Xaghra, Kercem share the spoils

by | Apr 4, 2024 | 23/24, GFL 1st Div, Match Report, News

21 March 2024

GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 18) Gozo Stadium

Xaghra United FC : 0

Kercem Ajax FC : 0

Xaghra U:

L. Xuereb, L. Almeida Da Silva,  S.F. Bajada, M. Bezzina (J. Bajada 90), M. Mamo, O. Fenech, M. Cordina (M.P. Camilleri 46), F.J. Xuereb  (S. Galea 85), M.A. Morgon Filho, C.A. Diaz Arias, H. Da Silva Wilker.

Kercem A:

D. Spiteri, D. Cassar, I. Barbosa Da Silva, J. Thuma (C. Attard 78), O.G. Fernandes, K.L. Nunes Santos, P. Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira, G. Cardona (O.P. Bugeja 64), K. Formosa, S. Azzopardi.

Xaghra United and Kercem Ajax earned a point each from a goalless draw so that at the end of Match-Day 18 the two sides remain at the same position on the table, with Xaghra occupying the second place from the bottom and Kercem holding one place better and with a three-point lead over the same Xaghra.

The two sides came out for this match to obtain a win as Kercem could have made a decisive improvement on the standings to move away from the risk of ending up in the red zone. At the same time, Xaghra could have reached the same Kercem on the table to re-open their chances to avoid the play-off against relegation.  In the end, the outcome probably satisfied more than their opponents but the two sides still have to fight harder in the remaining three matches to achieve their common objective.

In this match, Kercem produced more offensive play but Xaghra remained in contention and had their chances to break the deadlock.  However, the strikers on both sides were erratic and it was not surprising that the two sides ended with a clean sheet.

Photo: Anthony Cassar

Timeline:

Kercem saw more of the ball throughout the first period and had more attempts towards goal but Xaghra were well deployed and threatened their opponents with sporadic breaks.

1’ Kercem had their first attempt towards Xaghra’s goal after just 25 seconds of play through a shot by Jason Theuma but the ball ended wide.

7’ Xaghra replied with an attempt by Michael Bezzina that missed the target.

8’ (protests for penalty) Kercem protested for a penalty following a challenge by Marlon Mamo on Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes but the referee awarded a free kick just outside Xaghra’s area.

21’ The Ajax could have capitalised better when Gabriel Cardona delivered a cross inside Xaghra’s area but the attempt by Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos was blocked to a corner by the defence.

29’ Kercem’s Kiao Lucas Nunes Santos had a good header, following a cross by Iuri Barbosa Da Silva, that ended wide.

39’ Kercem missed an open scoring opportunity when Kiao Lucas Nunes Santos passed to Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira but the latter concluded incredibly wide from close distance.

HT (0-0)

Second Half

Xaghra tried to increase their efforts after the break and had a good patch of play where they produced some pressure on Kercem’s defence but as time passed by Ajax regained territorial supremacy and created some opportunities which could have been converted in goals.

1’ Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb was well-placed after just 30 seconds of play and managed to block a good attempt by Gabriel Cardona. 

4’ Xaghra’s Marco Antonio Morgon Filho could have created more danger but his shot from a good position ended away from goal.

10’ (crossbar)  The same Brazilian striker almost surprised Kercem’s keeper but his cross shot hit the crossbar.

11’  Kercem were again dangerous through an initiative by Gabriel Cardona but his attempt got a deflection and goalie Lorjean Xuereb saved without difficulty.

22’ Kercem’s Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira passed through Xaghra’s defence with a personal action but his shot from a good position ended over the crossbar.

24’ Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb denied Kercem from opening the score when Daniel Cassar won the ball from Xaghra’s defence and his low cross Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos prolonged to Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira. Still, the latter saw his attempt from close distance blocked by the goalkeeper.

31’ Xaghra replied with a strike from outside the area by Henrique Da Silva Wilker that ended wide.

45+3’ Kercem missed an opportunity to win when Xaghra’s defence failed to clear a cross by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes but Kaio Lucas Nunes Santos had his close ranged shot that was blocked by the defence.

FT (XU 0 – KA 0)

Photo: Anthony Cassar

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