2 April 2023
BOV GFA Cup S/final 1 Gozo Stadium
Ghajnsielem FC: 4
Kercem Ajax FC: 2
33’ (0-1) Jason Theuma
39’ (0-2) Ognjen Rolovic
53’ (1-2) Kurt Bajada
58’ (red card) Junior Valdeci Candido (GHJ)
61’ (2-2) Patrick Dos Santos Cruz
66’ (3-2) Pedro Augusto Mota De Lima
90+1’ (4-2) Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos
A. Parnis, A. Xuereb, D. Farrugia, J.P. Oliveira Santos, K. Farrugia, N.I. Behadj, K. Grima, M.A. Scicluna (K. Bajada), J.V. Candido, P.A. Mota De Lima (T. Sciberras), P. Dos Santos Cruz.
D. Spiteri, D. Cassar, L.H. Santana Motta, J. Theuma, B. Da Cruz, O. Rolovic, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, G. Cardona, K. Formosa, S. Azzopardi
Ghanjnsielem produced an impressive comeback in the second period of the first semi-final match of the BOV GFA Cup to recover a two-goal deficit and obtain the qualification to the final with a 4-2 win over Kercem Ajax despite playing the last half an hour of the encounter with a player less.
This semi-final match was a clash between two sides who were both aiming to win the second most important honour in Gozitan football as they both missed the opportunity to challenge for the title until the last matches. As a result, for most of the encounter play was contested and the outcome remained uncertain until the final moments. Kercem took the break with a two-goal lead but Ghajnsielem were not demoralised and recovered the deficit by the hour mark despite having a player sent off. Kercem found it difficult to recover from the shock and failed to capitalise on the extra player on the field of play so the Blacks grew in confidence as time passed by and sealed the win by scoring the fourth goal at the beginning of stoppage time.
During the first part of the match, the two sides seemed aggressive in an attempt to score an early goal but as time passed by Kercem took command of the midfield and managed to end the first half with a deserved two-goal lead.
8’ Ghajnsielem created the first scoring opportunity of the encounter but a shot from a good position by Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos ended high.
11’ Kercem replied with an effort by Bruno Da Cruz who passed inside Ghajnsielem’s area but his low shot aimed towards the far post ended wide.
16’ The same Bruno da Cruz released Pablo Vinicius Ferreira who entered the area but as the striker came face to face with the goalkeeper Ghajnsielem’s defender Daniel Farrugia was floored by Kercem’s Ognjen Rolovic and the referee punished the infringement so that the Ajax missed an open scoring opportunity.
31’ Ghajnsielem’s goalie Adrian Parnis was again called to save to a corner a shot from an angled position by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira
33’ (0-1) Kercem opened the score through Jason Theuma who netted despite the pressure of the defender and the goalkeeper following a corner kick by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira.
36’ The Ajax kept insisting but a close-ranged shot from an angled position by Bruno Da Cruz was saved to a corner by goalie Adrian Parnis.
38’ Ghajnsielem replied with an attempt by Pedro Augusto Mota De Lima that was well saved by Kercem’s keeper Daniel Spiteri.
39’ (0-2) Kercem doubled their lead from a counter break where Daniel Cassar delivered a cross from the right flank and the ball arrived to an unmarked Ognjen Rolovic who fired in goal with a shot on the run.
45’ Kercem could have scored another goal but Ghajnsielem’s goalie Adrian Parnis managed to block to a corner an effort from a good position by Ognjen Rolovic.
Ghajnsielem came out more aggressive for the second period while Kercem seemed overconfident and ended up conceding Ghajnsielem’s offensive play even when the latter ended up playing with ten players just before the hour mark. Kercem tried to produce a reaction as soon as they found themselves trailing by one goal but they were erratic in their finishing so Ghajnsielem’s defence controlled the lead.
2’ Ghajnsielem were dangerous through a header by Junior Valdeci Candido from a corner kick by Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos but Kercem’s goalie was at the right place and saved the danger.
7’ (protest for penalty) Kercem should have capitalised better when Ghajnsielem’s defence failed to clear the danger from the goalmouth and the ball arrived to an unmarked Pablo Vinicius Ferreira but the latter was denied concluding by goalie Adrian Parnis among protests by Kercem alleging a foul by the keeper.
8’ (1-2) The Blacks re-opened the issue through a header by substitute Kurt Bajada following a cross from the right flank by Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos.
11’ Kercem went close to regain the two-goal lead when Gabriel Cardona entered Ghanjsielem’s area but his shot was well saved by Ghajnsielem’s goalie Adrian Parnis.
13’ (red card) The Blacks were reduced to ten players when central defender Junior Valdeci Candido was shown a red card for hitting Kercem’s Pablo Vinicius Ferreira after committing a foul on the same striker.
16’ (2-2) Kercem failed to take advantage of the extra player and Ghajnsielem punished their opponents and scored the equaliser through a tap-in by Patrick Dos Santos Cruz following a low cross from the left by Alberto Xuereb.
21’ (3-2) Ghajnsielem surprised their opponents and turned the result in their favour when Patrick Dos Santos Cruz entered Kercem’s territory in a counter break and from his pass Pedro Augusto Mota De Lima turned around his direct opponent and netted with a curling shot that ended out of the reach of the goalkeeper.
28’ Ghajnsielem were now in the driving seat and could have increased their lead but a shot from an ideal position by Patrick Dos Santos Cruz ended high.
38’ The same striker once again failed to conclude in the net when he was unmarked inside Kercem’s area by Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos but Dos Santos Cruz incredibly lifted over the crossbar with an open goal at his mercy.
39’ Kercem were again dangerous when Gabriel Cardona was unmarked by Karl Formosa but the former saw his shot form an ideal position that ended high.
42’ Kercem missed another opportunity to level the score when Samuel Azzopardi delivered a low cross from the right towards the goalmouth but Pablo Vinicius Ferreira and Gabriel Cardona both failed to connect for the tap-in.
45+1’ (4-2) Ghajnsielem practically made sure of the qualification, by scoring the third goal in the match with a player less on the field, that arrived from a personal initiative by Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos who entered Kercem’s territory from the midfield, resisted to the challenge by an opponent, turned around the keeper and deposited the ball into an open goal.
45+2’ (post) Kercem went close to reduce the deficit but a low shot by Karl Formosa from outside the area was stopped by the post and the defence cleared the danger to a corner.
45+3’ The Ajax had the last opportunity to score their third goal but an acrobatic shot by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira from a corner action ended wide.
FT (GHJ 4 – KA 2)
Referee: Philip Farrugia