MFA FA Trophy / Round 4
Pieta Hotspurs   Victoria Hotspurs
Xewkija Tigers : 1   0 : Victoria Hotspurs

(J. Pisani 22’ pen)



M. Montfort, K. Micallef, C. Grech, L. Fortunato Dos Santos, J. Pisani, O.N. Anonam (C. Stewart), D. Agius (R. Costa), G.J. Da Silva, C. Fraces, L.E. Micallef (K. Cesare), R. Rodrigues Da Silva.


M. Vella, M. Buhagiar,F. Apap, M. Bamba (J. Pace), D. Farrugia, J.F. Aguiar, J. Ikeokwu, N. Vasilic, D. Tayou, J. Bajada, D. Mercieca (A. Camilleri).

A penalty scored midway through the first period ended up to be as the decisive goal in the match between the Maltese and Gozitan Hotspurs.  Pieta Hotspurs held territorial supremacy and produced some good play as their young players confirmed their technical and tactical abilities.  The visitors were mainly effective in the recovery of the ball and the built up of their offensive play on the flanks but they found it difficult to go through Victoria’s organised defence.  The hosts had a positive performance as they managed to resist to Pieta’s pressure and also took advantage to create their chances in their opponent’s half particularly near the end of each half.  Victoria Hotspurs managed to remain in contention until the final seconds as they managed to threaten Pieta’s rearguard on more than one occasion.  Victoria’s coach Chris Buttigieg and the supporters must be proud of their players who battled throughout the ninety minutes.

Pieta could have scored an early goal as Luke Micallef had a good shot on 7 minutes that was turned to a corner by goalie Matthew Vella.  The same goalkeeper was well placed on 13 minutes when he managed to block another shot by Luke Micallef following a prolonged action that started from a corner kick.  Victoria replied one minute later through a shot from long distance by Dylan Mercieca that missed the target and on 22 minutes the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Ferdinando Apap on Luke Micallef, who was creating the danger from the right flank, and Jurgen Pisani converted from the spot kick.  Pieta tried to take advantage of their good start and on 24 minute Luke Micallef went again close to scoring but his attempt was neutralised by goalie Matthew Vella.  One minute later Victoria’s Nikola Vasilic had an attempt following a free kick that was saved without difficulty by goalie Miguel Montfort and on 26 minutes Gabriel da Silva entered Victoria’s area but his shot ended on the side of the net.  Victoria produced a good action on 32 minutes when Jonathan Bajada passed in the area towards Nikola Vasilic but the latter failed to conclude and the opponents cleared the danger to a corner.  Less than a minute later Felipe Aguiar passed through Pieta’s rearguard form the right flank and from his pass Jonathan Bajada had a strike that was blocked by the defence.  From the rebound the ball arrived to Jason Pace, who came in as a substitute early in the match following an injury of Moussa Bamba, who had his shot on the run that ended high.  Two minutes before half time Pieta were again dangerous through an attempt by Luke Micallef following a cross by Claudio Fraces that was cleared off the line by Jason Pace.

After the break Pieta continued to dictate matter but Victoria’s defensive department continued to be well deployed.  The visitors also increased their efforts in an attempt to make sure of the victory as they added their latest signing Ricardo Costa in attack.  The prolific Brazilian striker had his first attempt at goal on 62 minutes after receiving from Luke Micallef but goalie Matthew Vella was well placed and neutralised the shot without difficulty.  Two minutes later the same goalkeeper once again denied Costa from scoring with another good intervention and as time passed by Victoria started to take more advantage of some space at Pieta’s defence.  On two separate occasions goalie Miguel Montfort had to leave his position to go up to the edge of the area to block the danger before Vasilic could arrive on the ball. 

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