29 October 2023
BOV GFA Cup (Prel. Rd) Kercem Stadium
Ghajnsielem FC: 2
Xewkija Tigers FC: 5
After Extra Time
19’ (0-1) Matthias Mercieca
20’ (1-1) penalty Luiz Henrique Santana Motta
39’ (red card) Luke Buttigieg (GHJ)
43’ (1-2) penalty Damir Andelovic
75’ (penalty missed – saved) Stefan Tesic (XT)
79’ (2-2) Emil Grozdanov
98’ (2-3) Andrea Debrincat
104’ (2-4) Stefan Tesic
118’ (2-5) Stefan Tesic
L. Buttigieg, Al. Xuereb, L.H. Santana Motta, K. Hili (C. Camilleri 42’), B. Da Cruz, Ant. Xuereb (T. Sciberras 105), G. Emmanuel, W. Hili, M.A. Scicluna (E. Grozdanov 77), C.H. Da Silva Barbosa, D. Hili (N.I. Behadj 66).
N. Kosanin, J. Axiak, Js. Vella (K. Farrugia 64), D. Bogdanovic, M. Mercieca (H. Bonnici 106), J. Buttigieg (S. Tesic 46), R. Buttigieg (A. Debrincat 64, J. Vella 111)), A. Bozovic, D. Bugeja (M. Bonnici 75), D. Andelovic, C. Abela.
Ghajnsielem and Xewkija Tigers turned out to be the most contested match of the six from the Preliminary Round of the BOV GFA Cup. This clash between two sides from the first division campaign was well contested and had to be decided in extra time despite the fact that Ghajnsielem played with a player less from the last part of the first half. Xewkija ended up obtaining qualification with a 5-2 win that matured with goals scored during the extra time so that the Tigers will play against Kercem Ajax in the quarter-final stage of the competition.
The two teams came for this match with different spirits as the Blacks moved away from the red zone in the championship with the points obtained from their previous match, while Xewkija dropped from the top position on the table following a series of negative results from their last matches of the first round of the championship. As a result, Ghajnsielem seemed more confident during the first part of the encounter but conceded a comeback by Xewkija. Ghajnsielem however remained in contention despite playing more than half of the match with a player less on the field and managed to force the encounter into extra time. Xewkija however seemed more experienced during the decisive moment and obtained the win by scoring three goals during extra time.
The match turned out to be very interesting for most of the first period as Ghajnsielem tried to put pressure on their opponents but Xewkija protected their area and were dangerous in their actions within Ghjansielem’s territory. However, Ghajnsielem ended up playing with ten players and conceded a penalty in the same action that arrived a few minutes before the end of the first half so Xewkija took advantage and entered the break with a one-goal lead.
12’ Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin was well placed and saved without difficulty a low shot from outside the area by Bruno da Cruz.
15’ Xewkija replied with a prolonged action within Ghajnsielem’s territory but the final attempt by Damir Andelovic from an angled position was neutralised by goalie Luke Buttigieg.
19’ (0-1) Xewkija opened the score when Damir Andelovic delivered a cross inside Ghajnsielem’s area from the left flank and Matthias Mercieca was at the right place and concluded from close distance.
20’ (1-1) penalty Ghajnsielem had an immediate reaction and levelled the score when they were awarded a penalty for handling by Josmar Vella following a cross from the left and Luiz Henrique Santana Motta converted his shot from the penalty spot.
24’ (protests for penalty) Xewkija protested for a penalty when Matthias Mercieca ended on the floor inside Ghajnsielem’s area as he tried to pass his direct opponent.
37’ Ghajnsielem could have created more danger but an overhead kick by Damon Hili was weak and goalie Nikola Kosanin saved without difficulty.
38’ (post) The Blacks were also unlucky when a strike from outside the area by Bruno Da Cruz was stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten.
39’ (red card, penalty) Ghajnsielem compromised their encouraging performance when the referee awarded a penalty and showed a straight red card to goalie Luke Buttigieg for a rough intervention in the area on Matthias Mercieca.
43’ (1-2) penalty Xewkija capitalised from the opportunity and regained the lead through the shot from the penalty spot by Damir Andelovic.
After the resumption, Xewkija tried to take advantage of the extra player on the field of play but Ghajnsielem defended well and managed to recover the score so that the qualification had to be decided in extra time.
14’ (crossbar) Ghajnsielem almost surprised their opponents but a free kick by Bruno Da Cruz hit the crossbar.
20’ Ghajnsielem’s substitute goalkeeper Carlos Camilleri was called to make an important intervention to block a low shot by Damir Andelovic following a personal action.
24’ Xewkija once again threatened Ghajnsielem’s defence but a shot from outside the area by Damir Andelovic was partially saved by goalie Carlos Camilleri and the defence cleared the danger from the area.
30’ (penalty missed – saved) Xewkija were awarded a second penalty for a foul by Antonio Xuereb on substitute Andrea Debrincat but the shot from the spot kick by goalie Carlos Camilleri was well saved and the defence cleared the danger.
34’ (2-2) Xewkija were punished for the missed chance as Ghajnsielem levelled the score when Xewkija’s defence failed to clear the ball from that danger area following a prolonged action and substitute Emil Grozdanov fired a low shot that ended in the net despite several players in front of goal.
45’ Ghajnsielem’s goalie Carlos Camilleri continued to distinguish himself and denied Xewkija from taking the lead for the third time when he blocked with some difficulty a low shot from outside the area by Matthias Bonnici.
45+2’ Xewkija were again dangerous but a header by Stefan Tesic following a corner kick by Matthias Bonnici was saved by goalie Carlos Camilleri in two attempts.
45+3’ Ghajnsielem went very close to score the decisive goal but a lob by Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa aimed towards an open goal was cleared from the goalmouth by central defender Aleksa Bozovic to avoid a certain goal.
(Extra Time 1st Half)
Xewkija increased their efforts to regain command of play and scored two goals during the first half of extra time to put the score beyond the reach of their opponents.
8’ (2-3) Xewkija put their heads ahead for the third time with a goal that arrived through a shot by substitute Andrea Debrincat following a corner kick by Matthias Bonnici.
14’ (2-4) Xewkija increased their lead when Stefan Tesic ran away from Ghajnsielem’s defence following a through pass from the midfield and the Serbian striker fired in goal as soon as he arrived at the edge of the area.
(Extra Time 2nd Half)
During the last part of the encounter, Xewkija administered play and denied their opponents from re-opening the issue.
13’ (2-5) Xewkija sealed the win by scoring the fifth goal that arrived through an initiative by Stefan Tesic who turned around the goalkeeper who left his position with some hesitation and concluded into an open goal from an angled position.
FT (GHJ 2 – XT 5)
Referee: Alex Johnson
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Thomas Debono