Ghajnsielem win another direct clash from the red zone

by | Feb 24, 2024 | 23/24, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

16 February 2024

GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 13) Gozo Stadium

Ghajnsielem FC : 2

Xaghra United FC : 0

58’ (1-0) Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa

69’ (red card) Marco Antonio Morgon Filho (XU)

82’ (2-0) Godwin Emmanuel


L. Buttigieg, M. Ciangura (M.A. Scicluna 51), Al. Xuereb, B. Da Cruz, N.I. Belhadj, Ant. Xuereb (T. Sciberras 86), G. Emmanuel, E. De Souza Santos Pereira, W. Hili, E. Grozdanov (D. Hili 84), C.H. Da Silva Barbosa.

Xaghra U:

L. Xuereb, L. Almeida Da Silva, S.F. Bajada (D. Azzopardi 78), M. Bezzina, M. Mamo (C. Camilleri 62), O. Fenech (M.P. Camilleri 71), M. Cordina, F.J. Xuereb (S. Galea 62), M.A. Morgon Filho, C.A. Diaz Arias, H. Da Silva Wilker.

Ghajnsielem obtained three precious points from a 2-0 win over Xagfhra United so they are now in a safer place on the table with an eight-point lead over the bottom place and three points more than the same Xaghra who remain in second place from the bottom.

This match was a direct clash between two teams who were on equal points sharing the second place from the bottom and therefore with the risk of ending up in a play-off against relegation at the end of the championship.  In this match, however, Ghajnsielem seemed more experienced and managed to produce better play so that the encounter’s outcome was just.  Xaghra were expected to be more competitive mainly because they were coming from a positive result obtained in their match of the second round against the leaders but in this match, they struggled to produce danger and they only managed to remain in contention for a positive result until the hour mark.  Overall, Ghajnsielem produced more dangerous play and could have paved the way to the win by taking the lead during the first half.  The Blacks were not demoralised and kept insisting after the break so that they achieved their objective by scoring two goals which put the result beyond the reach of their opponents.


Ghajnsielem came out for this match more motivated and for most of the first half they created danger within Xaghra’s territory.  However, Ghajnsielem’s strikers were often erratic and Xaghra managed to keep a clean sheet until the end of the first half.

3’ Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb was called to make a good intervention to block an effort from a good position by Godwin Emmanuel.

4’ Xaghra replied with a counter break but the attempt by Henrique Da Silva Wilker was neutralised without difficulty by Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg.

10’ Ghajnsielem were again dangerous but a shot on the run by Bruno Da Cruz was blocked by Xaghra’s keeper Lorjean Xuereb.

14’ Ghajnsielem missed a good opportunity to take the lead when Xaghra’s defence failed to clear the danger from their area and the ball arrived to Bruno Da Cruz who saw his attempt from an ideal position that ended wide.

27’ (goal disallowed) Xaghra almost surprised Ghajnsielem as the latter cleared badly from a free kick and Xaghra’s Sam Frank Bajada concluded in the net with a low shot but the goal was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper.

35’ Xaghra once again threatened Ghajnsielem’s defence through a shot from outside the area by Camilo Andres Diaz Arias but goalie Luke Buttigieg was well paced and saved the danger.

39’ The Blacks went again close to open the score when Alberto Xuereb delivered an inviting cross inside Xaghra’s area but the shot by Bruno Da Cruz ended wide.

HT (0-0)

Second Half

After the resumption, Ghajnsielem continued to produce more offensive play and their efforts were awarded as they took the lead just before the hour mark so that they administered play for the remaining minutes of play and sealed the win by scoring a second goal a few minutes away from the end of the encounter.

2’ Ghajnsielem’s Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa had a good attempt that was saved with some difficulty by Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb.

9’ The same goalkeeper was called to make another good intervention to block a shot by Ghajnsielem’s Mark Anthony Scicluna.

13’ (1-0) The Blacks opened the score through a shot directly from a long-range free kick by Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa that surprised Xaghra’s goalie as the latter failed to hold the ball at the far post and the ball ended in the net.

16’ (protests for penalty) Xaghra tried to produce an immediate reaction and protested for a penalty when Henrique Da Silva Wilker ended up on the floor inside Ghajnsielem’s area following a challenge with his opponent.

16’ In the following action Ghajnsielem’s Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa entered Xaghra’s territory with a counter break but goalie Lorjean Xuereb well saved his final shot.

24’ (red card) Xaghra were reduced to ten players when Marco Antonio Morgon Filho tried to pass inside Ghajnsielem’s area and ended on the floor. Still, the referee noted simulation by the striker who was cautioned and sent off for a second bookable offence. 

31’ Xaghra’s best opportunity to level the score arrived through a shot by Michael Bezzina but goalie Luke Buttigieg was well paced and saved the danger.

32’ Ghajnsielem were again dangerous through an attempt directly from a free kick by Bruno Da Cruz but the ball ended away from goal.

37’ (2-0)  Ghajnsielem made sure of the three points by scoring the second goal when a strike by Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa was partially saved by Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb and from the rebound Godwin Emmanuel’s header ended in the net despite the attempt of the goalkeeper to clear the danger.

FT (GHJ 2 – XU 0)

Referee: Andrea Naudi

Asst. Referees: David Castillo, Patrick Falzon

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