12 March 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I: T/4 (MD 17) Gozo Stadium
Nadur Youngsters FC : 1
Qala Saints FC: 2
32’ (0-1) o.g. Steve Sultana
67’ (0-2) Jordi Parnis
74’ (1-2) penalty Marcelo Jr Barbosa
85’ (red card) Owen Attard (QS)
S. Sultana, L.B. Da Silva, M. Tabone, I. Xuereb, J. Zammit, M. Jr. Barbosa, S. Cassar, G. Hili (J.M. Vella), G. Muscat (G. Farrugia), I. Nedeljkovic, P. Dordevic.
O. Attard, L. Grima, Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, J.Y. Suzuki Bicudo, Jsh. Buttigieg (N.C. Njoku), S. Attard, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis, R.C. Prudente (F. Vella), M. Xerri.
In the main match from Match-Day 17 of the Top-4 of the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division, Qala Saints surprised hot favourites for the title and the current leaders Nadur Youngsters so that the Maroons reduced their gap from the same Nadur to five points with three matches left until the end of the championship.
Nadur needed a win from this tie to become mathematically champions but in this match, they failed to impose their superiority and were surprised by Qala’s determination to obtain the three points to remain with a slim possibility to challenge for the main honour.
The match was worthy of a top-of-the-table clash with an uncertain outcome. Nadur started the match as favourites but they seemed and were surprised by Qala’s attitude. The Maroons produced what is probably the best performance of their incredible season so far. They were very well organised in their defence and threatened Nadur’s defence each time that they produced offensive play. As time passed by Qala became much more aware of their potential while Nadur became nervous and confused in their play so that the last part of the encounter was all in favour of the outsiders and the Youngsters had to concede the second defeat of the championship.
Qala had a timid approach and during the first part of the encounter, they conceded the initiative to their opponents. However, Nadur’s manoeuvre was sterile and as time passed by the Maroons gained confidence and started to share more play so that the match became more interesting and with potential scoring opportunities at the two ends of the field of play.
11’ Qala produced the first attempt towards the goal of the encounter which arrived through a shot by Suzuki Bicudo that was saved by Nadur’s goalie Steve Sultana.
17’ Nadur replied with a shot by Joseph Zammit that ended wide.
20’ Qala’s goalie Owen Attard saved with some difficulty a shot from an unmarked position by Predrag Dordevic following a prolonged action.
31’ (crossbar) Nadur went very close to open the score but a shot by Gianluca Muscat following a personal action was stopped by the crossbar.
32’ (0-1) Qala opened the score when Joshua Buttigieg took a short back pass by Nadur’s defender and from his cross, Ian Xuereb headed badly in an attempt to clear the danger and goalie Steve Sultana failed to clear the ball under the pressure of Rafael Conrado Prudente so that the ball bounced on the same keeper and ended in a goal.
43’ Nadur’s goalie Steve Sultana was called into action to save a corner a strike by Suzuki Bicudo.
44’ (crossbar) The Maroons were again dangerous when Nadur’s defence cleared a corner kick but the ball arrived to Jordi Parnis who had his low shot that got a deflection and the ball hit the crossbar
Nadur tried to increase their pressure in an attempt to recover the deficit but Qala was in the driving seat and managed to double their lead. Nadur however re-opened the issue but Qala showed great character during the last part of the encounter as they defended their one-goal lead despite the fact that they played the last minutes with a player less on the field.
3’ An attempt from a free kick by Igor Nedeljkovic was saved to a corner by goalie Owen Attard
6’ Qala’s Shaun Attard and Suzuki Bicudo failed to conclude from a close distance when Nadur’s goalie did not reach the ball to clear a cross from the right flank by Jordi Parnis.
8’ Predrag Dordevic received the ball inside Qala’s area at an unmarked position from Marcelo Barbosa but his shot was saved with difficulty to a corner by goalie Owen Attard
13’ Qala replied with a good action where Shaun Attard released Jordi Parnis inside Nadur’s area but the latter saw his close ranged shot blocked by goalie Steve Sultana.
19’ The Maroons could have created more danger but Joshua Buttigieg hit badly following an inviting cross by Suzuki Bicudo and the ball ended away from goal.
22’ (0-2) Qala doubled their lead when Jordi Parnis entered Nadur’s area and concluded in goal with a low shot towards the far post.
28’ (1-2) penalty Nadur re-opened the issue when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva on Marcelo Jr Barbosa and the same Brazilian striker converted his shot from the penalty spot.
30’ (protests for penalty) Qala protested for a penalty when Suzuki Bicudo ended on the floor inside Nadur’s area but the referee did not notice any infringement and the striker was shown a yellow card for simulation.
39’ Nadur’s last opportunity to score the equaliser arrived from a direct free kick by Stefan Cassar but Qala’s keeper Owen Attard was well placed and turned the ball to a corner.
40’ (red card) Qala ended playing the last minutes of the match with a player less as their goalkeeper Owen Attard was shown a straight red card for comments towards the referee.
FT (NY 1 – QS 2)
Referee: Fyodor Zammit