Champions Victoria Hotspurs and challengers Nadur share the spoils
GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I
Gozo Stadium – 6 January 2019
Nadur Y FC : 2 (D.M. Bustos 41’, S. Attard 64’)
Vella, T. Souza Da Silveira, C. Abela, D. Farrugia, L. Tabone, I. Xuereb, M.J. Barbosa, D.M. Bustos, S. Attard, J. Buittigieg, L. Garcia Panesso.
Victoria H FC : 2 (H.D. Maciel 2’, C. Mercieca 26’)
Parnis, F. Apap, L. Grima, C. Mercieca, J. Pace, A. Mizzi, J. Bajada, H. De Souza Maciel, D. Sowatey, E.A. Da Silva, E.P. Lattes.
The last match from Match-Day 8 of the BOV Gozo Football League Division I between the current leaders and reigning champions Victoria Hotspurs and the main challengers for the title Nadur Youngsters ended in a draw of four goals. With this result the Hotspurs defended their sole leadership and their two point lead over the same Nadur, while the latter retained their chances to become champions at the end of the championship. This result also favoured the third challenger Xewkija Tigers who are now just three points away from the leaders.
The top of the table clash attracted a large crowd to the Gozo Stadium. The Hotspurs seemed heading towards a second win over Nadur in the championship as they dominated the opening half hour of play and took a deserved two-goal lead. Nadur managed to recover near the end of the first half and reduced the deficit but ended with a player less on the field as they had a player sent off during the opening stages of the second period. The Hotspurs did not take immediate advantage of the extra player and Nadur managed to clinch the equaliser midway through the second half. The match became much more exiting during the last quarter as the outcome remained uncertain until the final whistle. For this match Nadur gave a debut to Leiner Garcia Panesso, ex-Munxar Falcons, but were without the service of Yuri de Jesus Messias who was transferred to a foreign club.
The Hotspurs had an excellent start and opened the score in the second minute of play when Nadur’s defence headed badly inside the area a free kick by Emiliano Lattes, Elton Da Silva addressed towards goal and Henrique De Souza Maciel headed easily into an open goal. Nadur seemed shocked and on 16 minutes the Hotspurs could have doubled the score but an effort by Andrew Mizzi after receiving from Elton Da Silva ended just wide. The Hotspurs were again dangerous on 24 minutes through a curling shot by Elton Da Silva that also ended away from Nadur’s goal. The Hotspurs however scored their second goal two minutes later when Nadur’s rear guard hesitated to clear the ball from the area and Christian Mercieca took the opportunity and netted with a low shot. On the half hour mark Victoria almost added another goal but a cross shot by Jason Pace was saved to a corner by goalie Franklin Vella. From the resultant corner kick by the same Pace an attempt by Elton Da Silva ended over the crossbar. Nadur’s first serious attempt towards \Victoria’s goal arrived three minutes later through a direct free kick by Marcelo Barbosa that ended wide and on 35 minutes Victoria’s goalie Adrian Parnis was called to save in two attempts an shot by the same Barbosa. The Hotspurs operated a fine move on 38 minutes and could have increased their lead but a shot from an ideal position by Andrew Mizzi was saved to a corner with difficulty by goalie Franklin Vella. Nadur re-opened the issue on 41 minutes when Daniel Mateo Bustos received form Marcelo Barbosa the edge of the area and the fired in goal with a low strike that surprised goalie Adrian Parnis.
Nadur maintained their momentum after the break and produced pressure on Victoria’s defence during the opening stages of the second period. On 48 minutes debutant Leiner Garcia Panesso had a good effort after receiving from Josef Buttigieg that ended just wide and three minutes later a strike by Daniel Mateo Bustos was neutralised by goalie Adrian Parnis. On 52 minutes the same goalkeeper was well placed to block a close ranged shot by Marcelo Barbosa following a corner kick by Daniel Mateo Bustos and one minute later the Youngsters ended up playing with ten players when Luke Tabone was sent off for a second bookable offence received for a foul in the midfield. Nadur were not demoralised and on 56 minutes they were again dangerous through an attempt by Daniel Mateo Bustos that ended wide. Nadur levelled the score on 64 minutes when Marcelo Barbosa released Shaun Attard outside Victoria’s area and the latter fired in goal with a shot that ended out of the reach of the goalkeeper. The Hotspurs replied on 67 minutes through a free kick by Elton Da Silva that ended wide and less than a minute later Nadur’s Daniel Farrugia had an attempt form a free kick that was neutralised by Victoria’s keeper. The Hotspurs tried to increase their efforts in an attempt to regain the lead during the final stages. On 83 minutes Victoria’s Henrique Maciel ended on the floor in the area but the referee did not notice any infringement. Three minutes later Victoria were again dangerous but a shot by Emiliano Lattes ended wide and on the second minute of stoppage time Nadur’s goalie Franklin Vella was well placed to save a free kick by Elton Da Silva and one minute later the Hotspurs once again protested for a penalty when Henrique Maciel ended on the floor in the area following a challenge with central defender Tiago Da Silveira. From the same action Victoria’s Christian Mercieca had his shot blocked by goalie Franklin Vella and Nadur’s best opportunity to obtain a win from this match arrived in the fifth minute of stoppage time but a direct corner kick by Daniel Mateo Bustos ended on the roof of the net.
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri