GFA Melita Division II
Zebbug Rovers   Gharb Rangers
Zebbug Rovers : 1   3 : Gharb Rangers

(M. Cordina 87’)


(J. Muscat 21’, C. Attard 52’, P.A. Attard 60’)

B. Saliba, A. Tramboo, C. Cassar, F. Cassar (O. Saliba), M. Formosa (S. Galea), M. Zerafa, J.P. Saliba, M. Cordina, P. Cardona, G. Portelli, E. Grima.


D. Spiteri, C. Mercieca, N. Borg, C. Attard, J. Azzopardi, J. Portelli (A. Portelli), P.A. Attard, Jsf. Muscat, F. Attard, C. Attard, R. Vella (Jos. Muscat).

Gharb Rangers earned the first points of the GFA Division II campaign 2014/2015 from a 3-1 win over Zebbug Rovers.  Gharb confirmed the improvement from last season that they showed in the match of the KO competition.  The Rangers included a number of experienced players in their squad who led the other young players to a very positive performance where they held command of play for long stretches.  Zebbug disappointed in this match as they never managed to recover the difficult start in the match and once they tried to push more men forward they ended up suffering from Gharb’s effective counter breaks.

Gharb came out more aggressive and the opening stages of the encounter they went close to scoring on more than one occasion.  In the fourth minute of play Josef Portelli came face to face with Zebbug’s goalkeeper but the striker completed badly from an ideal position.  On 16 minutes Zebbug’s goalie Baskal Saliba saved with difficulty a shot from long distance by Justin Azzopardi and the defence cleared the danger from the area.  Gharb were again dangerous three minutes later through an attempt by Noel Borg following a corner kick by Justin Azzopardi that ended just wide.  Gharb managed to take the deserved lead on 21 minutes through Josef Muscat who lobbed the ball over the goalkeeper before placing into an open goal.  Zebbug’s reaction was sterile and on 43 minutes Gharb went close to double the score but Noel Borg’s header form a free kick by Roy Vella ended high.

After the break Zebbug tried to recover the deficit but on 52 minutes Gharb doubled the score through a direct free kick by Christian Attard that surprised goalie Saliba.  The Rangers continued to be more dangerous and increased their lead on the hour mark through a low shot by Paul Anthony Attard following a solo action.  Zebbug replied on 63 minutes through an effort by Manwel Cordina but goalie Daniel Spiteri managed to clear the danger to a corner.  Minutes later Gharb’s Christian Attard incredibly concluded wide with the goalkeeper out of his position and on 71 minutes Zebbug could have scored a consolation goal but a shot by Philip Cardona hit the post and from the following action the same Cardona had his attempt that ended wide.  Four minutes later Gharb could have increased their lead but Josef Portelli’s low drive following a pass by Frank Attard ended wide.  On 790 minutes Zebbug’s player-coach Sylvan Galea, who came in as a substitute had a low shot from outside the area that was saved in two attempts by goalie Daniel Spiteri.  Four minutes later Zebbug’s goalie Baskal Saliba saved to a corner a good effort by substitute Joseph Muscat and from the resultant corner kick taken by Justin Azzopardi, Noel Borg had his header cleared off the line by defender Philip Cardona.  Zebbug managed to score a consolation goal on 87 minutes through a low shot by Manwel Cordina that ended out of the reach of goalie Spiteri.  In the 90th minute Gharb lost a golden opportunity to score the fourth goal when Frank Attard entered Zebbug’s territory following a counter break but his shot with the goalkeeper outside of his position ended wide.  In the second minute of stoppage time Zebbug went close to score the second goal but Sylvan Galea’s strike ended just over the crossbar.

Referee: Jules Ngangue

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