Xaghra leave it late to turn a defeat into a win

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

26 January 2024

GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 11) Gozo Stadium

Kercem Ajax FC: 1

Xaghra United FC: 2

31’ (red card) Daniel Spiteri (KA)

73’ (red card) Savio Galea (XU)

83’ (1-0) Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos

88’ (1-1) Sam Frank Bajada

90’ (1-2) Chris Camilleri

Kercem A:

D. Spiteri, D. Cassar, I. Barbosa Da Silva, J. Theuma, O.G. Fernandes, K.L. Nunes Santos, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, O.P. Bugeja (G. Bugeja 33), G. Cardona, S. Azzopardi.

Xaghra U:

L. Xuereb, S. Galea, L. Almeida Da Silva, S.F. Bajada, M. Bezzina (C. Camilleri 71), D. Azzopardi, M. Mamo (M.P. Camilleri 75), M. Cordina, M.A. Morgon Filho, C.A. Diaz Arias, H. Da Silva Wilker (J. Xuereb 47).

In the first match from Match Day 11 of the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division, Xaghra United came from behind to obtain three very important points from a 2-1 win over Kercem Ajax.  With this win, Xaghra moved away from the second place from the bottom and reached the same Kercem on the table.

This match between Kercem and Xaghra turned out into a well-contested encounter where the win could have gone either way.  However, the two sides expressed their respective limitations which reflects the position of the two sides on the table.  The two sides approached the encounter to obtain a win as Kercem had an opportunity to consolidate their mid-table position while Xaghra needed points to move away from the relegation zone.  Most of the time the match seemed heading towards a goalless draw as the two teams were reduced to ten players.  Kercem managed to take the lead with a goal scored seven minutes away from the end of regular time but they became overconfident and were surprised by their opponents during the dying moments of the encounter as they conceded the two goals that decided the issue.


The two sides came out for this match to take command of play and during the opening stages, both Kercem and Xaghra had some opportunities where they could have opened the score.  However, the two defensive departments managed to control the danger at the two ends of the field and as time passed by the action on goal became very rare.

1’ Xaghra produced the first attempt towards the goal of the encounter that arrived through Marcos Antonio Morgon Filho who had a shot following a personal action but the ball ended over the crossbar.

3’ Xaghra went again close to score but an effort by Henrique Da Silva Wilker was neutralised by Kercem’s goalie Daniel Spiteri.

6’ Kercem could have created more danger but an attempt from a free kick by debutant Iuri Barbosa Da Silva.

12’ Kercem operated a breakthrough an initiative by Gabriel Cardona who released Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira but the latter saw his attempt was well saved by goalie Lorjean Xuereb.

14’ Xaghra’s Daniel Azzopardi tried to surprise Kercem’s keeper with a cross-shot but the ball missed the target.

31’ (red card) Kercem were reduced to ten players when goalkeeper Daniel Spiteri was sent off for denying Henrique Da Silva Wiker from entering alone inside his area following a fast break.

34’ From the resultant free kick the shot by Camilo Andres Diaz Arias was well saved by substitute goalkeeper Gaetano Bugeja.

37’ Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb was well placed and saved a strike from a long distance by Kercem’s Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes. 

HT (0-0)

Second Half

Xaghra did not manage to take advantage of the extra player on the field and for the first part of the second period, Kercem seemed in control of the play even though they were playing with a player.  However, Xaghra also ended up with ten players and during the final stages the match became much more exciting and the outcome was eventually decided with goals scored during the last minutes of regular time. 

7’ Kercem’s Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira had an attempt from a free kick that got a deflection by the wall and the ball ended in a corner.

10’ (protests for penalty) Kercem protested for a penalty when Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira ended on the floor inside the area following a challenge with Xaghra’s defender Sam Frank Bajada.

21’ Kercem operated a counter break but the shot by Kaio Lucas Nuns Santos ended high.

25’ Xaghra replied with an initiative by Marco Antonio Morgon Filho who passed inside Kercem’s area but from his pass, the shot by Camilo Andres Diaz Arias ended over the crossbar.

28’ (red card) Xaghra were also reduced to ten players when Savio Galea was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a foul on Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira.

32’ Kercem were again dangerous when a cross for the left flank by Iuri Barbosa Da Silva arrived to Gabriel Cardona at the edge of the area but the latter saw his shot that ended wide.

38’ (1-0) Kercem broke the deadlock when Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos took the ball from a short clearance by Xaghra’s defence area and surprised the goalkeeper with a fine volley.

43’ (1-1) Xaghra managed to level the score when Kercem’s defence was surprised following a free kick by Marco Antonio Morgon Filho and the ball arrived to an unmarked Sam Frank Bajada who placed in goal from close distance.

45’ (1-2) Xaghra managed to turn the result in their favour when substitute Joel Xuereb unmarked the other substitute Chris Camilleri inside Kercem’s area and the latter concluded in goal with a low shot from an ideal position.

FT (KA 1 – XU 2)

Referee: Andrea Naudi

Asst. Referees: David Castillo, Raiden Psaila

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Written by GozoFA