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March 18, 2022

Hotspurs back to winning ways against rivals SKVW

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 17) – Fri 18 Mar 2022 – Gozo Stadium
SK Victoria Wanderers – FT (0-1) – Victoria Hotspurs FC

43’ (0-1) Robinson Blandon Rendon

Victoria H:

D. Spiteril, C. Cardona (L. Farrugia), ER. Serrano Valero, C. Vella, H. De Souza Maciel, J. Pace (E. Xiberras), A. Azzopardi (J. Azzopardi), O.G. Fernandes, J. Tabone, O. Cremona, R.Blandon Rendon.

Victoria Hotspurs registered their third win over SK Victoria Wanderers in the championship and earned three precious points which put them definitely outside the red zone. With this win, the Hotspurs also consolidated their fourth spot on the standings and therefore managed to recover from a disappointing season which saw them struggling at the lower part of the table, particularly during the second round of the campaign.

The two sides faced this derby match with the ambition to obtain the win as the Wanderers need points to move away from the bottom place on the table while the Hotspurs were aiming to defend their lead over the other teams in the red zone. The win for the Hotspurs matured through a goal that arrived from a free-kick just before halftime so that they were in a position to defend their lead until the end of the encounter. The Wanderers tried hard to produce a reaction but were very erratic in their finishing, particularly from the chances that they had from set-pieces so that they missed their best opportunities to save the result. The derby match also ended on a negative note as play was suspended for around eight minutes after the end of regular time for fighting between the two sides following a foul and retaliation in the midfield which ended with a player from each side who was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The match was quite interesting during the opening stages as play was shared and the two sides tried to take the lead. However, the Hotspurs increased their efforts near the end of the first half and managed to take the break in the lead.

7’ The Hotspurs created the first scoring opportunity when Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes delivered a cross towards the goalmouth from the right flank but Henrique Maciel failed to connect.

12’ The Wanderers relied on a direct free kick by Emerson Zammit that missed the target.

14’ The Hotspurs were again dangerous through an initiative outside the area by Robinson Blandon Rendon but the striker saw his strike that got a deflection by the defence and the ball ended in the corner.

29’ The Hotspurs had an attempt by Robinson Blandon Rendon that was well saved by goalie Mladen Kukrika.

35’ In another god action by the Hotspurs an effort by Henrique Maciel ended wide.

40’ The Wanderers had their goalkeeper in a good position and saved with some difficulty to a corner a free kick by Henrique Maciel.

43’ (0-1) The Hotspurs opened the score through a direct free kick by Robinson Blandon Rendon that ended out of the reach of the goalkeeper.

Second Half

The match continued to be well contested after the break as the Hotspurs tried to retain the momentum but as time passed by the Wanderers came out of their defence and increased their efforts in an attempt to recover the deficit.

3’ The Hotspurs risked their own goal when a cross-shot by Gabriel Cardona was headed badly by central defender Elkin Serrano Valero and the ball ended on top of the net.

8’ The Hotspurs were dangerous through a free kick by Henrique Maciel that was blocked by goalie Mladen Kukrika.

11’ The Wanderers once again threatened their opponents through a shot on the run following a personal action by Aud-Gustine James Obaje that missed the target.

12’ In the following action the Wanderers were denied from scoring when a curling shot from outside the area by Emerson Zammit, after receiving from Aud-Gustine James Obaje, was saved with difficulty in two attempts by goalie Daniel Spiteri.

22’ A free-kick from a long distance by the Wanderers through Emerson Zammit ended away from goal.

28’ The Wanderers had another potential scoring opportunity when Aud-Gustine James Obaje unmarked Emerson Zammit but the latter saw his shot blocked by the defence.

33’ The Wanderers had another opportunity from a free-kick but the attempt by substitute Owen Fenech ended away from goal.

45+3’ (red cards) The two sides ended with ten players when they had a play each, Oliver Cremona of Victoria Hotspurs and Neil Camilleri of the Wanderers, who was shown a second yellow card following a foul with retaliation that ignited protests from the other players and officials on the two benches.

The play was suspended for around eight minutes until the order was re-established so that the added time had to be prolonged.

45+11’ The Wanderers had their last opportunity to level the score but a free kick by Emerson Zammit ended wide.

Match Report: Gozo FA
Photos: Paul Scicluna

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