GFA Cup Q/final
Victoria Hotspurs   Xewkija Tigers
Victoria Hotspurs : 2   3 : Xewkija Tigers

(R. Buttigieg 58’, N. Vasilic 66’)


(C. Camilleri 24’, D. Bogdanovic 61’, M. Bamba 78’o.g.)

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


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

Xewkija Tigers will face Ghajnsielem in the semi final of the second most important honour in Gozitan football following a 3-2 win over Victoria Hotspurs in the main match from the quarter final stage of the competition.  The match could have gone either way as the two sides produced good play particularly during the second period where the two sides scored four of the five goals of the encounter.  Xewkija’s win confirmed their potential in attack as they can produce danger through different players and through a variety of solutions.  On the other hand Victoria were punished for some crucial mistakes at their defense and at the other end the Victoria’s strikers found it difficult to convert play into good scoring opportunities.

The Hotspurs created the first scoring opportunity of the encounter in the eighth minute through a shot by Jonathan Bajada that ended wide.  Play took place in the midfield for most of the first part of the first period as Xewkija managed to control Victoria’s possession.  On 20 minutes Victoria’s Rodney Buttigieg had an attempt following a pass by Jonathan Bajada that was well blocked by goalie Adrian Parnis and on 24 minutes Xewkija opened the score when a short clearance by goalie Matthew Vella arrived to an unmarked Chris Camilleri who lobbed easily into an open goal.  Four minutes later an effort by Christian Bugeja following a corner action ended high and in an immediate reply by Victoria Rodeny Buttigieg had a shot from outside the area that ended wide.  On 38 minutes Xewkija’s John Camilleri had a header from a free kick that ended high and four minutes later Victoria’s Michael Bezzina had a shot on the run that ended wide and in the first minute of stoppage time before half time Nikola Vasilic had a shot after a receiving from Jonathan Bajada that was blocked by the defense.

The Hotspurs were more aggressive after the break and on 51 minutes an overhead kick by Rodney Buttigieg ended wide.  The Citizens leveled the score on 58 minutes through a fine header by Rodney Buttigieg folwoing a cross by Jonathan Bajada.  Two minutes later Victoria could have turned the result in their favour by Dylan Mercieca’s header from a corner action was weak and goalie Adrian Parnis saved without difficulty.  Xewkija regained the lead on 61 minutes when a header by Daniel Bogdanovic following a cross by John Camilleri was blocked on the line by Ferdinando Apap but from the rebound the same striker took the ball and netted from close distance.  The Hotspurs were not demoralized and on 66 minutes an effort by Rodney Buttigieg was blocked to a corner and minutes later they Citizens protested for a penalty alleging handling in the area by a defender following a cross by Ferdinando Apap.  Victoria however were rewarded for their efforts on 69 minutes when a through pass by Daniel Farrugia was headed by Rodney Buttigieg and Nikola Vasilic arrived on the ball before goalie Adrian Parnis and netted with a low drive.  The match became much more exciting during the final stages of the match and on 72 minutes Victoria’s Ferdinando Apap headed wide from a good position following a free kick by Mark Buhagiar.  Xewkija scored the goal that decided the issue on 78 minutes when Kjenneth Merciecas operated a counter break and from his low pass addressed to an unmarked John Camilleri, Victoria’s defender Moussa Bamba hit badly and committed an own goal.  The Hotspurs tried to recover the deficit during the remaining minutes but the closest that they went to scoring was on 80 minutes through a shot by Jonathan Bajada that was well saved by goalie Adrian Parnis.  On 89 minutes Xewkija could have sealed the issue but a goal by Daniel Bogdanovic was disallowed for an offside.  

Referee: Marco Borg

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