GFA Melita Division I
Kercem Ajax    Xewkija Tigers
Kercem Ajax : 1   1 : Xewkija Tigers

(A. Ribeiro 30’)

 

(J. Camilleri 58’)

L. Camilleri, P. Kyumyurdzhiev, M. Mifsud, J. Azzopardi, O. Spiteri, K. Mifsud, J.P. Mizzi, E. Vella (I. Xuereb, A. Buttigieg), L. Meilak (S. Rais), A. Mizzi, A. Ribeiro.

 

A. Parnis, P. Buttigieg, J. Vella, M. Gegic, J. Cefai, G. Hili (K. Mercieca), A. Simoncic (C. Bugeja), P. Rapa, D. Bogdanovic, J. Camilleri, D. Shields.

Reigning champions were aiming earn their fifth consecutive from their match against Kercem Ajax and take sole leadership on the table.  On the other hand Kercem needed points from this encounter in their attempt to recover from the disappointing defeat conceded in their previous match and re-open their chances to remain close to the top positions on the table.  As a result the match turned out into a well contested encounter that left the final score uncertain until the final whistle.  Each side practically prevailed over the other for a half each as Kercem surprised the more quoted opponents with effective offensive play during the first period and could have scored more than one goal but the Tigers had a good reaction after the break and not only recovered the deficit but created enough scoring opportunities to earn the victory.  At the end the final score was just as it rewards the efforts of the two sides during the ninety minutes of play.

The Tigers tried to take command of play during the first minutes of play but the closest that they went to scoring was in the eighth minute through an effort by John Camilleri following a corner kick by Alex Simoncic that ended on the side of the net.  One minute later Kercem replied through an overhead kick by Anderson Ribeiro from a cross by Luke Meilak that ended high.  In the following action a low cross by Xewkija’s Dene Shields passed around a defender, entered the area but his low pass addressed to an unmarked John Camilleri was cleared off the goalmouth with a decisive intervention by Petar Kyumyurdzhiev.  On 11 minutes a shot by Kercem’s Luke Meilak following a pass by Elton Vella ended wide.  The Ajax lost a golden scoring opportunity on 16 minutes when Xewkija’s rearguard failed to clear a cross by Owen Spiteri, the ball arrived to an unmarked Anderson Ribeiro who had his attempt that ended incredibly high.  On 24 minutes Ribeiro won the ball from Xewkija’s defence but his shot was well saved by goalie Adrian Parnis.  Three minutes later Xewkija operated good action inside Kercem’s area but Gennaro Hili failed to conclude in goal from an ideal position.  Kercem opened the score on 30 minutes of play when Elton Vella passed to Anderson Ribeiro who surprised goalie Adrian Parnis with a low shot.  Xewkija were shocked and two minutes later a strike by Andrew Mizzi was neutralised by goalie Adrian Parnis.  Less than a minute later the same goalkeeper neutralised a low shot by Luke Meilak and the score remained unchanged until half time.

Xewkija came out more aggressive after the break and on 58 minutes they also scored the equaliser when a cross by Dene Shields arrived to John Camilleri in the area who headed in goal from close distance.  The Tigers increased their efforts and three minutes later a free kick by Daniel Bogdanovic ended wide.  On 68 minutes Kercem had another golden opportunity to regain the lead when Anderson Ribeiro was released in Xewkija’s territory from a long ranged free kick but as the striker came face to face with the goalkeeper Ribeiro lobbed over the crossbar.  Xewkija were again dangerous on 72 minutes through a header by Miroslav Gegic from a cross by Bogdanovic that ended wide.  Six minutes Kercem’s goalie Leonard Camilleri was well placed to save a header by Kenneth Mercieca from a cross by Bogdanovic.  On 84 minutes Kercem operated a dangerous counter break through Anderson Ribeiro but from his cross Jean Paul Mizzi’s shot on the run ended wide. 

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