13 April 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I: T/4 (MD 20) Gozo Stadium
Xewkija Tigers FC : 0
Kercem Ajax FC : 0
79’ (red card) Carlo Abela (XT)
N. Kosanin (K. Attard), M. Mercieca, R. Buttigieg, D. Bogdanovic, A. Bozovic, D. Mercieca (J. Vella), C. Camilleri, D. Andelovic, S. Xuereb (M. Xuereb), C. Abela, J. Camilleri (K. Hili).
G. Bugeja, D. Cassar (J. Theuma), L.H. Santana Motta, B. Da Cruz, C. Attard (C. Briffa), O. Rolovic, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, G. Cardona, K. Formosa (K. Attard), S. Azzopardi.
In the first match from the last Match-Day of the championship Xewkija Tigers and Kercem Ajax earned a point each from a goalless draw. This match did not have any importance for the final tale as Kercem and Xewkija both could not improve their third and fourth place in the Top-4 of the championship. However, Xewkija and Kercem were aiming to end the season with a win and as a result, the two sides produced various scoring opportunities and the win could have gone either way.
At the end of the encounter, the two sides left the field of play with different reactions as Kercem were hoping to mark their season by being more competitive in all the honours in Gozitan football, while Xewkija were satisfied that they achieved much more than what many expected of them at the beginning of the season. Overall, the performance of the two sides throughout the championship may be encouraging in terms of experience as they showed that they could become more competitive with some improvements in the next season.
Kercem came out in better shape but as time passed by Xewkija came out from their defence and shared more play. As a result, the two sides produced good scoring opportunities but the strikers were often erratic and the match remained in a deadlock until the end of the first half.
3’ Kercem created the first scoring opportunity of the encounter but a header by Ognjen Rolovic following a cross from the right flank ended high.
8’ The Ajax were again dangerous when Bruno Da Cruz passed with a personal initiative but his final low shot ended wide.
15’ Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin was called to make an important intervention to save to a corner a low shot by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira.
17’ Xewkija replied with a header by Rodney Buttigieg from a corner kick by Chris Camilleri but the ball ended away from the goal.
18’ The Tigers created another potential opportunity through a curling shot by Damir Andelovic but the attempt missed the target.
26’ Kercem’s Pablo Vinicius Ferreira produced another good action within Xewkija’s territory but his strike ended wide.
27’ The same striker threatened Xewkija’s defence with a shot from a good position but on this occasion, the ball ended over the crossbar.
30’ Kercem’s goalie Gaetano Bugeja was at the right place and turned to a corner with some difficulty an attempt from a long distance by Xewkija’s Rodney Buttigieg.
37’ Xewkija could have created more danger when Rodney Buttigieg released Matthias Mercieca inside Kercem’s area but the latter concluded badly and the goalkeeper neutralised in two attempts.
40’ The Ajax went again close to scoring but a shot by Bruno a Cruz was saved to a corner Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin saved a corner.
41’ Xewkija operated a counter break among protests alleging handing at the beginning of the action and at the end a low drive by Johnny Camilleri aimed towards the far post ended just wide.
44’ Kercem’s last attempt before the break arrived through an initiative by Bruno Da Cruz but the Brazilian striker saw his shot that ended wide.
The match continued to be well contested after the break but the defensive departments were more in control of the respective strikers and serious actions towards the goal became rare.
8’ Xewkija’s Chris Camilleri had an attempt from outside the area that ended over the crossbar.
16’ The Tigers missed another good opportunity to open the score but a shot from a good position by Rodney Buttigieg ended high.
20’ (post) Kercem went very close to taking the lead but a shot by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira was stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten.
23’ Kercem’s goalie Gaetano Bugeja was again called to make a good save to block an effort by Rodney Buttigieg and from the rebound the defence recovered and cleared the danger from their area.
34’ (red card) Xewkija were reduced to ten players as Carlo Abela was shown a straight red card for stopping a potential scoring opportunity as Pablo Vinicius Ferreira entered the area.
35’ From the resultant free kick the attempt by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira missed the target,
36’ (crossbar) Xewkija almost surprised their opponents despite the fact that they were playing with a player less on the field when a strike by substitute Michael Xuerreb hit the crossbar.
37’ Kercem went once again close to score when a header by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira from a cross by Christian Attard was deflected towards goal by the defence but Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin managed to block the danger and the defence cleared the ball from the area.
39’ Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin had good timing to block the ball and deny Bruno Da Cruz from concluding in goal from close distance.
40’ Kercem went again close to scoring through a shot by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira that got a deflection and the ball ended away from the goal to a corner.
42’ The same goalkeeper made another important intervention to defend the result for his side when he blocked a close-range shot by Bruno da Cruz.
45’ Kercem missed the last opportunity to win the encounter when Xewkija’s defence failed to clear a cross from the right flank and the ball arrived to an unmarked Ognjen Rolovic who saw his low shot saved with difficulty by Xe4wkija’s substitute Kyle Attard.
FT (XT 0 – KA 0)
Referee: Joseph Scerri