|GFA Division I KO – Q/final|
|St Lawrence Spurs : 1||4 : Xewkija Tigers|
(W. Barbosa 15’)
|(D. Shields 12’, M. Gegic 64’, C. Camilleri 73’, 90+1’)|
J. Grima, L. Grima, D. Micallef, L. Buttigieg, F. Grima (J. Grima), C. Cauchi, M. Cutajar (K. Caruana), J. Theuma, W. Barbosa, D. Mendes Da Silva, S. Cauchi.
A. Parnis, P. Buttigieg, J. Vella, M. Gegic, G. Hili (J.M. Vella), C. Farrugia (C. Camilleri), P. Rapa, C. Bugeja, K. Mercieca, J. Camilleri, D. Shields.
Xewkija Tigers were the better side throughout the encounter but found it difficult to convert their superiority in goals during the first hour of play mainly because St Lawrence seemed determined to mark their return with the top teams with a positive result. However, Xewkija kept insisting and made sure of the victory with three goals scored in the last part of the match. For this match Xewkija’s new coach Alex Simoncic had Serbian central defender Miroslav Gegic who was making his first appearance in Gozitan football and also gave an opportunity to some young players from their nursery to take experience with the first tram. On the other hand newly promoted side St Lawrence Spurs retained most of the players who formed part of the team that won the promotion last season but added goalie Joseph Grima (ex-Xewkija/Munxar Falcons), midfielder William Barbosa (ex-Luxol SA) and Brazilain striker Diones Mendes Da Silva.
St Lawrence had a prudent approach and during the opening minutes they tried to protect their area and operate with counter breaks through Barbosa. However, Xewkija dictated matters and on 12 minutes they also managed through a direct free kick by Dene Shields. St Lawrence tried to produce an immediate reaction and two minutes later a strike by Barbosa missed the target. However, William Barbosa managed to level the score on 15 minutes when he surprised goalie Adrian Parnis with a low shot from an angled position. The match went through an interesting patch as the two sides tried to score the second goal. On 17 minutes Xewkija’s Shields had a shot that was neutralised by goalie Grima and on 31 minutes St Lawrence’s Mendes Da Silva concluded badly from a good position. One minute later a shot y Barbosa was blocked to a corner by Xewkija’s rearguard and on 34 minutes a low shot address to goal with the goalkeeper beaten was cleared to a corner by St Lawrence’s defender Daniel Micallef. From the resultant corner kick by Gennaro Hili, Dene Shields had a good effort well saved by goalie Grima. St Lawrence replied two minutes later through a strike by Barbosa that ended wide and on 38 minutes an attempt by Shields ended on the side of the net. St Lawrence’s goalie Joseph Grima kept his side in contention on 42 minutes when he managed to turn to a corner a close ranged shot by Shields following a cross by John Camilleri.
The Tigers took command of play from the very beginning of the second period and on 49 mintes they almost regained the lead but an effort by substitute Chris Camilleri was cleared off the line by Lawrence Grima. On 56 minutes Shields entered the area with a personal actionbut his shot was blocked by the defence and from the rebound John Camilleri’s attempt was well saved by goalie Grima. Xewkija scored their second goal on 64 minutes when Chris Camilleri took a short clearance from the defence following a corner action and his shot which seemed heading away from goal was headed into goal by Miroslav Gegic. The Spurs were now demoralised and on 73 minutes Xewkija added another goal when a long ranged cross by Gennaro Hili arrived to an unmarked Chris Camilleri at the edge of the area and the latter controlled easily and netted with a low shot. On 89 minutes Xewkija’s substitute Luke Portelli released Kenneth Mercieca in St Lawrence’s area but the latter saw his shot endeing wide. The Tigers sealed the convincing win with a fourth goal that arrived in the first minute of stoppage time through a direct free kick by Chris Camilleri.
Referee: Darryl Agius
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