22 October 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 7) Gozo Stadium
Qala Saints FC: 1
Oratory Youths FC ; 0
5’ (1-0) Igor Nedeljkovic
O. Attard, J.V. Ferrari Silva, L.B. Da Silva, M. Buttigieg, C. Vella, L.M. Dos Santos, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis, N.C. Njoku (N. Inguanez 53), I. Nedeljkovic, M. Xerri.
A. Brignoli, A. Sultana, P. Rapa (K. Saliba 81), J. Buttigieg, L.B. Coca, A. Azzopardi (O. Grech 87), N. Said, A.G. Castro Martins, H. Muscat, L.G. Santos Silva, R. Almeida Lopes.
Qala Saints became the most consistent team in the top flight as they registered the fourth consecutive victory in their last match of the first round against Oratory Youths. With this result, Qala made sure of the top spot after the end of the first third of the championship and will certainly hold this position until the matches of the second round resume at the beginning of December.
In this match, Qala showed that they regained confidence in their potential to be among the serious challengers for the title which distinguished their performances last season. The 1-0 win over Oratory shows that the Maroons have reached a level of maturity as they managed to hold control of play without conceding opportunities to their opponents to recover the score. Qala scored the goal that decided the encounter during the first minutes of play and for the rest of the encounter they were resilient to neutralise Oratory’s reaction during the first half and took full control of the match throughout the second period.
Qala had a better start and took the lead in their first attempt towards Oratory’s goal, but Oratory was not demoralised and produced a reaction so that the match became entertaining with the two sides trying to score for different objectives, as the Youths needed to recover the deficit while the Maroons were seeking to consolidate their lead.
5’ (1-0) Qala opened the score when Lucas Baretto Da Silva entered Oratory’s area from the right flank and from his low cross Igor Nedeljkovic fired towards the goal with the ball hitting the crossbar before crossing the line.
Oratory came out of their defence but Qala’s rear guard was well organised and for most of the time the Youths failed t produce serious danger.
20’ Qala went very close to add another goal when Lucas Matheus Dos Santos delivered the ball in front of Oratory’s goalmouth from a corner kick but Igor Nedeljkovic’s first timer was saved with difficulty to a corner by goalie Angelo Brignoli.
24’ Oratory’s first attempt towards Qala’s goal arrived through a low shot by Joshua Buttigieg, following a cross from the right by Neil Said, but goalie Owen Attard was well placed and neutralised the danger without difficulty.
42’ The Youths had a good opportunity to level the score when Paul Rapa’s cross from the right flank arrived to Andre Gabriel Castro Martins, who controlled within the area and addressed towards the goal but central defender Emanuel Buttigieg cleared the ball from the goalmouth with the goalkeeper beaten to avoid a certain goal.
43’ Qala’s Lucas Baretto Da Silva entered Oratory’s area in an action that was very similar to that which produced the opening goal but on this occasion, Igor Nedeljkovic and Jordi Parnis both missed the opportunity to hit towards the goal so that the defence cleared the danger.
45+2’ The Maroons were again dangerous when Jordi Parnis passed inside Oratory’s area to Nathan Chukwudi Njoku but the latter saw his low shot that ended wide.
Qala came out in better shape after the break and tried to increase their efforts to put the score beyond Oratory’s reach. Oratory struggled to come out of their defence and to threaten Qala’s goal so that as time passed by the Maroons were in full control of the encounter.
5’ Qala could have created more danger but an effort by Igor Nedeljkovic from a good position ended wide.
7’ Qala’s Jordi Parnis passed inside Oratory’s area with a personal action but his final shot from close distance ended on the side of the net.
8’ Oratory replied with a weak shot by Andre Gabriel Castro Martins that was neutralised by Qala’s keeper Owen Attard.
14’ The Maroons went close to score their second goal but a header by Lucas Baretto Da Silva from a corner kick by Lucas Matheus Dos Santos ended wide.
22’ Oratory’s central defender Hayden Muscat denied Qala from adding another goal when he managed to block a close-ranged attempt by Lucas Baretto a Silva who was released inside the area by Igor Nedeljkovic.
43’ Qala should have sealed the win when Lucas Baretto Da Silva entered Oratory’s area from the left flank but his inviting cross was well saved by goalie Angelo Brignoli so that strikers Lucas Matheus Dos Santos and Martin Buttigieg were denied from a tap-in.
44’ Oratory’s last opportunity to save the result arrived to Leonardo Bruno Coca but his shot from outside the area missed the target.
FT (QS 1 – OY 0)
Referee: Daniel Portelli
Assistant Referees: Max-Lee Muscat, Robert Curtis