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GFA Melita 1st Division – Round 4 – Game 19

Sunday, 5th April 2015

14:00

Gozo Stadium

Xewkija Tigers vs Kercem Ajax

Xewkija Tigers are champions of Gozo for their 7th time in their history after beating Kercem Ajax 3-1. As the standings now show, the Tigers are unreachable at 1st place with a 4 point advantage and a game to go. As was the case all this season, Xewkija had to give their utmost to secure these precious 3 points. In fact the Tigers conceded a goal in the early stages but managed to battle their way back until scoring the 3rd goal which made things easier for the Yellows. For this match Alex Simoncic had to do without Kenneth Mercieca who was ill while Christ Camilleri was unfit to start the match because of a niggling injury. In came Peter Buttigieg and Josmar Vella at the back with the latter taking an unusual place as a right full-back. Gennaro Hili was moved in the midfield to partner Christian Bugeja. The Ajax also had some problems. Elton Vella was unavailable while Joseph Azzopardi and Anderson Ribeiro were suspended. Libyan Abdul Alrayess took Ribeiro’s place while Luke Meilak returned to the starting line-up.

            Kercem started the match with the best way possible when a free-kick from the left was cleared short and Luke Meilak hammered in goal with a lovely shot after just 6 minutes. Xewkija reacted immediately and drew level 4 minutes later when Gennaro Hili crossed from the left and Johnny Camilleri scored with a powerful header. Xewkija continued to maintain pressure on their opposition and went one up on the 21st minute when Daniel Bogdanovic took a fast free-kick from half pitch, Dene Shields controlled brilliantly and smashed in goal. Kercem operated some fast breaks with Abdul Alrayess and Andrew Mizzi being the two dangerous players but the defence was well composed to keep the Greens at bay. Xewkija had a shot from Johnny Camilleri from the right which went wide. Gennaro Hili also concluded wide from outside the box while Dene Shields also missed the target after entering inside the box from the left. Xewkija could have ended the 1st period with a 2 goal lead when Christian Bugeja shot from outside the box with the ball passing a whisker away from the post.

            For the 2nd half Xewkija continued to maintain the Greens at bay with good composure at the back while the Tigers were dangerous again with a tentative from Daniel Bogdanovic. Xewkija scored the 3rd goal on the 55th minute when a corner from Christian Bugeja was headed inside the goal by Eric Nwankwo. Kercem responded when a cross from the left was deflected by Peter Buttigieg and the goalkeeper Adrian Parnis had to tip over the crossbar. Josmar Vella had to be instrumental when blocking Ian Xuereb’s shot from outside the box. The game also witnessed a very negative episode on the 70th minute. Sabri Rais confronted Dene Shields and surprisingly bit the Scottish striker’s nose. Players from both sides had to separate the two players and in the same instant Rais also hit Xewkija’s Christian Bugeja. Referee George Portelli showed the yellow card to Dene Shields while Sabri Rais was sent off. As the game calmed, Xewkija continued to administer play with any difficulties and could have increased the score when Daniel Bogdanovic dribbled two players inside the box and his conclusion was blocked by a Kercem defender. Dene Shields also had a shot which went wide and Johnny Camilleri also tried his luck from outside the box but goalkeeper Lenard Camilleri saved without any problems. Kercem could have reduced the score when Petar Kyumyurdzhiev’s free-kick was saved into corner by Adrian Parnis. George Portelli signalled the end of the match which gave the league title to Xewkija Tigers for the second time in a row amongst the celebrations of the players, staff and supporters.

 

Final Result: Xewkija Tigers   3     Kercem Ajax   1

Scorers:

Xewkija T. – 9.J.Camilleri (10’), 99.D.Shields (21’), 23.E.Nwankwo (55’).

Kercem A. – 8.L.Meilak (6’) 

Red Card:

Kercem A. – 14.S.Rais (70’) 

        

            This weekend’s other games saw runners-up Nadur Youngsters win 2-0 against Victoria Hotspurs. Christian Debono and Claudio Antunes score the Youngsters’ goals. From the relegation pool SK Victoria Wanderers secured their 1st Division status with a 2-1 win over St.Laurence Spurs. Sunday Baala scored a brace while Jonathan Micallef scored the Spurs’ other goal. Oratory Youths returned to winning ways after beating wooden-spoonists Sannat Lions 3-0. Thiago dos Santos scored a brace and Shaun Attard scored from the penalty-spot. 

Xewkija Tigers:- 1-Adrian Parnis, 14-Joseph Cefai (C.), 6-Martin Hrubsa, 5-Peter Buttigieg, 4-Josmar Vella, 3-Gennaro Hili (55-Alex Simoncic), 8-Christian Bugeja, 80-Daniel Bogdanovic, 9-Johnny Camilleri (11-Paul Rapa), 23-Eric Chidi Nwankwo (10-Christ Camilleri), 99-Dene Shields.

Kercem Ajax:- 1-Lenard Camilleri, 11-Petar Kyumyurdzhiev, 18-Mario Mifsud, 3-Aaron Buttigieg, 2-Owen Spiteri, 19-John Paul Mizzi (C.), 7-Ian Xuereb, 8-Luke Meilak (21-Steve Dimech), 16-Omar Xuereb (14-Sabri Rais), 20-Andrew Mizzi, 22-Abdul Alrayess. 

Referee: George Portelli