the final whistle.
3’ (1-1) Qala scored the equaliser when a strike by Shaun Attard from the edge of the area was partially saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri and from the rebound, Joshua Buttigieg fired in goal.
9’ Kercem replied with a good shot by Bruno Da Cruz that was saved by Qala’s goalie Franklin Vella.
14’ Qala’s Shaun Attard tried to surprise Kercem’s goalie but his shot ended high.
20’ (1-2) Qala went ahead when Rafael Conrado Prudente passed to Jordi Parnis inside Kercem’s area and the latter placed in goal with a low shot.
24’ Kercem went very close to recovering the score when Ognjen Rolovic arrived on the ball before Qala’s defenders and addressed the ball behind the goalkeeper but skipper Emanuel Buttigieg recovered in time and avoided a certain goal by clearing the danger from the goalmouth.
32’ (crossbar) The Ajax could have levelled the score when Qala’s goalie failed to hold a corner kick by Karl Formosa but Jason Theuma’s attempt was stopped by the crossbar and the keeper saved the danger from the rebound.
35’ (2-2) Kercem’s efforts were rewarded as they scored the equaliser when Pablo Vinicius Ferreira headed towards the goalmouth following a corner kick by Karl Formosa, Qala’s Shaun Attard hit badly in front of the goalmouth and defender Manwel Xerri concluded in his own goal in an attempt to deny Jason Theuma from the tap-in.
38’ (post) Qala went close to regain the lead but a strike from outside the area by Jordi Parnis was stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten.
40’ Kercem were dangerous through a free kick by Pablo Vncicius Ferreira but the ball ended wide.
45’ The last scoring opportunity of the encounter arrived from Kercem’s Karl Formosa who had a shot from outside the area that missed the target.
FT (KA 2 – QS 2)
Referee: Andrea Sciriha