Qala Saints win the BOV GFA Cup with a fine win over Nadur Youngsters

by | May 6, 2024 | 23/24, BOV GFA Cup, News

28 April 2024

BOV GFA Cup (Final) Gozo Stadium

Nadur Youngsters FC : 1

Qala Saints FC: 4

32’ (0-1) Jordi Parnis

55’ (0-2) Christian Mercieca

61’ (1-2) Matthias Said

77’ (1-3) Igor Nedeljokovic

90+1’ (1-4) Christian Mercieca

Nadur Y:

S. Sultana, J.A. Ferreira Dos Santos, I. Xuereb, M. Pereira Muniz, J.M. Vella B. Said 59), J. Zammit, M. Barbosa, S. Cassar, G. Hili (M. Said 54), G. Muscat (K. Grima 54), J.V. De Oliveira Florencio.

Qala S:

O. Attard, Jsph. Buttigieg,  J.V. Ferrari Silva, M. Buttigieg, L.M. Dos Santos, E. Buttigieg, J. Parnis (S. Curmi 81), N.C. Njoku, C. Mercieca, I. Nedeljkovic, M. Xerri (N. Inguanez 46).

In the last competitive match of the Gozitan football for the 2023/2024 season, Qala Saints lifted the BOV GFA Cup for the second time in their club history following a 4-1 win in the final of this competition over champions Nadur Youngsters.  The final of the BOV GFA Cup this season was contested by the current protagonists of the top flight in Gozitan football.

Before this match, the two sides won the other three previous honours, with Nadur Youngsters winning the GFA Super Cup and the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division, while Qala Saints, who were strong challengers for the title until the last match-day, won the GFA 1st Division Knock Out.  This was also the fifth match of the season between the two sides where Nadur won two matches from three of the championship, the other match of the campaign ended in a draw, while Qala won the final of the Knock Out competition for the top flight.

The two sides were aiming to end the season by winning the second most important honour in Gozitan football, but Qala Saints prevailed over Nadur, who were also the holders of the competition, as they were the better side for most of the ninety minutes and produced more dangerous actions towards goal.  Nadur had a prudent approach during the first half as they were playing against the direction of the strong wind, so they allowed their opponents to dictate matters.  However, they ended the first half trailing by one goal and failed to produce a reaction after the break as Qala continued to be the better side on the field of play and made sure of the win by scoring three more goals.

This victory rewards Qala for their efforts in the past four years to establish a place with the top teams in Gozitan football.  The Maroons won promotion to the top flight at the end of the season 2021/2022.  On their return to the first division after many years, they engaged Shaun Bajada as a payer coach, who led his new side to become the revelation side by being competitive in all competitions.  Qala did not win any honour during the season 2022/2023 but this season they managed to improve their status as they kept challenging for the title until the end of the campaign and won two major honours by defeating Nadur in the final on both occasions.

After the match Qala Saints were presented with medals and the BOV GFA Cup trophy by Ms Charmaine Borg, Manager of the Bank of Valletta for Gozo, and the President of the Gozo Football Association Dr Samuel Azzopardi in the presence of other GFA officials and among the celebrations by Qala’s players, officials and supporters.


Qala came out with the wind blowing in their favour and for most of the time during the first half, they held the initiative of play and kept their opponents within their half defending their territory with many players.  Qala however were often erratic in their final passing towards their strikers and did not manage to convert their superiority into serious actions on Nadur’s goal.  The Youngsters on the other hand tried to resist and operated sporadic breaks which threatened Qala’s defence.  Qala however took the break with a deserved one-goal lead that arrived after the half-hour mark.

6’ Qala had their first attempt towards Nadur’s goal through an effort by Igor Nedeljkovic that was blocked with some difficulty by Nadur’s keeper Steve Sultana.

12’ The Maroons could have created more danger but a curling shot by Christian Mercieca missed the target.

16’ Nadur’s goalie Steve Sultana was well placed and neutralised without difficulty an attempt from a free kick by Lucas Mattheus Dois Santos.

24’ Nadur’s first shot towards Qala’s goal arrived from a free kick by Marcelo Barbosa but the ball ended over the crossbar.

24’ In an immediate replay by Qala, a strike by Manwel Xerri missed the target.

27’ Qala threatened Nadur’s defence with a persistent action which ended with a low shot by Martin Buttigieg that was saved by Nadur’s keeper Steve Sultana.

27’ Qala kept insisting and Nadur’s goalie Steve Sultana was again well placed to neutralise an attempt by Lucas Mattheis Dos Santos following a personal action.

30’ Nadur operated a good move through an initiative by Marcelo Barbosa but from his pass, Joao Vitor De Oliveira Florencio had his shot that was blocked by Qala’s goalie Owen Attard.

31’ The same goalkeeper was again at the right place to save without difficulty a shot by Nadur’s Marcelo Barbosa.

32’ (0-1) Qala opened the score when Igor Nedeljkovic passed from the left-hand side and his low pass Jordi Parnis hit badly but Nadur’s defence cleared badly and the ball bounced on the same striker and ended in the net.

35’ Qala were again dangerous when Igor Nedeljkovic passed with a personal action but his shot was saved by Nadur’s keeper.

36’ The Maroons could have created more danger but an attempt from a free kick by Lucas Mattheus Dos Santos ended away from goal.

45+2’ Nadur missed a goal-scoring opportunity when Qala’s defence cleared badly from outside their area and the ball arrived to an unmarked Marcelo Barbosa who saw his shot from an ideal position that ended away from goal,

HT (0-1)

Second Half

Nadur failed to take command of play from the beginning of the second period mainly because Qala produced effective pressing on Nadur’s defence and the latter were very often forced to give the ball away.  Qala managed to double their lead but for some time they conceded a reaction from Nadur and the match became much more contested.  However, the Maroons were not demoralised and made sure of the win by scoring two other goals in the final stages which made it very difficult for their opponents to recover.

10’ (0-2) Qala doubled their lead when Lucas Mattheus Dos Santos entered Nadur’s area from the right flank with a personal action, his low pass surprised the defence and the ball arrived to Christian Mercieca who was unmarked near the far post who placed easily into an open goal.

15’ Nadur replied with an attempt by Marcelo Barbosa but the ball ended away from Qala’s goal.

16’ (1-2) Nadur re-opened the issue when Marcelo Barbosa released substitute Matthias Said and the latter surprised the goalkeeper with a shot towards the corner of the net.

22’ (crossbar) Nadur almost clinched the equaliser when Marcelo Barbosa’s delivery from a free kick surprised the defence and the goalkeeper but the ball bounced in front of the goalmouth and hit the crossbar so that the Maroons escaped the danger.

27’ Nadur had another opportunity to level the score when substitute Brandon Said was released inside Qala’s area by Marcelo Barbosa but the former striker concluded badly when from an ideal position.

31’ Qala recovered from a difficult moment and was dangerous through a header by Igor Nedljkovic following a free kick by Lucas Matheus Dis Santos but the ball ended wide.

32’ (1-3) The Maroons regained their two-goal lead when Christian Mercieca passed from the left flank, entered the area and from his inviting cross, Igor Nedeljkovic headed in a goal from close distance.

45’ Nadur’s last opportunity to re-open the issue arrived through an attempt by Stefan Cassar that was saved without difficulty by Qala’s goalie Owen Attard.

45+1’ (1-4) Qala sealed their win by scoring the fourth goal that arrived from a counter break where Lucas Mattheus Dos Santos released Igor Nedeljkovic who ran towards Nadur’s area and from his low pass Christian Mercieca concluded easily in goal.

FT (NY 1 – QS 4)

Referee: Philip Farrugia

Asst. Referees: Alan Camilleri, Robert Curtis

4th Official: Andrea Naudi

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