GFA Melita Division I
S.K. Victoria Wanderers   Victoria Hotspurs
S.K. Victoria Wanderers : 3   2 : Victoria Hotspurs

(A. Adesina 76’, J.P. Grima 90+1’, A.J. Sanz Oltiz 90+3’)

 

(M. Bezzina 29’, M. Bamba 90’)

J. Xiberras, E. Bugeja, D.U. Monday, J.P. Grima, A. Adesina, N. Vella, C. Sciortino, P. Tarancon Anton, A.J. Sanz Oltiz, O. Farrugia, L. Dimech.

 

C. Mercieca, D. Mercieca, J. Pace, F. Apap, D. Farrugia, M. Buhagiar, J. Bajada (D. Bellotti), A. Bello Osagie, M. Bamba, R. Buttigieg, M. Bezzina.

The 64th edition of the GFA Division I championship started with a well contested derby match between SK Victoria Wanderers and Victoria Hotspurs.  The two sides seemed determined to start the championship on a positive note and for almost ninety minutes of the encounter the two defensive departments prevailed over the respective strikers.  However, the final score was practically determined during the dying moments of the encounter.

The match seemed heading to a draw of two goals but the Hotspurs took the lead for the second time in the match on the stroke of regular time.  The Wanderers had an immediate reaction and surprised their opponents with two goals scored during stoppage time.  The Hotspurs also ended the match with ten players as central defender Dylan Mercieca was sent off seconds from the final whistle.

Overall the Wanderers showed great improvement from their performances of the matches in the KO Competition and the MFA FA Trophy.  They were much more organised at the defence and their Spanish striker Sanz Oltiz was a continuous threat to the opponents.  The Wanderers showed their best play during the first half and struggled after the break until they clinched the equaliser.  At the end they were rewarded for their determination as they continued to seek the victory until the end of the match.  On the other hand the final score is very disappointing for the Hotspurs particularly because they are aiming to be among the contenders for the honours.

The Hotspurs were probably overconfident in their approach.  It seems that the Hotspurs have not found the right way to obtain the maximum of the potential of their talented individual players.  They found it difficult to take command of play in the midfield and after the break they seemed more worried to protect the goal scored during the first half.  Once the Hotspurs suffered the equaliser they had a good reaction and also regained the lead with a goal scored in the 90th minute but they lost concentration as soon as they suffered the second goal and ended up the match empty handed and with a player less on the field. During the opening minutes of the match play took pace mainly at the midfield as the two sides were more worried to protect their respective area.  However, as time passed by the Wanderers took some supremacy in the midfield and became more adventurous particularly through actions on the flanks.  On 18 minutes the Wanderers claimed for a penalty when Sanz Oltiz ended on the floor in the area as he faced Ferdinando Apap following a solo action.  The Hotspurs replied through a strike by Daniel Farrugia that was blocked by goalie Joel Xiberras and on 29 minutes the Hotspurs opened the score when a long ranged cross-shot by Michael Bezzina surprised goalie Joel Xiberras and ended in goal.  The Wanderers were not demoralised and on 35 minutes they produced a dangerous action when the Hotspurs goalie Courtney Mercieca cleared in the area a free kick by Eman Bugeja and from the resultant action Oliver Farrugia concluded over the crossbar from a good position.  Six minutes later the Hotspurs also went close to scoring when Ferdinado Apap headed in the area a corner kick by Jason Pace but Jonathan Bajada’s header from close distance ended high.  On 43 minutes Oliver Farrugia once again concluded high over the Hotspurs goal an inviting cross by Ajibade Adesina and in the second minute of stoppage time before half time the Wanderers went again close toi scoring but Ajibade Adesina’s shot on the run from a good position following a fine move by Sanz Oltiz in the area ended away from goal.

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