Xewkija clinch Ghajnsielem on last Matchday

GFL Division I – Matchday 18

Sunday, 24th April, 2016

16:00

Gozo Stadium

Ghajnsielem vs Xewkija Tigers

 

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What seemed as fading hopes for all the Tigers’ faithful a few days ago has turned into an exciting and unpredictable league ending. In fact, after leading the table for all the season and at some points distancing themselves from the Tigers with 9 points, Ghajnsielem lost their sole leadership on Matchday 18. This match turned out to be an important one after Ghajnsielem’s loss against Kercem a week ago; their first league loss of the season. In order to open the league chances again the Tigers had to win against the Blacks in order to force a decider and they managed to do so.

The Tigers probably produced the performance of the season in a 4-3-3 formation. Daniel Bogdanovic played a pivotal role in the midfield together with Cedric Sciberras and Christ Camilleri. Up front Johnny Camilleri was backed up with scorers Dene Shields and Thiago Melo dos Santos. The brave defensive department who provided a clean sheet performance was made up of Steve Sultana in goal and the Xewkija Tigers Nursery products defence: Joseph Cefai, Josmar Vella, Manuel Xerri and Rodney Buttigieg. Ghajnsielem opted for an attacking approach with a 4-3-1-2 formation with Ferdinando Apap helping the attackers Dhonathan Santos da Hora and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza. For Ghajnsielem player/coach Shaun Bajada and Joseph Vella were suspended.

Ghajnsielem started the game offensively and in the first 15 minutes hit the crossbar with a direct corner from Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza. Later, Mifsud Triganza and Ferdinando Apap brought out the best from goalie Steve Sultana after making two consecutive saves on them. The turning point of the match was minute 17 when Mark Muscat recklessly tackled Thiago Melo dos Santos and received his 2nd yellow card of the game which resulted in his sending off. From the same free-kick Xewkija opened the score after a perfectly executed free-kick by Christ Camilleri which was headed inside the goal by Thiago Melo dos Santos. Steve Sultana was instrumental once again when punching Mifsud Triganza’s free-kick and from the rebound Apap’s header was once again punched away by Sultana. Xewkija missed a golden chance when Melo dos Santos low cross was badly connected by Dene Shields who concluded high. On the other side, Mifsud Triganza tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box which breezed by the post. Xewkija could have ended the 1st half with a 2-goal margin when Rodney Buttigieg’s volley was helped over the line by Cedric Sciberras but the latter was in an offside position and the goal was therefore disallowed.

Xewkija started the 2nd half controlling play and increased the score on the 53rd minute when Joseph Cefai’s cross was acrobatically finished in goal by Dene Shields. 10 minutes later it was Rodney Buttigieg who crossed inside the box and once again Dene Shields doubled his tally with a header. The Yellows continued to dictate play and could have increased the score after a Johnny Camilleri header which ended wide. Christ Camilleri was unlucky not to put his name on the scoresheet after his shot from long distance hit the post. Xewkija managed to control the game until the final whistle, a final whistle that takes the league title battle down to a decider.

 

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Final Result: Ghajnsielem   0     Xewkija Tigers   3

Scorers:

Xewkija T. – 18.Thiago Melo dos Santos (17’), 99.Dene Shields (53’, 63’).

 

 

Ghajnsielem:- 12-Franklyn Vella, 3-Ferdinando Apap (C.) (17-Stefan Azzopardi), 15-Yannick Ossok, 4-Simon Sultana, 14-Mark Muscat, 77-Kenneth Mercieca (7-Kenny Hili), 6-Matthew Portelli (5-Charlon Grima), 8-Charlie Hili, 22-Milos Stojanovic, 11-Dhonathan Santos da Hora, 19-Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza.

Xewkija Tigers:- 1-Steve Sultana, 4-Josmar Vella, 23-Manuel Xerri, 14-Joseph Cefai (C.) (13-Gennaro Hili), 10-Christ Camilleri, 80-Daniel Bogdanovic (3-Joseph Azzopardi), 15-Cedric Sciberras, 20-Rodney Buttigieg, 18-Thiago Melo dos Santos (7-Jason Portelli), 9-Johnny Camilleri, 99-Dene Shields.

 

Referee: Marco Borg

 

 

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