GFA Melita Division II
Ghajnsielem   Qala Saints
Ghajnsielem : 2   1 : Qala Saints

(C. Tabone 50’, 64’)

 

(C. Marney 23’, 58’; C. Psaila 69’)

R. Sammut (L. Buttigieg), R. Grima, D. Debattista, M. Portelli, L. Buttigieg, S. Azzopardi (S. Sultana), F.L. Galea, D. Hili, J. Portelli, C. Tabone, J. Attard (K. Hili).

 

F. Buttigieg, J. Attard, J. Rapa, D. Portelli (I. Grech), J. Galea, S. Muscat, A. Cini (F. Mumford), C. Caruana (A. Vella), M. Scerri, D. Cutajar, M. Buttigieg.

Ghajnsielem and Qala Saints showed that they may be among the main contenders for promotion this season as the two sides were determined to start the campaign on a positive note.  Qala seemed in a better shape during the first half and also managed to open the score just after the half hour mark.  The Maroons created other good scoring opportunities but failed to capitalise from their good moment during the encounter.  The Blacks dominated the second period and not only recovered the one goal deficit but also scored a second goal that at the end decided the issue.  Overall the Blacks created more scoring opportunities than their opponents but Qala’s goalie Franco Buttigieg distinguished himself with a series of difficult saves that denied Ghajnsielem from scoring in other occasions.

During the early stages of the match play took place mainly at the midfield as the two defensive departments prevailed over the respective strikers.  However, as time passed by, both Qala and Ghajnsielem started to create dangerous actions.  On 24 minutes Ghajnsielem’s Damon Hili had a good effort that was partially saved by goalie Franco Buttigieg and form the rebound Matthew Portelli hit badly and the ball ended wide.  One minute later the same goalkeeper was called to make two difficult saves to deny Ghajnsielem from opening the score when he blocked a strike by Charlon Tabone and a shot on the run by Damon Hili.  On 27 minutes Qala replied with a header by Josef Galea following a corner action that ended wide and on 32 minutes the Maroons opened the score when Shaun Muscat passed to Joseph Attard just outside the area and the latter surprised goalie Luke Buttigieg, who came in as a substitute at an early stage of the encounter, with a first timer.  Five minutes later the same Attard crossed from the right flank and the ball arrived to Christoph Caruana who had his attempt blocked to a corner by goalie Luke Buttigieg.  Ghajnsielem had a golden scoring opportunity to level the score on 42 minute when Jason Portelli released Joseph Attard in Qala’s territory but the strike concluded wide with the goalkeeper out of his position.  Minutes later Qala’s Alan Cini had a good effort that was well saved by goalie Luke Buttigieg and before half time Ghajnsielem went close to scoring on two separate occasions but attempts by Jason Portedlli and Charlon Tabone ended just over the crossbar.

Ghajnsielem’s efforts were rewarded in the fifth minute of play of the second period when Joseph Attard entered the area and from his low pass Charlon Tabone was at the right place for the tap-in.  One minute later Qala’s goalie Franco Buttigieg once again distinguished himself with a fine intervention to block a shot on the run by Charlon Tabone following a low cross by Damon Hili.  Ghajnsielem turned the result in their favour on 64 minutes through a header by Charlon Tabone following a cross from the left flank by Damon Hili.  Three minutes later Qala could have levelled the score when Ghajnsielem’s goalie Luke Buttigieg cleared badly a cross by Joseph Attard but Shaun Muscat’s header from close distance ended wide.  Until the end of the match play continued to be well contested as Qala increased their efforts in an attempt to save the result while Ghajnsielem defended well an also operated some dangerous counter attacks.  In the second minute of stoppage time the Blacks ended up with a player less when Damon Hili after receiving a second caution for simulation.  However, the two goalkeepers were not called to make difficult interventions and the score remained unchanged.

Referee: Gordon Barbara

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