GFA Melita Division I
Victoria Hotspurs   Xewkija Tigers
Victoria Hotspurs : 0   1 : Xewkija Tigers



(D. Shields 84’)

M. Vella, M. Buhagiar, D. Mercieca, F. Apap, M. Bamba, D. Farrugia, J. Pace, A. Camilleri (M. Bezzina), R. Buttigieg, J. Bajada (D. Bellotti), F. Caldeira.


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

The match between Xewkija Tigers and Victoria Hotspurs was considered as an important clash for the ambitions of the two sides.  The Tigers needed a victory to remain close to Nadur while the Hotspurs needed the three points in an attempt to join the top positions on the table.  The match was conditioned by strong wind but during the first half Xewkija failed to take advantage of the wind blowing in their favour while the Hotspurs operated better play.  However, Xewkija took advantage as they had an extras player on the field and managed to clinch the victory with a goal that arrived six minutes form the end of regular time.

The Hotspurs created the first attempt at goal fo the encounter on 13 minutes through a shot by Rodney Buttigieg from a free kick by Mark Buhagiar that was deflected to a corner by the defense.  Play continued to take place in the midfield for most of the first half but on 27 minutes Victoria’s Felipe Caldeira had a good strike that ended wide.  One minute later Xewkija replied through a header by Daniel Sakic form a free kick by Bogdanovic that ended wide and on 32 minutes Victoria’s Caldeira entered the area with a personal action but the shot form an angled position ended wide.  Five minutes later Victoria’s Rodney Buttigieg had another shot that missed the target and just before half time Xewkija’s Daniel Bogdanovic had a free kick that ended high.

The Hotspurs were again dangerous in the third minute of play of the second period through a header by Ferdinando Apap from a corner action that ended high.  The Hotspurs practically compromised their chances to win points from this encounter on 57 minutes when they were reduced to ten players as Jason Pace was sent off for a second bookable offence for a foul on Gennaro Hili.  Minutes later Xewkija’s central defender Christian Bugeja almost risked an own goal in his attempt to pass the ball back to his goal keeper but as time passed by the Tigers increased their pressure over their opponents.  On 67 minutes Kenneth Mercieca concluded high from a good position and the same Mercieca had a header from a cross by John Camilleri on 70 minutes that was well saved by goalie Matthew Vella.  Three minutes later the same goalkeeper was called to make another good intervention to deflect to a corner a header by Dene Shields form a cross by Kenneth Mercieca.  On 75 minutes Victoria’s goalkeeper was well placed to neutralize a header by Daniel Bogdanovic following a cross by Joseph Cefai.  Xewkija managed to break the deadlock on 84 minutes when a free kick by player coach Alex Simoncic was not cleared form the goalmouth by Moussa Bamba and Dene Shields took the loose ball and fired in goal, from close distance.  The Hotspurs tried to produce a reaction during the final stages but a shot by Michael Bezzina on 88 minutes ended wide and in the first minute of stoppage time Ferdinando Apap shot weak from a good position so that the goalkeeper picked the ball without difficulty.  In the thirds minute of stoppage time Xewkija could have doubled the score when Daniel Bogdanovic entered the area and had his cross blocked by the defense but from the rebound the second cross by Bogdanovic was handled by Dylan Mercieca and the referee awarded a penalty.  However, Dene Shield’s shot from the spot kick was blocked by goalie Matthew Vella and the same goalkeeper blocked also to a corner the shot by Chris Camilleri from the rebound.

Referee: Glenn Tonna

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