Xaghra maintain their status in the top flight with a deserved win

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

19 April 2024

GFA BOV Gozo Football League 1st Division (MD 21) Gozo Stadium

Xewkija Tigers FC : 1

Xaghra United FC : 2

5’ (0-1) Fabian John Xuereb

42’ (0-2) Owen Fenech

64’ (1-2) Denzil Bugeja

Xewkija T:

N. Kosanin, J. Axiak, Js. Vella, D. Bogdanovic, M. Mercieca (H. Bonnici 85), J. Buttigieg (S. Xuereb 46), R. Buttigieg, A. Bozovic, C.D. Frances, D. Bugeja, B.A. Parada.

Xaghra U:

L. Xuereb, L. Almeida Da Silva,  S.F. Bajada, M. Bezzina (C. Camilleri 68), M. Mamo (S. Galea 87), O. Fenech, F.J. Xuereb, M.A. Morgon Filho, C.A. Diaz Arias, H. Da Silva Wilker (M. Cordina 71), M.P. Camilleri.

In the first match from the last Match-Day of the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division, Xaghra United obtained three critical points from a 2-1 win over Xewkija Tigers so that they ended the campaign outside the relegation zone. 

With this result, Xewkija Tigers extended their inconsistent pattern in the championship, where they had a very positive start. Still, during the season they remained in a mid-table position without any opportunity to challenge for the honours, but they always remained outside the relegation zone.  Xewkija thus ended the championship in fourth place in the final standings.

In this match, Xaghra were more motivated than their opponents and imposed more offensive play throughout the encounter.  Xaghra ended the first half with a deserved two-goal lead but did not manage to consolidate their advantage after the break as they were often erratic in their finishing.  Xewkija managed to re-open the issue midway through the second half but Xaghra were not demoralised and defended their one-goal lead until the final whistle.

This result rewards the efforts and resilience expressed by Xaghra United during the season, especially when considering that throughout the campaign they struggled to move away from the bottom places on the table.  Xaghra were forced to make various changes in the squad during the season and also changed their coach just before the last matches of the championship.  Xaghra registered some important results against the top teams during the championship which allowed them to make up for some disappointing results in the direct clashes from the relegation zone.  The final position of Xaghra on the standings is very encouraging for the future as they are aiming to regain a position among the main protagonists of Gozitan football.


Xaghra came out more aggressive than their op and managed to score an early goal so that they gained confidence and took the break with a two-goal lead.  Throughout the first period, Xewkija found it difficult to neutralise Xaghra’s play and they also failed to capitalise on some potential scoring opportunities.

5’ (0-1) Xaghra took the lead in their first serious attempt towards Xewkija’s goal when Michael Paul Camilleri’s cross from the left flank arrived to Fabian John Xuereb who fired in goal with a first-timer that surprised Xewjija’s goalie.

6’ Xewjija replied with a free kick from outside the area by Claudio Daniel Frances that was turned to a corner with some difficulty by Xaghra’s goalie Lorjean Xuereb.

15’ Xaghra’s goalie was almost surprised but recovered in time to save a corner shot from outside the area by Josiah Buttigieg.

20’ Xaghra replied with a good strike by Marlon Mamo but the ball ended wide.

23’ (post) Xaghra went very close to scoring another goal but a shot from an ideal position by Henrique Da Silva Wilker was stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten.

40’ Xewkija missed a good opportunity to level the score when Brian Alejandro Parada unmarked Matthias Mercieca inside Xaghra’s area but the latter saw his attempt that was well blocked by goalie Lorjean Xuereb.

42’ (0-2) Xaghra doubled their lead when Michael Bezzina released Owen Fenech who entered the area and netted with a low shot towards the far post that ended out of the reach of Xewkija’s goalie.

44’ Xewkija were again dangerous through an attempt from a free kick by Claudio Daniel Frances that was saved to a corner by the goalie Lorjean Xuereb.

45’ Xaghra were again dangerous when Michael Bezzina passed to an unmarked Marco Antonio Morgon Filho but the latter saw his shot from a good position that ended on the side of the net.

HT (0-2)

Second Half

After the break, Xaghra continued to enjoy territorial supremacy but failed to put the score beyond the reach of their opponents so Xewkija managed to reduce the deficit midway through the second half and the match became much more exciting with an uncertain outcome.

2’ Xaghra could have added another goal when Michael Paul Camilleri’s cross from the right flank arrived to Camilo Andres Diaz Arias but the latter saw his low shot that was blocked by the defence.

3’ In the following action Xewkija’s Matthias Mercieca entered Xaghra’s area from the left-hand side but his shot ended on the side of the net.

10’ Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin was almost surprised following an attempt from a free kick by Marco Antonio Morgon Filho but the same keeper recovered in time and blocked the danger.

18’ (protests for penalty) Xaghra protested for a penalty when Henrique Da Silva Wiker ran away from Xewkija’s defence and entered the area but was denied from concluding towards the goal with an intervention by goalie Nikola Kosanin so that the defence recovered and cleared the ball from the danger area.

19’ (1-2) Xaghra were punished for the missed chances as Xewkija re-opened the issue when the defence failed to clear the ball from their danger area and Denzil Bugeja took advantage and his shot ended in the net despite the attempt of Xaghra’s goalie to block the danger.

20’ Xewkija were again dangerous through an attempt by Brian Alejandro Parada that surprised Xaghra’s defence but goalie Lorjean Xuereb managed to deflect the ball to a corner.

45’ Xewkija had their last opportunity to save the result but a shot from a free kick by Claudio Daniel Frances ended high.

45+1’ Xewkija’s goalie Nikola Kosanin made an important intervention to block a close-range attempt by Xaghra’s substitute Matthias Cordina.

45+2’ Xaghra went very close to seal the win but a low shot by Camilo Andres Diaz Arias ended just wide.

FT (XT 1 – XU 2)

Referee: Emanuel Grech

Asst. Referees: Raymond Tabone, Anthony Paul Vella

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Written by GozoFA