GFA Division I KO – S/final
Xewkija Tigers   Oratory Youths
Xewkija Tigers : 0   2 : Oratory Youths

 

  (S. Attard 30’ pen., 54’)

A. Parnis, P. Buttigieg, M. Gegic, J. Vella, P. Rapa, C. Bugeja, J. Cefai (K. Mercieca), G. Hili (C. Farrugia), J.M. Vella (C. Camilleri), J. Camilleri, D. Shields.

 

F. Vella, K. Borg, K. Farrugia, D. Stojanovic, C. Cardona, J. Attard (K. Farrugia), L. Blanco de Castro, S. Attard, A. Debrincat (K. Grima), J. Attard, M. Camilleri (F. Cini).

With this victory over Xewkija Tigers in the semi-final of the KO competition the Youths practically start the new season as the ended the previous one.  Oratory will be facing Nadur Youngsters in the final of the KO competition in a repetition of the GFA Cup final match at the end of last season.  Thus, the match will probably be an opportunity for the Youths to take revenge for the defeat conceded in the final.  However the result obtained in this match against Xewkija go beyond the statistics.  The performance shown by Oratory proofs that the greens are being rewarded for the hard work that they started when they were still playing in the lower category few years ago.  Oratory’s young players are now gaining experience and they seem ready to make the grade to become among the most established players on the island.  Oratory Youths’ win over the champions was a deserved result as the players led by Kevin Metcalf and Ruben Mercieca shared play with their more quoted opponents, were well organised at their defence and effective in attack.  Oratory’s Shaun Attard was in excellent form and Xewkija’s rearguard never managed to hold the young striker from creating danger.  Attard also ended up the hero for his side by scoring the two goals of the match.

The Youths created the first attempt at goal of the match in the third minute of play through a direct free kick from an angled position by Blanco de Castro that5w as punched away by goalie Adrian Parnis.  In an immediate reply by Xewkija Dene Shields received an inviting ball in the area from Christian Bugeja but the Scottish striker had his attempt well saved by goalie Franklin Vella.  On 22 minutes the Tigers had a good scoring opportunity when a free kick by Paul Rapa arrived to John Camilleri who concluded wide form close distance.  Four minutes later Oratory’s Shaun Attard released Mark Camilleri in Xewkija’s area but the latter hit badly from close distance and the ball ended high.  On the half hour mark Oratory were awarded a penalty.  Shaun Attard entered the area with a personal action but was floored by Joseph Mario Vella and the same Attard converted from the spot kick.  Xewkija failed to produce an immediate reaction and on 41 minutes Oratory were again dangerous through a header by Mark Camilleri following a cross by Mark Camilleri that ended just wide.

Xewkija tried to take command of play from the early stages of the second period but the Youths were well deployed and goalie Franklin Vella was not called to make difficult interventions.  On 49 minutes Oratory went again close to scoring through a shot from long distance by Shaun Attard that ended high.  On 54 minutes the Youths doubled the score when Shaun Attard entered Xewkija’s area from the left flank and passed through at least three defenders before placing the ball at the far post with a curling shot that was out of the reach of goalie Parnis.  Three minutes later Xewkija replied with a header by John Camilleri from a cross by Gennaro Hili that ended wide and on 64 minutes Dene Shields had a header from a free kick by substitute Chris Camilleri that ended high.  On 68 minutes Oratory’s goalie was well placed and managed to save a good strike by Chris Camilleri but Xewkija’s reaction was sterile for the rest of the encounter and failed to create serious danger to Oratory’s defence.  On the other hand Oratory could have sealed the victory with a third goal on at least two occasions.  On 85 minutes Xewkija’s goalie Parnis saved with some difficulty a free kick by Shaun Attard and in the second minute of stoppage time the same goalkeeper was called to make another good intervention to deny substitute Francesco Cini from scoring. 

Referee: Sandro Spiteri

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