Ghajnsielem defend their first division status with a handsome win in the Play-Off

by | Apr 27, 2024 | 23/24, GFL 1st Div, GFL 2nd Div, Match Report, News

26 April 2024

GFA Promotion/Relegation Play-Off Gozo Stadium

Ghajnsielem FC: 5

Sannat Lions FC : 0

27’ (1-0) Kenny Hili

39’ (2-0)  penalty Bruno Da Cruz

61’ (3-0) Godwin Emmanuel

63’ (4-0) Godwin Emmanuel

76’ (5-0) Godwin Emmanuel


L. Buttigieg, M. Ciangura (P. Vella 62), T. Sciberras (D. Grozdanov 73), Al. Xuereb, K. Hili (A. Attard 78), B. Da Cruz, N.I. Belhadj, An. Xuereb, G. Emmanuel (N. Sultana 78), E. De Souza Santos Pereira, E. Grozdanov (K. Bajada 73).

Sannat L:

K. Attard, J.W. Meilak (C. Dingli 57), K. Xuereb, E. Gauci, N. Grima (L. Silva Gomes 46; P. Said 78), D. Borg (M. Mifsud 78), T. Agius (J. Xerri 57), C. Gauci, A. Azzopardi, C. Buttigieg, B. Kanta.

First-division side Ghajnsielem retained their first-division status with a convincing 5-0 win over the runners-up of the second-division Sannat Lions in the Relegation/Promotion Play Off which brings to the end the BOV Gozo Football Leagues of the first and second division  Ghajnsielem dominate this match and paved the way to the win by scoring two goals during the first half.  The Blacks continued to be the better side after the break and made sure of the win by scoring three more goals through a hat-trick by Godwin Emmanuel.

In this match, Sannat Lions struggled to neutralise Ghajnsielem’s play even though the latter had their influential midfield Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa missing due to a suspension.  Sannat came out for this match with a defensive deployment and tried to surprise their opponents with counterbreaks.  However, they ended up committing mistakes in their defence and were punished by Ghajnsielem.

This result rewards Ghajnsielem’s efforts throughout the season.  The Blacks conceded defeats with large margins which could have easily demoralised the players and the technical staff.  However, Ghajnsielem kept insisting on a group of young players, who started their career from their nursery, and as time passed by they managed to obtain the points they needed to remain in the tussle against relegation.  Ghajnsielem earned a decisive point on the last Match-Day so that they reached their main objective with this win in the Play-Off.


Ghajnsielem took control of the play from the first minutes of the encounter and produced continuous pressure of Sannat’s rearguard.  The Blacks created some very good scoring opportunities and took the break with a comfortable two-goal lead.

19’  The first serious attempt towards Sannat’s goal arrived when Godwin Emmanuel took the ball from Sannat’s defence but his strike was saved to a corner with difficulty by Sannat’s goalie Kyle Attard.

22’ The same goalkeeper was called to make another difficult intervention to save a header by Godwin Emmanuel following a cross by Eriks De Souza Santos Pereira.

27’ (1-0) Ghajnsielem opened the score when Godwin Emmanuel delivered a low cross from the right flank, the defence failed to clear the danger and Kenney Hili took full advantage and netted from close distance.

35’ Sannat’s goalie Kyle Attard once again denied Ghajnsielem from scoring when he turned to a corner a good shot by Godwin Emmanuel who took the ball following a wrong back pass by the defence.

38’ (2-0) penalty Ghajnsielem doubled their lead when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Sannat’s Kyle Xuereb on Godwin Emmanuel and Bruno Da Cruz converted from the penalty spot.

42’ Ghajnsielem’s Emil Grozdanov could have increased the lead for his side but his low shot from a good position was well saved by Sannat’s goalie Kyle Attard.

43’ Sannat went very close to reducing the deficit but an attempt from a long-range free kick by Aaron Azzopardi was turned to a corner by Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg.

45’ (crossbar) The Blacks went very close to scoring the third goal but a lob by Kenny Hili was stopped by the crossbar and Sannat’s defence managed to clear the danger from the rebound.

45+1’ Sannat were again dangerous when Boubacar Kanta entered Ghajnsielem’s area but his closed ranged shot was partially saved by goalie Luke Buttigieg and Ghajnsielem’s defence cleared the ball from the goalmouth to deny the same Kanta from depositing in goal.

HT (2-0)

Second Half

Sannat continued to find it very difficult to produce offensive play after the break as Ghansielem remained in control of play and continued to create danger within Sannat’s territory.  The first-division side converted its superiority by scoring three more goals to put the score beyond the reach of their opponents.

2’ Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg was well placed and saved a corner free kick from a long distance by Aaron Azzopardi.

4‘ The Blacks replied with an attempt by Alberto Xuereb but the ball ended wide.

11’ Ghajnsielem could have created more danger when Emil Grozdanov had an opportunity to conclude from a good position but the young striker hit badly and the goalkeeper saved the danger without difficulty.

16’ (3-0) Ghajnsielem extended their lead when Alberto Xuereb delivered a good cross from the left flank, Bruno Da Cruz failed to hit towards the target but Godwin Emmanuel was at the right place and fired in the net from close distance.

18’ (4-0) The Blacks added another goal when Bruno Da Cruz released Godwin Emmanuel inside Sannat’s area with a back heel and the striker concluded in goal with a low shot.

27’ (protests for penalty) Ghajnsielem protested for a penalty when Bruno Da Cruz ended up on the floor inside Sannat’s area as he tried to pass his direct opponent but the referee did not notice any infringement but cautioned Da Cruz with a yellow card for simulation.

31’ (5-0) Ghajnsielem sealed the win by scoring the fifth goal that arrived through a close-ranged header by Godwin Emmanuel following a cross from the left flank.

45’ Sannat went close to scoring a consolation goal but a good shot by Boubacar Kanta was well saved by Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg.

FT (GHJ 5 – SL 0)

Referee: Daniel Portelli

Asst. Referees: Kurt Saliba, Paul Apap

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