GFA Melita Division I
Xewkija Tigers   Nadur Youngsters
Xewkija Tigers : 1   2 : Nadur Youngsters

(K. Mercieca 58’)

 

(J. Vella 32’, C. Antunes 35’)

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

 

M. Grima, J. Buttigieg, F. Camilleri, R. Dos Santos, S. Attard, C. Debono, M. Hyzler, M. Stojanovic, C. Antunes, J. Vella (J. Grima), C. Hili.

Nadur Youngsters took sole leadership on the table at the end of the sixth day of the championship with the three points obtained from their victory over Xewkija Tigers.  The two sides were on equal points and were also both undefeated so far in the championship.  Thus, the match turned out into a typical to-of-the table clash which had to determine the team to occupy the driving seat in the challenge for the main honour of local football.  The match was well contested as the two sides were well prepared for a match of this kind.  Once again, the match between Xewkija and Nadur more interest than in other matches and despite the fact that the match was played on a Saturday both sides were followed by a good number of supporters who also decorated the Stadium and produced a colorful atmosphere.

A match of this kind could easily go either way and this encounter was not an exception as it was actually decided through three decisive episodes that happened in the spaces of three minutes just after the half hour mark.  Nadur opened the score on 32 minutes and immediately after the Tigers could have leveled the score but a penalty kick by Daniel Bogdanovic was saved by Nadur’s keeper Mark Grima.  Nadur took advantage of the good moment and punished their opponents for the miss with a second goal that arrived few minutes later.  Xewkija tried hard to recover the deficit during the second period but they only managed to score one goal as Nadur defended well and goalie Mark Grima was in an excellent form so that the Youngsters retained their one-goal lead until the end.

Overall the two sides showed that they have the potential to challenge for the title.  Through this victory Nadur confirmed that they know how to approach the big matches that count most and despite that they were not coming from convincing performances, they still managed to produce an excellent performance.  Nadur’s players all gave their utmost but goalie Mark Grima, midfielder Milos Stojanovic and strikers Joseph Vella and Claudio Antunes distinguished themselves most by contributing in no small way to the three precious points for their side.  On the other hand Xewkija showed that their strength lies mainly in attack.  In this match they were probably surprised by Nadur’s determination and ended up frustrated during crucial moments when their strikers John Camilleri, Dene Shields and Daniel Bogdanovic were not finding the space to maneuver and to create good scoring opportunities.  Considering the two defensive departments in this match, Nadur’s rearguard seemed more effective as Xewkija’s defensive deployment was often in difficulty when they were required to protect their territory.

Xewkija tried to impose their mark in this match from the opening stages and on 4 minutes a header by Kenneth Mercieca form a corner kick by Daniel Bogdanovic ended just high.  Nadur however, replied on 14 minutes through a shot by Joseph Vella that ended high and one minute later the same Vella had a good shot after receiving form Milos Stojanovic that was blocked by Xewkija’s defense.  On 24 minutes Dene Shields released John Camilleri in Nadur’s area but the latter hit badly from a good position and the ball ended wide.  Three minutes later Nadur’s goalie Mark Grima was well placed to neutralize an overhead kick by Kenneth Merieca.  Nadur opened the score on 32 minutes when Claudio Antunes won a free kick in the midfield.  Milos Stojanovic was quick to take the ball and released Joseph Vella who took advantage of the open space in front of him, entered the area and netted with a low shot. 

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