GFA Super Cup Final – Sun 3 Sept 2023 – Gozo Stadium
Nadur Youngsters FC : 2
Ghajnsielem FC : 0
2’ (1-0) Marcelo Jr Barbosa
62’ (2-0) Marcelo Pereira Muniz
S. Sultana, J.A. Ferreira Dos Santos, I. Xuereb, M. Pereira Muniz, J.M. Vella (M. Said), J. Zammit (M. Tabone), M.J. Barbosa (B. Said), S. Cassar, G. Hili, G. Muscat (J. Xerri), F.J.V. De Oliveira.
L. Buttigieg, A. Xuereb, L.H. Santana Motta, B. Da Cruz, I. Belhadj (T. Sciberras), An. Xuereb, L. Silva Gomes, W. Hili (D. Attard), M.A. Scicluna, C.H. Da Silva Barbosa, D. Hili (N.I. Belhadj)
Nadur Youngsters won the first honour in the new Gozitan Football season 2023/2024 by lifting the GFA Super Cup following a 2-0 win in the final against Ghajnsielem. The GFA Super Cup final, which was being contested for the 33rd time since the first edition of the season 1988/1989, was the opening match of the season between the champions Nadur Youngsters and Għajnsielem who were the finalists of the BOV GFA Cup of the last season, won by the same Nadur. This final was also a repetition of the final of the GFA Super Cup at the beginning of the last season, which was won by Ghajnsielem. With this success, Nadur Youngsters not only took revenge for the defeat conceded a year ago but won this prestigious honour for the ninth time in their history and reached Victoria Hotspurs as the two clubs with the most wins of this competition. Moreover, with this win, Nadur Youngsters become holders of all the honours in Gozitan football.
In this match, Nadur came out as favourites as they still seem the team to beat to be competitive in Gozitan football, while Ghajnsielem are not being considered among the teams who can be among the top teams in the first division. This was the first match for Elton Vella as the coach of Nadur Youngsters and he managed to mark his debut in the best possible way as his team dominated the encounter and the win could have been with a larger margin. Ghajnsielem on the other hand disappointed as they never managed to threaten their opponents, particularly because they were shocked by Nadur’s opening goal that arrived after just 90 seconds of play.
As expected the two sides started the match by fielding their latest respective signings. Nadur retained most of their regular local payers and also their prolific striker Marcelo Barbosa but they introduced three new foreign players who left a positive performance in all the departments. Their Portuguese midfielder Marcelo Pereira Muniz also scored the second goal of the match on his debut in Gozitan football. Ghajnsielem tried to consolidate on the young players from their nursery who made their first appearance in the top flight during the second part of the last season and regained the service of the Brazilian striker Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa. The other three foreign players already have experience of local football as they played in the first division with other teams last season. However, Ghajnsielem’s coach Matthew Portelli will need some time to find the best deployment of the payers particularly in the attack as they found it extremely difficult to create offensive play in this match against Nadur.
At the end of the encounter, the President of the Gozo Football Association Dr Samuel Azzopardi, together with other officials of the association presented the medals and the GFA Super Cup to Nadur among the celebrations of the supporters.
Nadur had an encouraging start and took an early lead but they found it difficult to convert their territorial supremacy into more goals so Ghajnsielem gained some confidence as time passed by and remained in contention.
2’ (1-0) Nadur opened the score through a direct free kick by Marcelo Jr Barbosa that surprised Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg.
14’ Nadur were dangerous through an initiative by Florencio Joao Vitor De Oliveira that was blocked to a corner by the defence.
16’ (post) The Youngsters went very close to double the score when a low shot by Marcelo Barbosa was stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten and in the following action the ball arrived in an unmarked Barbosa inside Ghajnsielem’s area but the latter had his close ranged shot well saved by goalie Luke Buttigieg.
17’ Ghajnsielem replied with a low shot by Lucas Silva Gomes that was neutralised by Nadur’s goalie Steve Sultana.
22’ Nadur were again dangerous when Marcelo Barbosa unmarked Joseph Zammit inside Ghajnsielem’s area but the latter saw his attempt blocked by the goalkeeper.
45+4’ Ghajnsielem could have created more danger but an effort by Bruno Da Cruz from a good position, following a clearance by Nadur’s defence, ended high.
Nadur continued to dictate matters after the break and practically made sure of the win with a second goal that arrived midway through the second period.
3’ Nadur’s Joseph Mario vella almost surprised Ghajnsielem’s goalie but his lob ended over the crossbar.
10’ Ghajnsielem continued to suffer Nadur’s offensive play and the latter were dangerous through a shot from a good position by Florencio Joao Vitor De Oliveira that ended just wide.
14’ The Youngsters were denied a certain goal when Nadur’s Joseph Zammit unmarked Stefan Cassar within Ghajnsielem’s area but the defence recovered in time and Cassar’s attempt aimed towards an open goal was blocked to a corner.
17’ (2-0) Nadur doubled their lead when Marcelo Barbosa received the ball from a short corner action and from his cross, Portuguese midfielder Marcel Pereira Muniz headed in goal from close distance.
18’ The Youngsters missed a golden scoring opportunity but Joseph Zammit’s shot on the run following a cross by Stefan Cassar ended away from goal.
30’ The same Stefan Cassar went close to scoring the third goal for Nadur but his strike ended high.
43’ Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg was well placed and made the best save of the afternoon to turn to a corner a good effort by substitute Matthias Said.
FT (NY 2 – GHJ 0)
Referee: Daniel Portelli