GFA Division I KO – Q/final
Kercem Ajax   SK Victoria Wanderers
Kercem Ajax : 4   0 : SK Victoria Wanderers

(A. Ribeiro 33’, 51’, 61’; M. Vella 68’)

   

D. Spiteri, P. Kyumyurdzhiev, J. Azzopardi, M. Mifsud, O. Spiteri, J.P. Mizzi (L. Meilaq), K. Mifsud, I. Xureb, A. Mizzi (J. Said), M. Vella, A. Ribeiro.

 

J. Xiberras, E. Bugeja (S. Gatt), D.U. Monday, J.P. Grima, S.F. Bajada (N. Vella), A. Adesina, C. Scirotino, M. Zammit (J. Xuereb), P. Alors Navas, P. Tarancon Anton, O. Farrugia.

The first match from the Division I KO competition of the new season turn up into an impressive performance by Kercem Ajax who dominated over SK Victoria Wanderers practically throughout the ninety minutes.  The Ajax retained their squad of the previous season and only introduced goalie Damien Spiteri ex-Munxar Falcons) and Brazilian striker Anderson Ribeiro (ex-Zebbug Rangers).  Kercem therefore maintained their high level of play with a strong defensive department led by Petar Kyumyurdzhiev and a hard working midfield through Karol Mifsud, Jean Paul Mizzi and Ian Xuereb.  Ribeiro was also well supported by Malcolm Vella so that Victoria’s rearguard was often in difficulty to keep the danger away from their area.  The Wanderers, who lost the service of their most of the experienced players who played for them last season, actually had a very disappointing match.  They never managed to serious test Kercem’s goalie and moreover their new signings Pablo Navas and Pedro Anton were not influential in their play.

The best scoring opportunity for the Wanderers throughout the encounter arrived in the opening minute of the match through a strike by Navas following a short clearance by the defence that ended just wide.  Kercem replied less than a minute later through an effort by Ribeiro that was turned to a corner by goalie Joel Xiberras.  As time passed by Kercem took supremacy in the midfield and on 17 minutes a header by Malcolm Vella form a cross by Andrew Mizzi ended wide.  One minute later Victoria’s goalie Xiberras saved another attempt by Malcolm Vella and at the other end Navas entered Kercem’s area with a personal action but his shot ended on the side of the net. On 32 minutes Victoria’s Matthew Zammit had an attempt from a free kick that ended high and one minute later Kercem opened the score through a fine header by Anderson Ribeiro following a cross by Ian Xuereb.  The wanderers replied on 38 minutes through a shot by Chris Sciortino following a pass by Navas that missed the target and on 41 minutes goalie Xiberras denied Kercem from scoring their second goal with a fine intervention to stop Andrew Mizzi from placing the ball in goal.

The Ajax doubled the score on 51 minutes when Anderson Ribeiro took advantage of a wrong clearance by Victoria’s rearguard and lobbed the ball over goalie Xiberras.  The Wanderers continued to struggle to resist Kercem’s superiority and on 58 minutes goalie Xiberras was again called to make a good save to turn to a corner a strike by Andrew Mizzi.  On the hour mark Kercem scored their third goal through a fine shot by Anderson Ribeiro who concluded a personal action and five minutes later Kercem operated a counter break but Andrew Mizzi had his shot blocked to a corner by defender John Paul Grima despite the fact that Kercem had three players against one in Victoria’s area.  The Ajax sealed the victory with the fourth goal that arrived on 68 minutes through a fist timer by Malcolm Vella following a cross by Jean Paul Mizzi.  The match lost much of its interest and play until the end of the encounter took place in the midfield.

Referee: Elvio Degabriele

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