GFA Melita Division I
Victoria Hotspurs   SK Victoria Wanderers
Victoria Hotspurs : 2   0 : SK Victoria Wanderers

(F. Apap 83’, R. Buttigieg 90+2’)



C. Mercieca, D. Mercieca, M. Buhagiar, D. Farrugia, F. Apap, M. Bezzina (O. Curmi), J. Bajada, R. Buttigieg, A. Camilleri, J.F. Aguiar, N. Vasilic.


B. Vrndic, E. Bugeja, D.U. Monday, J.P. Grima, S.F. Bajada, A. Adesina, C. Sciortino, J. Xuereb, O. Farrugia, L. Dimech, L. Mba.

The first match from the second round of the championship was a direct clash between the two teams from Victoria who had the same points prior to this encounter and who needed a victory to retain the chance to clinch a place in the championship pool at the end of the first phase of the championship.  The match between Victoria Hotspurs and SK Victoria Wanderers therefore turned out into a well contested encounter where victory could have gone either way.  The match produced very few scoring opportunities during the first period but became more exciting after the break.  The Wanderers had two attempts during the opening stages of the first half that were stopped by the woodwork while the Hotspurs capitalized from a good situation seven minutes from the end of regular time and scored their first goal.  The Hotspurs sealed the victory with a second goal scored during stoppage time when they were also playing with an extra player on the field.

In the second minute of play the Hotspurs had an effort by Filipe Aguiar that ended away from goal.  On 9 minutes the Wanderers replied through a free kick by Eman Bugeja that missed the target and on 20 minutes the Wanderers failed to take advantage of a potential opportunity when Ferdinado Apap cleared badly a corner kick by John Paul Grima but Ajibade Adesina’s shot was blocked by the defense.  On 37 minutes goalie Branko Vrndic was called to make a difficult save to turn to a corner a free kick by Ferdinando Apap and to deny the Hotspurs from taking the lead.  The Hotspurs kept insisting during the final stages of the first half and Filipe Aguiar had another attempt following a personal action that missed the target.  Two minutes form half time goalie Vrndic once again saved to a corner a good effort by Rodney Buttigieg so that the first half ended in a goalless draw.

The Hotspurs seemed more aggressive during the first minutes of play of the second period but the closest that they went to scoring was on 49 minutes through an effort by Nikola Vasilic following a free kick by Ferdinando Apap that missed the target.  On 51 minutes the Wanderers were unlucky when a strike by Oliver Farrugia hit the crossbar and from the rebound Lauran Dimech’s shot was saved in two attempts by goalie Courtney Mercieca.  The Wanderers gained confidence and on 57 minutes a shot from long distance by Eman Bugeja ended high.  On 63 minutes the Wanderers lost another golden scoring opportunity when Joel Xuereb was unmarked in the area but his shot was stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten.  Five minutes later the Hotspurs claimed for a penalty as Sam Frank Bajada was trying to clear danger from the area and on 70 minutes the Hotspurs were dangerous through a strike by Daniel Farrugia that was neutralized by goalie Vrndic.  Two minutes later the Wanderers operated a counter break but Joel Xuereb’s shot was weak and goalie Mercieca saved without any difficulty.  In the following action Aguiar entered the Wanderers’ territory but his attempt was saved by the goalkeeper and on 75 minutes Joel Xuereb once again failed to capitalize from an ideal situation within the Hotspurs area so that the goalkeeper denied the Wanderers from scoring.  Three minutes later Vasilic concluded badly from a good position within the Wanderers’ area and on 82 minutes the Hotspurs lost a golden scoring opportunity when Antoine Camilleri and Rodney Buttigieg entered the area but hesitated to conclude so that the defense recovered and cleared the danger. 

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