Xewkija hit back to beat Hotspurs in lively match
Victoria Hotspurs FC : 2
Xewkija Tigers FC : 3
66’ (1-0) Damon Hili
79’ (2-1) Kakra Boakye-Mensa
D. Spiteri, E. Serrano Valero, C. Attard (C. Vella), D. Hili (E. Xiberras), J. Azzopardi, K. Boakye-Mensa, J. Pace, L. Farrugia (A. Debrincat), O.G. Fernandes, J. Tabone (O. Cremona), K. Suso Kebba.
Xewkija Tigers came from behind on two occasions and turned the result in their favour with a goal scored at the stroke of regular time in their match against Victoria Hotspurs so that they earned three precious points which puts them at the fourth place on the table at the end of the first round. On the other hand the Hotspurs ended the first round on a negative note as they failed to reach their expectations and are still within the red zone with other teams who are struggling to move away from the last two places on the table.
This was a direct clash between two teams who failed to reach their expectations in the previous matches. The Hotspurs were aiming to obtain a win to move over Xewkija and earn a comfortable place on the table while Xewkija were determined to make up for the defeats conceded in their previous matches. As a resul of te motivation of the two sides the match was well contested. Xewkija were timid during the first half and allowed the Coitiens to dictate matters. However, the Hotspurs failed to capitalise from their territorial supremqacy and Xewkija remained in contention.
After the break Xewkija grew in confidence while the Hotspurs continued to produce dangerous play. The Citizens seemed heading towards a win on two occasions when they took the lead but they conceded defensive mistakes that were capitalised by Xewkija. During the final moments of the encounter Xewkija and Victoria increased their efforts to obtain the win and the Tigers achieved their objective to obtain a dramatic win. At the end the outcome of the match reflected the position on the table of the two sides as Xewkija were once again rewarded for the great character they show whenever they find themselves in difficulty, while the Hotspurs were punished once again for not managing to convert the quality of their play into positive results.
Victoria Hotspurs came out more aggressive and tried to take command of play. They saw more of the ball but failed to capitalise from some good open scoring opportunities. Xewkija managed to resist the pressure from their opponents and as time passed by they tried to be more adventurous with some offensive actions.
14’ The Hotspurs could have opened the score when Kakra Boayke-Mensa released Kebell Suso Kebba inside Xewkija’s area but the latter aw his low shot that hit the base of the post and goalkeeper Emmanuel Cirrincione recovered in time and neutralised the danger.
14’ Less than a minute later Victoria created another good scoring opportunity when Kebell Suso Kebba passed towards Kakra Boayke-Mensa but the shot on the run by Boyake-Mensa ended away from goal.
22’ Xewkija’s rear guard were surprised and the ball arrived to an unmarked Lucas Farrugia who concluded wide from close distance.
24’ In another good action by the Hotspurs a close ranged attempt by Kakra Boayke-Mensa from a good position ended just wide.
26’ The Citizens were denied from taking the lead when Damon Hili crossed from the right flank to an unmarked Kebell Suso Kebba who saw his low drive defeating the goalkeeper but was cleared from the open goalmouth by central defender Josmar Vella.
37’ Xewkija replied with a shot from outside the area by Rodney Buttigieg that was saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri.
The Hotspurs tried to maintain command of play after the break but Xewkija seemed more confident and tried to share play in the midfield so that the match became more contested.
3’ Victoria’s Lucas Farrugia had a shot from outside the area that ended just wide.
6’ Xewkija had their best opportunity to take the lead when Rodney Buttigieg passed to substitute Joel Xuereb inside Victoria’s area, the latter turned around his direct opponent but his close ranged shot was well saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri.
16’ Victoria’s goalie Daniel Spiteri was called to make a difficult save to turn to a corner a strike from outside the area by Emiliano Lattes.
21’ (1-0) The Hotspurs broke the deadlock when Damon Hili produced a personal action from the left flank and surprised Xewkija’s keeper with a low shot from outside the area.
26’ (1-1) penalty Xewkija were awarded a penalty for a foul by Jason Pace on Josmar Vella during a corner action and Haruna Shodija Shola converted from the spot kick.
34’ (2-1) The Hotspurs regained the lead when a through pass by Damon Hili arrived to Kakra Boayke-Mensa who resisted the challenge of his direct opponent and defeated the goalkeeper with a fine shot.
35’ Xewkija replied with a shot by Emiliano Lattes that was blocked by the defence.
40’ (2-2) Xewkija managed to clinch the second equaliser when Rodney Buttigieg took the ball from the defence but had his shot that was partially saved by goalie Daniel Spiteri. From the rebound the ball arrived to an unmarked Joel Xuereb who netted with a low drive.
45’ (2-3) Xewkija turned the result in their favour when a direct free kick by Emiliano Lattes was partially saved by Victoria’s goalie and from the rebound Haruna Shodija Shola placed in goal with a low shot.
45’+4’ Xewkija could have sealed the win when Joel Xuereb released Haruna Shodija Shola in a counter break but the latter concluded badly from an ideal position and the ball ended on the side of the net.
FT (VH 2 – XT 3)
Referee: Andrea Sciriha
Source: Gozo FA
Photos: Paul Scicluna
Victoria Hotspurs F.C.
Malta FA Trophy
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