Nadur Youngsters crowned Gozitan champions

by | Apr 25, 2023 | 22/23, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

16 April 2023

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I:  T/4 (MD 20) Gozo Stadium

Nadur Youngsters FC : 2

Qala Saints FC : 3

8’ (1-0) o.g. Joshua Buttigieg

10’ (1-1) Jordi Parnis

83’ (2-1) Marcelo Jr Barbosa

87’ (2-2) Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva

90+3’ (2-3) Ayesller Carvalho

Nadur Y:

S. Sultana (L. Camilleri), L.B. Da Silva, M. Tabone, J.M. Vella, J. Zammit, M.P. Camilleri (P.P. Camilleri), M. Jr. Barbosa, S. Cassar (N. Mifsud), G. Hili (J. Xerri), G. Farrugia, G. Dourado Ferreira (M. Said).

Qala S:

M. Zammit (F. Vella), L. Grima, J.V. Ferrari Silva, M. Buttigieg, Jsh. Buttigieg, A. Carvalho, E. Buttigieg (Jsph. Buttigieg), L. Attard (S. Attard), J. Parnis, N.C. Njoku, J. Xerri.

In the last match of the BOV Gozo Football League 2022/2023 of the first division, Qala Saints defeated champions Nadur Youngsters with a score of 3-2 and ended the season on a very positive note.  This was Qala’s second win in four matches in the championship against Nadur Youngsters.

This encounter between the two main protagonists of the season in Gozitan football, where the newly promoted side Qala were undoubtedly the revelation, did not have any impact on the final standings as Nadur were already certain of being champions for the 14th time in the club history, while Qala sure of ending the runners-up of the championship.  The match, therefore, took place in an atmosphere of celebrations by the supporters of Nadur who attended in large numbers and decorated the Gozo Stadium for the occasion, and who were only waiting for the final whistle to start the celebrations irrespective of the final score.

In this match, both Nadur and Qala seemed motivated to obtain the win.  Nadur was in the lead on two occasions but Qala was not demoralised and on each occasion, they managed to recover the deficit.  As the match was heading to a just draw of four goals, Qala turned the result in their favour from a free kick that arrived a few seconds away from the final whistle.  This match also allowed Nadur’s Marcelo Barbosa to consolidate his leadership as the Top Scorer of the category by scoring a goal and ended the championship with 16 personal goals, two more of Qala’s Rafael Conrado Prudente, who was missing from this match due to a suspension, and Marcelo’s brother who plays for Oratory’s Haraan Goncalves Barbosa.  This was Marcelo Barbosa’s second consecutive season where he ended as the top scorer of the Gozitan top flight.

At the end of this match, Nadur Youngsters started their official celebrations prepared to mark the second title in a row and the 14th one in the club, as they mow become the Gozitan club with the most titles.  In the meantime, Nadur Youngsters were also crowned official champions for the 2022/203 season with medals and trophies by Ms Charmaine Borg, Regional Manager of the Bank of Valletta for Gozo, the President of the Gozo Football Association Dr Samuel Azzopardi and other officials of the GFA.


As expected the two sides had an offensive approach in an attempt to end the championship on a positive note and as a result, Nadur and Qala produced scoring opportunities at the two ends of the field.

3’ Nadur could have opened the score but Joseph Zammit concluded badly from a good position after receiving from Gabriel Farrugia and goalie Mattias Zammit neutralised the danger.

8’ (1-0) o.g. Nadur opened the score when Qala’s Joshua Buttigieg headed in his own net in an attempt to clear the ball from the goalmouth following a cross by Marcelo Barbosa.

9’ Qaa replied immediately through an initiative by the same Joshua Buttigieg who delivered an inviting cross inside Nadur’s area but goalie Steve Sultana had good timing to take the ball before Nathan Chukwudi Njoku could conclude from a close distance.

10’ (1-1) Qala levelled the score when Jordi Parnis was released within Nadur’s territory, entered the area and placed in goal with a low drive as the goalkeeper left his position in an attempt to block the danger.

13’ The Maroons were again dangerous through a strike from outside the area by Joshua Buttigieg that got a deflection and the ball ended in a corner.

16’ Nadur’s Marcelo Barbosa could have concluded better after exchanging the ball with Stefan Cassar but the Brazilian striker hit badly from a close distance and goalie Mattias Zammit managed to block the danger to a corner.

21’ The Youngsters once again threatened Qala’s rear guard through a lob by Gustavo Dourado Ferreira but the ball ended over the crossbar.

29’  Qala replied with an effort by Nathan Chukwudi Njoku who took the ball from Nadur’s defence but missed the opportunity to conclude towards the goal following the quick recovery by the rear guard.

31’ The same striker had a good shot that was well saved by Nadur’s keeper Steve Sultana.

36’ Qala’s goalie Mattias Zammit was in the right place to block a close-range effort by Gustavo Dourado Ferreira and from the rebound the young striker recovered possession and passed to Joseph Zammit but the latter incredibly concluded high with an open goal at his mercy.

40’ (goal disallowed) Nadur almost doubled their lead when a cross from the left flank by Joseph Zammit arrived to an unmarked Marcelo Barbosa who placed in the net but the goal was disallowed for an offside position of the same striker.

HT (1-1)

Second Half

The match lost much of the interest after the resumption and the actions on goal became rare as the two sides made various substitutions.  Nadur’s supporters were only waiting for the final whistle to start the celebrations and to follow their players being crowned champions.  However, during the final stages, Nadur scored their second goal but Qala produced a strong reaction and managed to turn the result in their favour with a last-gasp goal.

10’ Nadur should have capitalised better when Marcelo Barbosa released Joseph Zammit within Qala’s territory but the latter saw his curling shot when he was alone in front of the goalkeeper, which ended wide.

13’ Qala replied with an effort directly from a free kick by Ayesller Carvalho but the ball ended just wide.

17’ Qala’s substitute goalkeeper Franklin Vella was called to make an important intervention to save in the corner an effort by Gustavo Dourado Ferreira.

33’ The same goalkeeper made another good save to block a corner shot from a good position by Marcelo Barbosa.

37’ Qala missed a good opportunity when Nadur’s defence failed to clear the ball from the goalmouth but from the resultant melee Qala’s substitute Shaun Attard hit badly and the defence blocked the danger.

38’ (2-1) Nadur regain the lead in the following action when Marcelo Jr Barbosa entered Qala’s area, turned around the goalkeeper and placed easily into an open goal.

42’ (2-2) Qala were not demoralised and scored the equaliser when substitute Joseph Buttigieg headed inside Nadur’s area from a free kick by Ayesller Carvalho and Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva was at the right place and converted the ball in the goal from close distance.

 45+3’ (2-3) Qala clinched the unexpected win in the last action of the encounter when Ayesller Carvalho surprised Nadur’s substitute goalkeeper and the defence with a free kick from an angled position.

FT (NY 2 – QS 3)

Referee: Alex Johnson

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Written by GozoFA