Qala ease past the Wanderers and retain the top position

by | Apr 20, 2024 | 23/24, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

12 April 2024

GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 20) Gozo Stadium

SK Victoria Wanderers FC: 1

Qala Saints FC: 2

56’ (0-1) Christian Mercieca

69’ (1-1) o.g. Lucas Baretto Da Silva

72’ (1-2) Igor Nedeljkovic

SK Victoria W:

O. Xuereb, A. Galiano Lazarini, N. Camilleri, (J. Xuereb 69) K. Mercieca, M.V. Claudino Ramos (Choco), J. Conceicao Cabral, E. Zammit, C.S. Souza Da Silva, N. Grech, A. Touarha, J. Saliba (N. Vella 53).

Qala S:

O. Attard, N. Inguanez, Jsph. Buttigieg, J.V. Ferrari Silva, L.B. Da Silva, L.M. Dos Santos (M. Xerri 85), E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis (M. Buttigieg 74), N.C. Njoku, C. Mercieca, I. Nedeljkovic.

Qala Saints maintained their chances to challenge for the title until the last Match-Day of the championship with the three points obtained from a 2-1 win over third-placed SK Victoria Wanderers.

Qala came out for this, match from the very beginning and for most of the time they saw more of the ball and dictated matters.  However, the Maroons must have been overconfident during the first part of the encounter as they were very often erratic in their finishing and struggled to find a way to convert their offensive play into goals.  The Wanderers were well deployed at their defence for most of the time and made it very difficult for their opponents to create open scoring opportunities.  The Citizens also managed to score an equaliser at one point but failed to protect the result as they conceded the decisive goal a few minutes after scoring.

With this result, Qala made sure that they ended the penultimate Match-Day of the campaign as co-leaders and may become champions on the last Match-Day if they win their match against relegation strugglers Oratory Youths and the other challengers Nadur drop points from their match against SK Victoria Wanderers.

Timeline:

Qala held territorial supremacy for most of the first period and the Wanderers were forced to deploy more players at their defence so that Victoria’s goalie was not called to make difficult interventions.  The Citizens on the other hand tried to threaten Qala’s defence with counter breaks but their efforts were sterile and the Maroons did not concede any particular scoring opportunities to their opponents so it was not surprising that the two teams took the break on a stalemate.

2’ The Wanderers could have created more danger but a shot from an angled position by Emerson Zammit was well saved by Qala’s goalie Owen Attard.

3’ In the following action Victoria’s defence failed to clear the ball from their area but the attempt by Qala’s Igor Nedeljkovic ended away from goal.

12’ The Maroons were again dangerous but a curling shot by Jordi Parnis ended wide.

18’ (protests for penalty)  Qala protested for a penalty when Igor Nedeljkovic tried to pass with a personal action but ended up on the floor outside the area following a challenge by Victoria’s Alexandre Galiano Lazzarini and the ball arrived to Christian Mercieca who had his shot handled inside the area by Victoria’s Neil Camilleri.  However, the referee punished the first infringement by Galiano Lazzarini and ordered a free kick just outside the area among some protests claiming a penalty for the handling.  From the resultant free kick, the shot by Christian Mercieca ended high.

23’ Victoria’s goalie Omar Xuereb was called to make an important intervention to turn to a corner an attempt from a free kick by Lucas Mattheus Dos Santos.

35’ Qala’s Lucas Mattheus Dos Santos had a good volley following a cross by Christian Mercieca but the ball ended wide.

42’ Qala’s Lucas Mattheus Dos Santos had another attempt directly from a free kick that ended high.

43’ The Maroons were again dangerous through a strike by Igor Nedeljkovic but the ball ended again over the crossbar.

45’ Qala’s last scoring opportunity of the first period arrived through an initiative by Lucas Baretto Da Silva who released Igor Nedeljkovic but the latter saw his attempt that missed the target.

HT (0-0)

Second Half

Qala continued to hold command of play from the early stages of the second period even though they had the wind blowing in their face.  Qala’s efforts were rewarded as they managed to take the lead at an early stage and were therefore relieved of the pressure.  The Wanderers, however, scored the equaliser midway through the second half but conceded an immediate reaction by Qala who regained the lead and administered the result until the end of the encounter.

2’ Qala’s Christian Mercieca had a good attempt following a short clearance by Victoria’s defence that ended over the crossbar.

11’ (0-1) Qala broke the deadlock when Victoria’s defence failed to clear the ball from their danger area and at the end the ball arrived to Christian Mercieca who placed in goal with a low drive from the edge of the area.

13’ The Maroons went again close to score but a header by Jordi Parnis following a cross from the left flank by Christian Mercieca ended wide.

24’ (1-1) The Wanderers surprised their opponents and levelled the score when Caique Silvio Souza Da Silva delivered the ball in front of the goalmouth from a corner kick and Qala’s Lucas Baretto Da Silva headed badly and committed an own goal in an attempt to clear the danger.

27’ (1-2) Qala had an immediate reaction and regained the lead when a free kick from Qala’s area by Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva arrived to Igor Nedeljkovic just outside Victoria’s area and the striker resisted the challenge of his direct opponent before placing in goal with a low shot.

33’ The Maroons could have added another goal but a lob from a good position by Igor Nedeljkovic ended just wide.

38’ The Wanderers went closest to save the result through a shot from a long distance by Marcus Vinicius Claudino Ramos but the ball ended just wide.

FT (SKVW 1 – QS 2)

Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

Asst. Referees: Alan Camilleri, Paul Apa

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