GFA Melita Division II
Qala Saints   Gharb Rangers
Qala Saints : 2   1 : Gharb Rangers

(J. Galea 17’, J. Rapa 19’)


(S. Apap 55’)

F. Buttigieg, M. Cefai (C. Vella), J. Rapa, M. Buttigieg, N. Portelli, D. Caruana, J. Attard, D. Portelli (C. Caruana), S. Muscat, J. Galea, M. Scerri.


D. Spiteri, R. Vella, Chr. Attard, M. Grech, C. Gafa, J. Azzopardi, J. Portelli, T. Bartolo (F. Attard), Chrst. Attard,  (D. Muscat), S. Apap, J. Muscat (A. Micallef).

Qala Saints moved away from the bottom of the table with the points obtained from a win over Gharb Rangers in the last match from the eighth day of the campaign.  The match was well contested and each team prevailed over the other for a half each.  Qala managed to capitalize from two goals scored during the first quarter of the encounter in the space of two minutes and defended their lead despite Gharb’s pressure created during the second period.

Gharb created the first serious attempt at goal of the match in the second minute of play through a shot by Daniel Portelli that ended wide.  Qala replied on 6 minutes through an attempt by Joseph Muscat that was saved by goalie Franco Buttigieg.  The Maroons opened the score on 17 minutes when the referee considered that a free kick by Gharb’s rearguard was already taken, the ball arrived to Qala’s Manwel Scerri and from the resultant action the ball arrived to Josef Galea who fired in goal with a strike from outside the area that surprised goalie Daniel Spiteri.  Gharb were shocked and Qala took immediate advantage.  Two minutes later the Maroons doubled the score when Gharb’s rearguard failed to clear the ball from the area and John Rapa took the ball and concluded in goal from close distance.  Qala kept insisting and on 25 minutes they went close score a third goal but Malcolm Cefai’s attempt ended wide.

In the first minute of play of the second period Gharb’s substitute Frank Attard had a good attempt that ended wide and on 53 minutes Christian Attard had a good effort that was neutralized in two attempts by goalie Franco Buttigieg.  Gharb re-opened the issue on 55 minutes through a close ranged header by Stephen Apap following a free kick by Josef Portelli.  The Rangers tried to increase their pressure but despite their territorial supremacy they found it difficult to create danger to Qala’s goal.  Gharb’s best scoring opportunities arrived near the end of the encounter.  On 85 minutes a low shot by Stephen Apap was turned to a corner by goalie Franco Buttigieg and on 90 minutes the same goalkeeper was well placed to hold a header by Frank Attard following a cross by Josef Portelli.  In the fourth minute of stoppage time a shot by Gharb’s substitute Anthony Micallef ended high and one minute later a header by the other substitute Daniel Muscat from a corner action ended wide.

Referee: Gordon Barbara

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