GFA Melita Division II
Xaghra United   Gharb Rangers
Xaghra United : 0   2 : Gharb Rangers



(J. Azzopardi 45’ pen., F. Attard 61’ pen.)

D. Galea, E. Galea, J. Bartolo (J. Scerri), J. Buhagiar, V.J. Saliba (C. Hili), S. Sultana, A. Farrugia, S. Harland, J. Xerri (J. Mercieca), A. Bezzina.


D. Spiteri, C. Attard, M. Grech (T. Bartolo), C. Gafa, R. Vella, N. Borg, J. Azzopardi (J. Muscat), P.A. Attard, R. Vella (C. Mercieca), J. Muscat, F. Attard.

Gharb Rangers recovered from three consecutive defeats and obtained their second win in the campaign in their match against Xaghra United.  Gharb’s win was well deserved as they produced the better play although Xaghra once again tried hard to produce a tough challenge.  The Blues had a very disappointing first round as they only obtained two points from two draws in their opening matches but suffered three consecutive defeats in the other matches played so far.  With this result Gharb re-opened their chances to be among the teams who can challenge for the runners-up position on the table.

Play during the first period was well contested as the two sides managed to produce some good scoring opportunities.  In the seventh minute Gharb had a good free kick by Justin Azzopardi that was turned to a corner by goalie Daniel Spiteri with the aid of the woodwork and on 15 minutes Xaghra’s Daniel Bartolo had a close ranged header that was cleared off the line by Roy Vella.  Five minutes later an effort by Xaghra’s Aleandro Bezzina following a corner action ended wide and on 25 minutes Xaghra’s Paul Anthony Attard released Roy Vella inside the area but the latter incredibly concluded on the crossbar when he was in front of an open goal.  Xaghra could have opened the score on 42 minutes when sam Harland won the ball as he was challenged by two defenders following a through pass by Arthur Farrugia but his attempt addressed towards an open goal ended wide.  Xaghra were again dangerous one minute later but a good strike by Joseph Xerri was stopped by the crossbar.  Gharb took the lead on 45 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Emanuel Galea on Paul Anthony Attard and Justin Azzopardi converted from the spot kick.

Xaghra tried to produce a reaction after the break and on 47 minutes Gharb’s goalie Daniel Spiteri made a good save following a shot by Aleandro Bezzina.  On 54 minutes Xaghra’s Daniel Bartolo concluded wide following a corner action and one minute later a strike by Sam Harland hit the cross bar and from the rebound Daniel Bartolo headed over the crossbar from close distance.  Xaghra were punished for the missed chances.  On 61 minutes Frank Attard won the ball from Xaghra’s defense and was floored in the area by goalie Daniel Galea.  The referee awarded a penalty and the goalkeeper was sent off so that Frank Attard netted with the shot from the spot.  Xaghra were demoralized while Gharb continued to control play to defend their two-goal lead. On 72 minutes Gharb also has a goal by Paul Anthony Attard that was disallowed for an offside position.  During the final stages Xaghra regained some confidence but their efforts to re-open the issue were to no avail.

Referee: Emanuel Calleja

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