5 March 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I: T/4 (MD 16) Gozo Stadium
Kercem Ajax FC: 1
Nadur Youngsters FC : 2
31’ (0-1) Marcelo Jr Barbosa
53’ (penalty missed – saved) Ognjen Rolovic (KA)
53’ (1-1) Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira
75’ (1-2) Igor Nedeljkovic
D. Spiteri, D. Cassar, L.H. Santana Motta, J. Theuma (D. Hili), B. Da Cruz, O. Rolovic, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, G. Cardona (N. Mercieca), K. Formosa, S. Azzopardi.
S. Sultana, L.B. Da Silva, M. Tabone, I. Xuereb, J.M. Vella, J. Zammit (G. Dourado Ferreira), M. Jr. Barbosa (G. Farrugia), S. Cassar, G. Hili, G. Muscat, I. Nedeljkovic.
In the main match from Match-Day 16 of the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division, Nadur Youngsters obtain a win with the odd goal from three over Kerdem Ajax so that they move a step closer to win retain the title of champions for another season.
This was probably the most important match so far in the championship as Kercem Ajax were passing through a good moment of form and could have re-opened the tussle for the title with a win over Nadur. However, with this result, Kercem dropped back to third place on the table with a nine-point gap from leaders Nadur.
The match turned out to be well-contested most of the time. Nadur enjoyed more possession during the first half but did not create much danger apart from a goal scored directly from a corner action. The Ajax had a positive start after the break and recovered the deficit so that for some time the win could have gone either way. However, as time passed by, Nadur became more dangerous as they capitalised from more space within Kercem’s territory and scored the goal that decided the issue.
Nadur saw more of the ball throughout the first period but Kercem’s defence managed to close all gaps so that the Youngsters did not manage to convert their play into attempts towards a goal. Kercem, on the other hand, operated their offensive attempts through counter breaks and on some occasions, they created some panic within Nadur’s territory. As a result, serious scoring opportunities at the two ends of the field were rare and Nadur only managed to take the lead from a corner action.
2’ (crossbar) Nadur went close to score an early goal but a corner kick by Marcelo Barbosa was saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri with the aid of the crossbar.
20’ Kercem’s first attempt towards Nadur’s goal arrived through a half volley by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira following a cross by Ognjen Rolovic that was blocked to a corner by the defence.
31’ (0-1) Nadur broke the deadlock with a goal that arrived directly through a corner kick by Marcelo Barbosa that ended at the far upper corner of Kercem’s goal.
43’ Kercem’s reply arrived through a cross-shot by Karl Formosa that was easily saved by Nadur’s goalie Steve Sultana.
44’ The Ajax could have created more danger when Karl Formosa released Pablo Vinicius Ferreira inside Nadur’s area but the latter passed the ball instead of concluding from an angled position so that the defence recovered and cleared the danger.
The second half of the encounter turned out to be much more exciting as Kercem moved more players forward in an attempt to recover the deficit while Nadur became dangerous with their breaks. As a result, the actions at the two ends of the field were more frequent and the outcome remained uncertain.
1’ Kercem had their first attempt of the second period towards Nadur’s goal through a free kick Bruno Da Cruz missed the target.
2’ Nadur could have capitalised better when Kercem’s defence failed to clear the danger and the ball arrived to an unmarked Lucas Baretto Da Silva who saw his shot from a good position that ended wide.
5’ (protests) The two sides protested with the referee as Nadur claimed for a penalty when Marcelo Barbosa ended on the floor inside the area following a challenge with the goalkeeper, while Kercem requested a yellow card for simulation which could have turned into a red card since the striker was already cautioned.
7’ (1-1) penalty/post – Kercem won a thrown-in following pressure by Ognjen Rolovic on Manwel Tabone and from the resultant action Gabriel Cardona was floored inside the area by the same defender. The referee awarded a penalty but goalie Steve Sultana partially saved the first attempt by Ognjen Rolovic from the penalty spot and the shot from the rebound of the same striker, but from the second rebound Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira arrived on the ball and concluded in the net.
17’ Nadur went very close to regain the lead when Marcelo Barbosa released himself from his direct opponent, his low shot passed behind the goalkeeper but central defender Luiz Henrique Santana Motta recovered in time and cleared the danger from the goalmouth to avoid a certain goal.
28’ Kercem missed an opportunity to turn the result in their favour when Nadur’s defence failed t clear the ball from the goalmouth following a corner kick by Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira and at the end, Bruno Da Cruz hit badly from a close distance and the ball ended wide.
30’ (1-2) Nadur regained the lead when substitute Gustavo Dourado Ferreira released Igor Nedeljkovic and the latter entered the area and placed in goal with a low drive.
33’ Nadur could have added another goal but a header by Igor Nedeljkovic following a cross by Marcelo Barbosa was well saved by Kercem’s keeper Daniel Spiteri.
36’ Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri denied Marcelo Barbosa from adding another goal when he managed to clear in time an inviting low cross by Gustavo Dourado Ferreira.
FT (KA 1 – NY 2)
Referee: Ishmael Barbara