11 September 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 1) Gozo Stadium
Xaghra United FC : 0
Qala Saints FC: 2
Match Suspended 72’
5’ (0-1) Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva
69’ (0-2) Jordi Parnis
72’ match suspended due to power failure
L. Xuereb, S. Galea, L. Almeida Da Silva, C. Gauci (M.P. Camilleri 59), M. Bezzina, D. Azzopardi, M. Mamo (L. Sultana 64), D. Mesa Pineros, M. Cordina, C.A. Diaz Arias, L. Garcia Panesso.
O. Attard, N. Inguanez, Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, M. Buttigieg, C. Vella (N. C. Njoku 64), L.M. Dos Santos, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis, I. Nedeljkovic.
The last match from the opening Match-Day of the Gozitan championship between newly promoted side Xaghra United and Qala Saints, who were the revelation side during th last season, was interrupted twenty minutes from the end of the regular time due to power failure at the Gozo Stadium when the Maroons were enjoying a two-goal lead. Thus, Qala are now favourites they can earn three points when the match resumes to play the last part of the encounter.
As expected both Xaghra and Qala came out for this match with the intention to obtain a win and as a result, play was rather balanced for most of the first period, but after the break, Qala increased their pressure and managed to score two goals in the space of ten minutes. Qala’s coach Shaun Bajada retained the characteristics of his team which achieved positive results during the last season, based on good organisation and determination to achieve the result. Thus Qala cannot be considered again as a surprise if they manage to be among the top teams of the first division as they made very good use of the experience gained during the last season.
Xaghra had a disappointing comeback in the top flight despite the expectations that they may obtain a positive result. Their coach Shaun Attard prepared a well-motivated team with a number of players who are determined to express their best ability. Xaghra were in contention with their opponents throughout the first half but lost composure as soon as they conceded the first goal so they found it difficult to produce a reaction. The result at this stage would probably compromise the possibility to recover the deficit in the remaining 20 minutes of play.
The two sides came out to the match with the intention to score an early goal and for most of the first half play was contested in the midfield where neither side managed to prevail over the other. The two defensive departments were also well deployed and managed to keep the respective strikers under control.
10’ (crossbar) Qala went very close to open the score but an attempt directly from a free kick was stopped by the crossbar.
14’ Xaghra replied with a header by Daniel Mesa Pineros, following a corner kick by Camilo Andres Diaz Arias, which ended just wide.
30’ Qala once again threatened Xaghra’s rear guard through a header by Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva following a cross by Christian Vella that ended just wide.
Qala came out more determined after the resumption and managed to take the lead so that they gained confidence and made good use of their experience to administer the lead. The Saints resisted to Xaghra’s immediate reaction and punished their opponents for poor finishing by scoring the second goal midway through the second half.
5’ (1-0) The Maroons opened the score with a goal that arrived through a header by Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva following a corner action.
10’ Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb was well placed and saved to a corner a shot from an angled position by Igor Nedeljkovic.
14’ Xaghra produced a dangerous action through an initiative by Camilo Andres Diaz Arias, who entered the area but had his low shot blocked to a corner by central defender Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva.
21’ Xaghra’s substitute Luke Sultana could have concluded better but his sho got a deflection and Qala’s keeper saved the danger to a corner.
24’ (0-2) Qala scored their second goal when a low shot by Igor Nedeljkovic was partially saved by Xaghra’s keeper Lorjean Xuereb and from the rebound, Jordi Parnis netted easily in the net with a low drive.
26’04sec – POWER FAILURE, MATCH SUSPENDED
41’20sec – Decision by the referee, match not to be continued
71’ 04’’ (XU 0 – QS 2)
Referee: Glen Tonna
Asst Ref: Anthony Paul Vella, Patrick Falzon