GFA Cup Round 1
Qala Saints : 2   4 : Ghajnsielem

(M. Scerri 48’, M. Buttigieg 62’pen.)


(C. Tabone 35’, 45’, 53’; L. Buttigieg 82’)

F. Buttigieg, M. Cefai, C. Caruana, M. Buttigieg, D. Cutajar, S. Spiteri (N. Portelli), A. Cini, D. Portelli, S. Muscat, J. Galea, C. Vella (M. Scerri).


L. Buttigieg, D. Debattista, R. Grima (Ant. Xuereb), S. Sultana, D. Hili, L. Buttigieg, C. Tabone (D. Azzopardi), S. Azzopardi (And. Xuereb), J. Cassar, F.L. Galea, J. Portelli.

Ghajnsielem and Qala Saints produced an interesting match where the two sides seemed released of the pressure of points as happens in the match of the Division II league.  Overall Ghajnsielem confirmed their superiority in the category and ended up obtaining a deserved qualification.  Qala tried hard to remain in contention but they only managed to produce a reaction during the first part of the second period.  The protagonist in Ghajnsielem’s win was undoubtedly Charlon Tabone who scored three personal goals.

The Blacks took command of play in this match and in the sixth minute of play a shot by Damon Hili ended high.  Three minutes later Charlon Tabone concluded over Qala’s goal following a pass by Jason Portelli.  The same Portelli released Charlon Tabone on 13 minutes but the striker concluded high from close distance.  Qala replied on 21 minutes through an effort by Shaun Muscat was turned to a corner by goalie Luke Buttigieg.  Ghajnsielem opened the score on 35 minutes when Jason Portelli released Charlon Tabone in Qala’s territory and the striker concluded in goal with a low shot.  Ghajnsielem kept insisting and were also dangerous through shots by Damon Hili and Robert Grima.  On 45 minutes Charlon Tabone doubled the score when a shot by Damon Hili was deflected by goalie Franco Buttigieg and fired easily into an open goal.

Ghajnsielem continued to dictate matters from the restart and after just forty-eight seconds of play of the second period Jason Portelli had a good shot from an ideal position after receiving from Frank Lee Galea that ended high.  On 47 minutes Qala’s goalie Franco Buttigieg blocked an attempt by Damon Hili who was released by Charlon Tabone.  Ghajnsielem were punished for the missed chances as Qala re-opened the issued on 48 minutes through a long ranged strike by substitute Manuel Scerri that surprised goalie Luke Buttigieg.  However, Ghajnsielem re-established the two-goal difference on 53 minutes when Charlon Tabone took the ball in the area and released himself of his direct opponent before concluding in goal with a low drive.  Qala managed to reduce the score to one goal for a second occasion on 62 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by David Debattista on Simon Spiteri and Manuel Buttigieg converted from the spot kick.  Ghajnsielem retained composure and also regained command of play.  On 65 minutes an effort by substitute Darren Azzopardi following a cross by Frank Lee Galea was stopped by the crossbar and four minutes later a strike by Robert Grima was turned to a corner by Qala’s goalie Franco Buttigieg.  Qala’s best opportunity to level the score arrived on 71 minutes through a shot from an angled position by Christoph Caruana that ended wide and on 82 minutes Ghajnsielem sealed the victory with the fourth goal that arrived through a header by Larry Buttigieg following a cross by Darren Azzopardi.  In the second minute of stoppage time a goal by substitute Andre Xuereb after receiving from Frank Lee Galea was disallowed for an offside infringement.

Referee: Gordon Barbara

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