GFA Melita Division II
Xaghra United   Qala Saints
Xaghra United : 2   2 : Qala Saints

(D. Portelli 40’o.g., D. Bartolo 64’)


(M. Buttigieg 21’, 43’pen.)

D. Galea, E. Galea, M. Azzopardi, S. Farrugia (C. Hili), S. Sultana, J. Bartolo, J. Xerri (J. Scerri), S. Harland, L. Attard, A. Bezzina (M. Grima), D. Bartolo.


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

The match between Xaghra United and Qala Saints turned out into a well contested encounter between two sides who are aiming to be among the teams in the upper part of the table.  Both Xaghra and Qala seem determined to improve their status and the performances of the two sides in the first matches of the campaign show that they are in the right track to achieve their respective objectives.  This match saw each team prevail over the other for a half each so that the final result is just.  Qala were more offensive during the first half and ended the first forty five minutes of play with a deserved one-goal lead.  However, Xaghra had a determined reaction during the second period and they not only scored the equalizer but went close to score another goal on more than one occasion.

Play during the first part of the encounter took place mainly in the midfield with very few actions at goal.  Xaghra had an early attempt through Daniel Bartolo that was well blocked by goalie Franco Buttigieg while Qala replied through a shot by Shaun Muscat that was deflected to a corner by the defense.  As time passed by Qala saw more of the ball and on 21 minutes they opened the score through Manuel Buttigieg who turned into goal a corner kick by Christoph Caruana.  One minute later the Maroons could have doubled the score but a strike by Shaun Muscat was partially saved by goalie Daniel Galea and from the rebound Joseph Attard’s shot ended wide.  Xaghra’s goalie was again called to make a difficult intervention on the half hour mark when he managed to block two consecutive shots by Alan Cini.  Xaghra managed to level the score oin 40 minutes when Qala’s defender Daniel Portelli placed the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear the danger following the pressure made by Daniel Bartolo.  The Maroons however regained the lead three minutes later when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Manuel Galea on Alan Cini in the area and Manuel Buttigieg converted from the spot kick.

In the opening minutes of the second half Qala seemed more adventurous and were again dangerous through a shot by Christoph Caruana that ended just wide.  Xaghra increased their efforts and started to pile pressure on their opponents.  They were also close to level the score through a shot by Luke Attard that was blocked to a corner.  On 64 minutes Xaghra clinched the equalizer for the second time when Daniel Bartolo headed in goal a cross from the right flank by substitute Clayton Hili.  Five minutes later Clayton Hili lost a golden scoring opportunity when he concluded wide from close distance an inviting low cross by Steve Sultana.  Qala’s best opportunity to regain the lead arrived to Alan Cini on 76 minutes but his shot on the run ended just high while Xaghra could have earned the three points five minutes later but Daniel Bartolo’s lob with the goalkeeper out of his position ended wide.

Referee: Paul Apap

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