Sannat Lions held to a draw and hand the title to Victoria Hotspurs

by | Apr 4, 2024 | 23/24, GFL 2nd Div, Match Report, News

26 March 2024
GFA BOV Gozo Football League 2nd Division (MD 13) Kercem Stadium

Sannat Lions FC : 1
Gharb Rangers FC : 1

24’ (0-1) Damian Depasquale
85’ (1-1) Daniel Borg

Sannat L:
K. Attard, J.W. Meilak (C. Gauci 86), K. Xuereb, E. Gauci, N. Grima, J. Xerri (P. Said 46), D. Borg, T. Agius (G. Debrincat 66), A. Azzopardi, C. Buttigieg, M. Gauci.

Gharb R:
A. Micallef, C. Cutajar, T. Axiak, A. Ofulue Chukwuwinke, F. Xuereb, S. Azzopardi (R. Portelli m90+3), S. Sillato, D. Galea, O. Atzori, D. Depasquale (J. Xerri 82), R. Meilak.

In the last match of Match-Day 13 of the second division campaign, Gharb Rangers held challengers for promotion Sannat Lions to a draw of two goals so that Gharb pulled with them the two teams at the bottom of the table and at the same time denied Sannt from remain in the tussle for the title and promotion. Therefore, with this result, Victoria Hotspurs became mathematically winners of the league and the promotion.

Sannat came out for this match as favourites to obtain a win to retain their chances to reach the Hotspurs at the top of the table in the remaining matches but they conceded Gharb’s play for more than an hour and they only managed to produce a reaction during the final stages when there was not much time left to turn a defeat into a win.

Sannat, who were considered as the main challengers for the main honour of the category with Victoria Hotspurs, compromised their current runners-up as third-placed Munxar Falcons may still aim to earn the right to play the relegation/promotion play-off with the team who finishes at the second place from the bottom in the top flight. The outcome of this match rewards Gharb for their positive performance and they are now on equal points with two other teams who are all aiming to avoid the bottom place in the final standings.

The two sides came out very aggressive and throughout the first half the two sides tried to produce offensive play. For most of the time, the strikers were well-controlled by the respective defensive departments and the serious scoring opportunities were rare. Gharb managed to put their heads in front
12’ Sannat threatened Gharb’s rearguard with a shot from an angled position by Nicholas Grima but the ball ended away from goal.
20’ (0-1) Gharb opened the score when Sannat’s goalie Kyle Attard partially saved a shot by Andrew Ofulue Chukwuwinke and from the resultant melee, Damian Depasquale placed the ball in the net.
27’ Sannat replied with a header by Manuel Gauci from a corner kick by Aaron Azzopardi that was saved with difficulty to another corner by Gharb’s goalie Andre Micallef.
29’ Gharb were again dangerous through a good shot by Carlos Cutajar but the ball ended wide.
HT (0-1)

Second Half
Gharb came out in better shape for the second period but as time passed by Sannat increased their efforts and managed to recover the deficit but they still did not manage to turn the result in their favour so they failed to reach their minimum objective from this encounter.
8’ Gharb were dangerous through a shot from outside the area by Stefan Azzopardi but the ball ended high.
15’ The Rangers went very close to double their lead but a header by Andrew Ofulue Chukwuwinke from a corner kick by Orlando Atzori was cleared off the fatal line by Sannat’s Eric Gauci.
25’ (post) Sannat could have levelled the score against the run of play but an attempt from a free kick by Aaron Azzopardi was stopped by the post.
38’ (crossbar – goal disallowed) Sannat went again close to levelling the score when an attempt from another free kick by Aaron Azzopardi was saved by the goalkeeper Andre Micallef with the aid of the crossbar and from the rebound substitute Gabriel Debrincat concluded in the net but the goal was disallowed for an offside infringement.
40’ (1-1) Sannat scored the equaliser when substitute Aaron Azzopardi delivered the ball towards the goalmouth from a free kick and Daniel Borg surprised the defence and the goalkeeper and placed in goal with a fine header.
45+1’ Sannat’s best opportunity to take the lead arrived from another free kick taken by Aaron Azzopardi but the ball ended just over the crossbar.

FT (SL 1 – GR 1)
Referee: Patrick Falzon
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Jules Ngangue

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