Champions SK Victoria Wanderers win the 2nd Division Challenge Cup

by | Apr 9, 2023 | GFL 2nd Div, Match Report, News

SK Victoria Wanderers: 1

Xaghra United FC : 0

64’ (1-0) Kersten Grima

SK Victoria W:

O. Xuereb, N. Camilleri, A.J. Obaje, E. Bugeja, E. Zammit, S. Harland (J. Saliba), S.F. Bajada, O. Fenech, N. Vella, J.G. Vella, L. Fenech (K. Grima).

Xaghra U:

L. Xureb, J. Bajada (L. Meilak), S. Galea, J. Xuereb (L. Garcia Panesso), M. Cordina, M. Mamo, D. Azzopardi (L. Sultana), E. Galea (C. Debono), K. Mercieca, F.J. Xuereb, M. Bezzina.

Champions of the second division SK Victoria Wanderers lifted the second trophy of the season as they obtained a 1-0 win over Xaghra United in the final of the first edition of the GFA 2nd Division Challenge Cup.

This final match saw the two main protagonists of the lower category this season facing each other, with both teams aiming to win this honour as the Wanderers were aiming to consolidate their success in the championship with a victory in another competition, while Xaghra, who ended runners up in the campaign, were aiming to make up for the disappointment in the league.  This was also the sixth clash between the two sides of the season and with this result each team obtained three wins.

Victoria’s success in this competition was deserved not only for their performance throughout the final but also because the Citizens were the only side who obtained five wins from five matches in the first phase of the competition which was contested at the beginning of the season.   In this match, the two sides produced offensive play and most of the time, the win could have gone either way.  However, the Wanderers capitalised better from their chances and scored the only goal of the encounter midway through the second period so they defended their lead for the remaining minutes.

At the end of the match the President of the Gozo Football Association, Dr Samuel Azzopardi, together with other officials of the association, presented the medals and the trophy to SK Victoria Wanderers players and staff.

Timeline:

The Wanderers came out more aggressive and during the first minutes of play they went close to taking an early lead, but as time passed by Xaghra became more dangerous and the encounter turned out to be much more interesting.

2’ Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb was called to make a good intervention to save to corner a shot by Owen Fenech.

3’ (goal disallowed) Victoria’s Joseph George Vella concluded in the net after receiving from Sam Harland but the goal was disallowed for an offside position.

7’ The Wanderers were again dangerous when Aud-Gustine James Obaje passed inside Xaghra’s area but his attempt from a good position missed the target.

9’ Xaghra’s keeper was again well placed and blocked to a corner an attempt directly from a free kick by Joseph George Vella.

15’ Xaghra replied with an effort by Joel Xuereb but the ball ended wide.

19’ Xaghra went very close to open the score but his low drive aimed towards the far post ended wide and Kenneth Mercieca failed to connect

23’ (protests for penalty) Xaghra’s Kenneth Mercieca arrived on the ball before Victoria’s goalie Omar Xuereb but his lob ended high as the striker also ended on the floor following contact with the same keeper among protests for a penalty.

38’ Xaghra went again close to scoring through a curling shot by Michael Bezzina but the ball ended wide.

39’ Xaghra could have capitalised better from a corner kick by Michael Bezzina but the header by Savio Galea ended wide.

HT (0-0)

Second Half

Play continued to be well contested after the break as the two sides increased their effort to open the score.  However, the two defensive departments most of the time prevailed over the respective strikers and the actions on goal were quite rare.  

3’ Victoria’s Joseph George Vella had an attempt from a free kick but the ball ended away from the goal.

8’ Victoria’s goalie was well placed to save a free kick by Michael Bezzina.

19’ (1-0) The Wanderers broke the deadlock when Xaghra’s defence failed to clear the ball from the goalmouth following a corner kick by Owen Fenech and substitute Kersten Grima arrived on the ball and concluded in goal with a low shot.

22’ Victoria went close to doubling the lead when Joseph George Vella released Emerson Zammit but the latter saw his shot that ended wide.

41’ (crossbar) Xaghra could have levelled the score but a corner kick by substitute Christian Debono was stopped by the crossbar.

43’ The Wanderers replied with a counter break but the final shot by Emerson Zammit was saved by Xaghra’s goalie Lorjen Xuereb.

44’ Xaghra’s last opportunity to save the result arrived through a header by substitute Luke Sultana following a cross by Matthias Cordina but the ball ended on the side of the net.

45+1’ Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb kept his side in contention for the final moments with a fine save following a strike by substitute Joseph Saliba.

FT (SKVW 1 – XU 0)

Referee: Reuben Spiteri Delicata

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Written by GozoFA