26 February 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 15) Gozo Stadium
Xewkija Tigers FC : 1
Nadur Youngsters FC : 2
23’ (0-1) Joseph Zammit
52’ (0-2) Igor Nedeljkovic
80’ (1-2) penalty Lucas Vinicius Viana Prati
N. Kosanin, J. Vella, J. Buttigieg, L.V. Viana Prati, R. Buttigieg, D. Bogdanovic, A. Bozovic, D. Mercieca, C. Camilleri (J. Camilleri), D. Andelovic, C. Abela.
S. Sultana, L.B. Da Silva, M. Tabone, I. Xuereb, J. Zammit (G. Farrugia), M. Jr. Barbosa, S. Cassar, G. Hili, G. Muscat (J.M. Vella), I. Nedeljkovic, P. Dordevic.
Nadur Youngsters confirmed their status as hot favourites to retain the title for another season with the points obtained from a 2-1 win over Xewkija Tigers. This was the first match from the Top 4 phase for the two sides and both Nadur and Xewkija were aiming for the win. Nadur needed the full points at stake to retain their six-point lead over Kercem Ajax, who moved to the second lace on the table, while Xewkija were looking forward to repeat the win that they obtained against Nadur in the match between the two sides of the first round.
Nadur was the better time for most of the encounter but they failed to convert their superiority into a comfortable lead so during the second part of the match they conceded Xewkija’s reaction and were risking giving away the two-goal lead. Nadur’s win matured with a goal scored in each half but Xewkija did not give up so easily as they had a reaction after conceding the second goal and with more attention they could have surprised their more quoted opponents.
Nadur took command of play from the first minutes of play and produced continuous pressure on Xewkija’s defence until they took the lead, but for the rest of the first half, they took off their foot from the pedal and Xewkija managed to deny their opponents from scoring more goals.
4’ Nadur’s Predrag Dordevic had a shot from outside the area that missed the target.
8’ Xewkija’s goalie was well placed and saved to a corner an attempt directly from a free kick by Marcelo Barbosa.
12’ Nadur were again dangerous when Gennaro Hili delivered the ball in front of Xewkija’s goalmouth from a free kick, Predrag Dordevic failed to connect and goalie Nikola Kosanin was called to make a difficult save to clear the ball to a corner.
14’ shot by Marcelo Barbosa saved to a corner a strike by Marcelo Barbosa. From the resultant corner action, Xewkija’s defence cleared badly but defender Josiah Buttigieg stopped the ball from ending in the net and the ball arrived to Igor Nedeljkovic who saw his close ranged shot saved by goalie Nikola Kosanin.
16’ Xewkija’s keeper was again called to make two consecutive difficult saves to block a shot from an angled position by Marcelo Barbosa and a close-ranged header by Igor Nedeljkovic.
23’ (0-1) Nadur opened the score with a goal that arrived through a volley by Joseph Zammit following a cross from the left flank by Marcel Barbosa.
After the resumption, Nadur regained territorial supremacy and increased their lead with a second goal but Xewkija produced a reaction and re-opened the issue with a goal that arrived near the end of the encounter so that the final minutes of play became much more exciting.
7’ (0-2) The Youngsters doubled the score when Stefan Cassar released Igor Nedeljkovic with a through pass and the latter entered the area and netted easily with a low drive as the goalkeeper left his position in an attempt to block the danger.
10’ Xewkija’s first attempt of the encounter towards Nadur’s goal arrived through a shot by Dejan Bogdanovic but the ball missed the target.
16’ Xewkija could have created more danger but Rodney Buttigieg headed badly from following a cross from the left flank and the ball ended away from goal.
19’ (protests for handling) Xewkija protested with the match officials when Nadur goalie Steve Sultana left his position to clear the ball from the edge of the area, alleging handling outside the box by the extreme defender.
34’ (1-2) penalty Xewkija re-opened the issue when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by central defender Manwel Tabone on Lucas Vinicius Viana Prati and the same Brazilian striker converted from the spot kick.
FT (XT 1 – NY 2)
Referee: Andrea Naudi