3 December 2023
GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 8) Gozo Stadium
Xewkija Tigers FC : 0
Kercem Ajax FC : 0
70’ (red card) Damir Andelovic (XT)
N. Kosanin, J. Vella, D. Bogdanovic, M. Mercieca (K. Farrugia 73), J. Buttigieg (C. Abela 73), R. Buttigieg, A. Bozovic, D. Bugeja (A. Debrincat 88), D. Andelovic, J. Axiak, S. Tesic.
D. Spiteri, D. Cassar, E. Caetano Pena, J. Theuma, O.G. Fernandes, K.L. Nunes Santos, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, G. Cardona, K. Formosa (O.P. Bugeja 80), S. Azzopardi.
Xewkija Tigers and Kercem Ajax started their commitments in the second round of the championship with a point each earned from a goalless draw so that Xewkija kept their third spot on the table while Kercem remained at the bottom of the table.
The outcome of this encounter was a just result as the two sides tried hard to obtain the win for different reasons, as Xewkija were aiming to reduce the gap from the teams at the top of the table with a possibility to rejoin the race for the title, while Kercem were determined to start this second round on a good note to move away from the relegation zone and make up for the disappointing results obtained during the first round of the championship. Xewkija and Kercem tried to achieve their objective with different strategies Xewkija were well organised in their defence and tried to surprise their opponents with vertical play, while Kercem held more possession and produced more offensive actions. In the end, the two sides neutralised each other and the match produced very few open scoring opportunities. However, neither side managed to capitalise on their best chances, and the two sets of players left the field of play disappointed for missing the opportunity to add two more points which could be very useful in this contested campaign.
The match during the first half was balanced as the two sides were very prudent at their defence and operated offensive play that could have been converted in goals. However, the encounter remained at a deadlock until the end of the first half and both sides retained the possibility to obtain the win in the second half.
1’ Kercem could have opened the score after 30 seconds of play but an attempt by Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos was turned to a corner with some difficulty by Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin.
4’ Xewkija replied with a shot from a good position by Stefan Tesic that was well saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri.
5’ Gabriel Cardona unmarked Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos but the latter saw his low drive that was saved with difficulty by goalie Nikola Kosanin.
20’ Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri was called to make a good save when a shot by Stefan Tesic, following a break by Damir Andelovic, got a deflection by the defence but the goalkeeper recovered well and neutralised the danger.
26’ (protests for penalty) Kercem protested for a penalty when Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos ended on the floor inside the area as he was challenged by central defender Aleksa Bozovic.
29’ Xewkija were dangerous through a cross shot by Rodney Buttigieg from the right flank but the ball ended away from goal.
30’ Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin was well placed and saved without difficulty a shot by Kercem’s Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira.
36’ Kercem could have created more danger but a header from a good position by Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira ended wide.
Play after the resumption continued to take place mainly in the midfield where each side found it difficult to prevail so serious actions on goal became rare. During the final stages, Kercem tried to increase their efforts as they were playing with an extra player on the field but Xewkija corrected their deployment in time and managed to defend the positive result until the final whistle.
21’ Xerwkija created the first serious attempt towards the goal of the second period when Damir Andelovic was an unmarked position on the right-hand side of Kercem’s area but the striker saw his attempt that was well blocked by goalie Daniel Spiteri.
25’ (red card) Xewkija were reduced to ten players when Damir Andelovic was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for dissent.
27’ Kercem almost took immediate advantage of the extra player on the field but a good shot by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes aimed towards the far post ended wide.
35’ (crossbar) Xewkija went very close to take the lead when Rodney Buttigieg was released in a break by Stefan Tesic but the former saw his attempt that was stopped by the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
40’ Xewkija were again dangerous through a cross by Rodney Buttigieg and a header by Stefan Tesic that was stopped by the post but the action was stopped by the match official for an offside of the Serbian striker.
FT (XT 0 – KA 0)
Referee: Slawomir Olucha
Assistant Referees: Andrea Naudi, Ranald Portelli