Qala extend their positive run with another fine win

by | Mar 19, 2024 | 23/24, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

8 March 2024

GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 16) Gozo Stadium

Qala Saints FC: 2

Kercem Ajax FC : 0

9’ (1-0) Christian Mercieca

86’ (2-0) Cristian Mercieca

Qala S:

O. Attard, N. Inguanez (C. Cardona 90+2), Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, M. Buttigieg, L.M. Dos Santos (S. Curmi 89), E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis, N.C. Njoiku, C. Mercieca, M. Xerri.

Kercem A:

G. Bugeja, J. Theuma, O.G. Fernandes, C. Attard, K.L. Nunes Santos, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, A. Mizzi, K. Sciberras, G. Cardona, K. Formosa, S. Azzopardi.

Challengers for the title Qala Saints remained in contention for the tile with three important points earned from a 2-0 win in the first match from Match-Day 16 of the championship.  With this result, Qala will play all their chances to clinch the main honour in Gozitan football for the first time in their history in their next match where they face the current leaders and reigning champions Nadur Youngsters in a top-of-the-table clash.

For this match, both Qala and Kercem had some regular players missing due to suspensions and injuries.  Kercem played this match without central defender Iuri Barbosa Da Silva and Owen Peter Bugeja, while Qala played this match without the service of striker Igor Nedeljkovic and midfielder Lucas Baretto Da Silva.

The match was quite interesting as the final result remained uncertain until the final stages.  Qala came out determined to obtain the win not only to obtain the three points and remain in the race for the title but also to make up for the two defeats conceded in their matches of the previous two rounds against the same Kercem.  Qala managed to score a goal at an early stage but Kercem recovered from the shock and for most of the encounter they remained in contention to obtain a positive result.  However, the Maroons put their minds at rest from the win by scoring the second goal a few minutes away from the end of the encounter.  The main protagonist in Qala’s win was undoubtedly Christian Mercieca who scored the two goals that decided the issue.

Timeline:

Qala came out more aggressive than their opponents and for the first half hour of play, they kept pressure on Kercem’s defence where they could have opened a lead of more than one goal.  Kercem came out of their defence during the last part of the first half and went close to level the score on more than one occasion.

5’ (protests for penalty) Qala protested for a penalty, alleging handling, when Kercem’s defence blocked the danger in their area,  and from the same action the shot by Martin Buttigieg was saved by goalie Gaetano Bugeja.

8’ Kercem’s goalie Gaetano Bugeja made a good save to block an attempt from a free kick by Lucas Mattheus Dos Santos.

9’ (`1-0) Qala took a deserved lead through a curling lob from an angled position by Christian Mercieca that ended out of the reach of Kercem’s goalie.

10’ The Maroons once again threatened Kercem’s rearguard through a shot by Jordi Parnis following a personal action but goalie Gaetano Bugeja was well-placed and neutralised the danger.

29’ Kercem’s Karl Formosa produced a fine move through Qala’s rearguard but the striker failed to capitalise and the defence cleared the danger.

30’ In another good action by Kercem, a shot by Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira was saved by Qala’s goalie Owen Attard.

33’ The same goalkeeper was again called to make an important intervention following a free kick by Kercem’s Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira.

35’ Qala went again close to scoring when Jordi Parnis delivered a good cross inside Kercem’s area but the header by Nathan Chukwudi Njoku ended high.

40’ (protests for penalty) Kercem protested for a penalty when Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira ended up on the floor inside Qala’s area as he tried to pass with a personal action.

45’ (protests for penalty) Qala also protested for a penalty when Nathan Chukwudi Njoku ended up on the floor inside Kercem’s area following a challenge with his direct opponent.

HT (1-0)

Second Half

Kercem came out for the second period more determined in an attempt to recover the score but they failed to capitalise on some potential scoring opportunities.  Qala managed to come out of their defence as time passed by and took more control of play during the last part of the encounter where they also made sure of the win by scoring the second goal.

6’ Qala’s goalie Owen Attard was called to make a good intervention to block a shot by Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira.

8’ The same goalkeeper was well placed to save a header by Kiao Lucas Nunes Santos following a cross by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes.

33’ Qala replied with a lob by Christian Mercieca that ended wide.

34’ The Maroons were again dangerous when Jordi Parnis passed to Christian Mercieca but the latter had his attempt saved to a corner by Kercem’s goalie Gaetano Bugeja.

39’ Kercem’s Gabriel Cardona had a shot following a corner kick by Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira that ended wide.

41’ (2-0) Qala put their mids at rest from the win when Jordi Parnis entered the area with a personal action but had his low shot that was stopped by the post and from their rebound Joseph Buttigieg’s attempt was blocked on the fatal line by the defence but Christian Mercieca arrived on the ball in time to push the ball in the net from close distance.

FT (QS 2 – KA 0)

Referee: Raiden Psaila

Asst. Referees: Darko Stankovic, Keiran Mallia

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Written by GozoFA