17 March 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I: P/O (MD 18) Gozo Stadium
Oratory Youths FC: 2
Victoria Hotspurs FC : 1
11’ (1-0) Jovan Mijuskovic
22’ (2-0) Haraan Hajazan Goncalves Barbosa
39’ (2-1) Brandon Said
A. Brignoli, J. De Souza Ferreira, H.H. Goncalves Barbosa (P. Rapa), I. Belhadj (N. Said), A. Xuereb, O. Xuereb (K. Hili), A. Azzopardi, Ju. Attard, H. Muscat, D. Atzori (N. Sutic), J Mijuskovic.
K. Barbara, D.C. Kassekar, O.G. Fernandes, J. Azzopardi (L. Farrugia), B. Said, N. Inguanez, L. Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira, S. Sillato, A. Debrincat, R. Silva Faria, E. Xiberras.
Oratory Youths recovered from three consecutive defeats in the Play-Out phase of the championship and earned three precious points from a 2-1 win over Victoria Hotspurs. This was a must-win match for the two sides as the Hotspurs could have moved above neighbours Oratory on the table with a win, while Oratory needed to extend their one-point lead over the Hotspurs to play the last two matches of the league with less pressure.
The match was typical of a cup tie where the two sides went all out during the first part. Oratory opened a two-goal lead but the Hotspurs staged a determined reaction, re-opened the issue before halftime, and exerted pressure on their opponents throughout the second period. As a result, the outcome of the encounter remained uncertain with some exciting moments during the final minutes of play as the Hotspurs kept believing that they might recover the score while Oratory defended with all their means their one-goal lead to protect the three points.
This result puts Oratory closer to retain their first-division status for another season, while the Hotspurs are now forced to defend their second place from the bottom in the final two matches to avoid direct relegation and will have another opportunity to defend their status in a Play-Off with the runners-up of the second division to keep.
The two sides produced various scoring opportunities during the first period as Oratory and Victoria Hotspurs tried to take supremacy on the field of play. Oratory however capitalised better during the first part of the encounter from mistakes by Victoria’s defence and opened a two-goal lead, while the Hotspurs were forced to show character to re-open the issue with a goal scored near the end of the first half.
7’ The Hotspurs could have created more danger when the ball arrived to an unmarked Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes following the developments of a corner action but the Brazilian striker saw his effort neutralised by goalie Angelo Brignoli.
9’ The same goalkeeper was well placed and saved to a corner a header by Fernandes following a cross by Etienne Xiberras.
10’ Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes had another attempt from an angled position that was again blocked by Oratory’s goalie.
11’ (1-0) The Hotspurs were punished for the missed chances as Oratory opened the score when Daniel Atzori took the ball following some hesitation by Victoria’s keeper and from his low cross Jovan Mijuskovic deposited the ball easily into an open goal.
14’ The Hotspurs replied with a strike by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes that was saved to a corner by goalie Angelo Brignoli.
17’ In another offensive action by the Hotspurs, Christian Dimitri Kassekar delivered a cross inside Oratory’s area but the header by Brandon Said ended over the crossbar.
22’ (2-0) The Youths doubled the score when Haraan Hajazan Goncalves Barbosa passed through Victoria’s defence and netted with a low shot that ended in the corner of the far post and out of the reach of Victoria’s goalie Kyle Barbara.
24’ Victoria’s goalie was at the right place and saved a good attempt by Jovan Mijuskovic.
29’ The Hotspurs could have created more danger when Oratory’s defence cleared badly following a free kick by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes but Lucas Mancuso’s shot ended wide.
39’ (2-1) Victoria Hotspurs reduced the deficit when Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes delivered a low cross towards the goalmouth and Brandon Said was at the right place to conclude the ball in the goal from a close distance.
After the resumption, the Hotspurs came out more determined to recover the deficit but Oratory defended well while goalie Angelo Brignoli continued to distinguish himself with a series of important interventions. As a result Oratory’s offensive play was often sterile while the Hotspurs continued to be erratic due to frustration.
16’ Victoria’s Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes had an attempt directly from a free kick but the ball ended away from the goal.
18’ The Hotspurs went very close to level the score when Lucas Mancuso headed inside the area following a corner kick by Ricardo Silva Faria but Brandon Said Oratory’s goalie Angelo Brignoli made the best save of the evening to deny Brandon Said from converting from close distance.
19’ The same goalkeeper was called to make another intervention to turn to a corner a shot from a free kick by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes.
26’ The Hotspurs missed a golden scoring opportunity when goalie Angelo Brignoli partially saved a low cross-shot by substitute Lucas Farrugia but the header from the rebound by Brandon Said with an open goal at his mercy ended wide.
39’ Victoria was again dangerous through a header by Christian Dimitri Kassekar following a corner kick by Ricardo Silva Faria but the ball missed the target.
42’ Oratory’s goalie Angelo Brignoli saved a low shot from outside the area by Lucas Mancuso.
44’ Oratory could have sealed the win when they operated a counter break through Goncalves Barbosa but Victoria’s goalie Kyle Barbara kept his side in contention as he denied Jovan Mijuskovic from concluding towards the goal.
45+5’ Vitoria’s last opportunity to save the result arrived through a strike from outside the area by Nicholas Inguanez but the ball ended wide
FT (OY 2 – VH 1)
Referee: Alex Johnson