GFA Cup Round 1
Kercem Ajax    SK Victoria Wanderers
Kercem Ajax : 2   0 : SK Victoria Wanderers

(A. Ribeiro 71’, 90+1’)



D. Spiteri, P. Kyumyurdzhiev, A. Buttigieg, J. Azzopardi, M. Mifsud, J. Said, K. Mifsud, I. Xuereb, E. Vella (J.P. Mizzi), A. Mizzi, A. Ribeiro.


M. Mercieca, E. Bugeja, D.U. Monday, J.P. Grima (D. Tabone), J. Refalo (L. Dimech), A. Adesina, N. Vella, C. Sciortino, J. Xuereb (J.R. Portelli), L. Mba, O. Farrugia.

The match between two sides from the top flight, Kercem Ajax and SK Victoria Wanderers, turned out into an interesting encounter that was decided with two goals scored during the final stages of the encounter.  Both Kercem and Victoria gave more playing time to some players who usually spend their time on the reserves bench, but the players from the two sides showed that they are determined to earn a place in the starting line-ups.  The Wanderers expressed the better play particularly during the first hour of play but suffered when they had to substitute midfielder Joseph Refalo due to an injury.  On the other hand Kercem confirmed the strength of their defensive department which denied Victoria from converting their play into scoring opportunities.  At the end Kercem clinched the victory through the experience of striker Anderson Ribeiro who made all the difference by scoring the goals which decided the encounter.

The Wanderers produced the first serious scoring opportunity of the match in the fifth minute through a free kick by Eman Bugeja that was saved by goalie Damian Spiteri.  On 11 minutes a shot by Oliver Farrugia ended over Kercem’s goal and on 20 minutes Kercem’s Anderson Ribeiro replied with a low shot that ended wide.  Two minutes later Kercem’s Petar Kyumyurdzhiev had a free kick that missed the target.  The Wanderers had their best patch of play during the last part of the first period and on 25 minutes they also expected to be awarded a penalty when Nicholas Vella ended on the floor in the area following a challenge with two opponents.  On 30 minutes Kercem’s goalie Daniam Spiteri saved another free kick by Eman Bugeja and ten minutes later another free kick by Chris Sciortino ended high.  On 42 minutes later Victoria’s Oliver Farrugia had an attempt deflected to a corner and one minute before half time Kercem also protested for a penalty when Petar Kyumyurdzhiev ended on the floor in the area following a personal action.

Kercem could have opened the score after just twenty three seconds of play of the second period when a strike by Anderson Ribeiro surprised Victoria’s rearguard and the goalkeeper but ended on the post.  On 58 minutes Kercem’s goalie Damian Spiteri was again called to make a good intervention to block a free kick by Eman Bugeja and from the resultant action the same goalkeeper cleared in time a cross shot by Luciano Mba.  One minute later a shot on the run by Anderson Ribeiro ended high and on 68 minutes Victoria’s goalie Marlon Mercieca, who was making a return with his sides after a number of years, turned to a corner a good attempt by Ribeiro.  In the following action Ribeiro headed over the crossbar an inviting cross by Mario Mifsud.  Kercem opened the score on 71 minutes when a shot by Joseph Azzopardi from outside the area was partially saved by goalie Marlon Mercieca and from the rebound Anderson Ribeiro placed easily in goal from close distance.  Kercem grew in confidence and on 74 minutes a free kick by Mario Mifsud ended high.  Kercem’s Andrew Mizzi could have scored the second goal on 89 minutes when he entered Victoria’s territory following a counter break but his attempt was well saved by goalie Mercieca.  Kercem however doubled the score in the first minute of stoppage time when Anderson Ribeiro took the ball outside the area and lobbed into an empty goal as the goalkeeper was out of his position.  The Wanderers went close to score a consolation goal in the third minute of stoppage time but an effort by Nicholas Vella was turned to a corner by goalie Damian Spiteri.

Referee: Darko Stankovic

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