Xaghra move away from the red zone with a close win

by | Oct 26, 2023 | 23/24, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

20 October 2023

GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 7) Gozo Stadium

Xewkija Tigers FC : 0

Xaghra United FC; 1

38’ (0-1) Leiner Garcia Panesso

Xewkija T:

N. Kosanin, Js. Vella, D. Bogdanovic (M. Bonnici 78), M. Mercieca, J. Buttigieg (A. Debrincat 46), K. Farrugia (Ju. Vella 90+1), A. Bozovic, S. Xuereb (J. Axiak 46), D. Andelovic, C. Abela, S. Tesic.

Xaghra U:

L. Xuereb, S. Galea, L. Almeida Da Silva, M. Bezzina (J. Xuereb 69), D. Azzopardi, M. Mamo (M.P. Camilleri 69), D. Mesa Pineros, M. Cordina (C. Camilleri 59), F.J. Xuereb, C.A. Diaz Arias, L. Garcia Panesso.

Xaghra Unite confirmed the positive performance of their previous match, when they defeated champions Nadur Youngsters, and obtained the second consecutive win in their match against the contenders for the title Xewkija Tigers.  With this result, Xaghra moved away from the bottom of the table and completed a recovery following a very difficult start in their first matches of the championship.  Xaghra may also improve their tally of points at the end of the first round if they obtain a positive result when they recover the match from Match-Day 6 against Ghajnsielem.

In this match, Xewkija, who was impressed during the first matches of the championship, was surprised by Xaghra’s play and found it extremely difficult to create offensive play.  Xewkija’s defence was often under pressure as Xaghra prevailed in the midfield.  With this result, Xewkija missed another opportunity to keep in touch with the top positions as they only earned one point from the last three matches of the first round.

Xaghra’s win matured with a goal that arrived minutes away from half-time so that the Blues neutralised Xewkija’s confused reaction that only arrived during the final stages of the encounter.   


Xaghra came out more aggressive and for most of the first half they produced better offensive play.  Xaghra managed to take the lead with a goal that arrived following a counter break so they ended the first half with a deserved lead. Xewkija struggled to gain possession at the midfield and their play towards Xaghra’s goal was often sterile.

10’ Xaghra could have scored an early goal when Michael Bezzina delivered a low cross from the right flank but Daniel Mesa Pineros failed to connect from close distance.

12’ Xewkija replied with a shot from outside the area by Matthias Mercieca that ended wide.

22’ Xewkija were again dangerous through an attempt directly from a free kick by Damir Andelovic but the ball ended just over the crossbar.

25’ Xaghra threatened Xewkija’s defence with a shot by Matthias Cordina but the ball ended over the crossbar.

29’ (goal disallowed) Xewkija’s Matthias Mercieca received the ball inside Xaghra’s area and placed in the net with a low shot but the goal was disallowed for an offside infringement. 

36’ Xewkija’s Damir Andelovic had another opportunity to threaten Xaghra’s rear guard but his attempt from a free kick was weak and the goalkeeper saved without difficulty.

37’ Xaghra replied with a low shot from outside the area by Daniel Mesa Pineros but the ball ended wide. 

38’ (0-1) Xaghra opened the score when Michael Bezzina released Leiner Garcia Panesso from the midfield and the Columbian striker lobbed in goal as Xewkija’s goalie left his position in an attempt to block the danger.

42’ Xaghra could have added another goal when Camilo Andres Diaz Arias entered Xewkija’s territory from the right flank but from his low cross. Daniel Mesa Pineros concluded wide from an ideal position.

HT (0-1)

Second Half

Xaghra continued to be in better shape after the break despite Xewkija’s efforts to produce a reaction.  Xaghra were well organised at the midfield and operated dangerous breaks where they could have made sure of the win at an earlier stage.

2’ Xaghra’s defence was surprised following a low cross by Dejan Bogdanovic but goalie Lorjean Xuereb was well-placed and neutralised the danger.

3’ Xaghra’s Leiner Garcia Panesso had a good attempt but goalie Nikola Kosanin was in the right place and saved the danger.

4’ The same Columbian striker tried to surprise Xewkija’s goalie with a shot towards the upper corner of the net but the ball ended away from the goal.

16’ (post) Xewkija almost surprised Xaghra’s defence when a lob from outside the area, and from an angled position, by Matthias Mercieca hit the post.

20’ Xewkija had their best opportunity to level the score when substitute Andrea Debrincat released Stefan Tesic inside Xaghra’s area but the latter saw his shot from a close distance that was blocked by goalie Lorjean Xuereb.

26’ Xaghra missed an opportunity to double their lead when Leiner Garcia Panesso released substitute Joel Xuereb but the latter saw his close ranged shot that was blocked by the defence.

FT (XT 0 – XU 1)

Referee: Glen Tonna

Asst. Referees: Patrick Falzon, Darko Stankovic

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Written by GozoFA