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April 29, 2022

Hotspurs Finish Season in Syle

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I (MD 21) – Fri 29 Apr 2022 – Gozo Stadium
Victoria Hotspurs FC – FT (3-1) – Xewkija Tigers FC

60’ (1-1) Lucas Farrugia
76’ (2-1) Henrique De Souza Maciel
79’ (3-1) Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes

O. Attard, E.R. Serrano Valero, D. Hili, J. Azzopardi, A. Debrincat (J. Pace), H. De Souza Maciel, L. Farrugia, A. Xiberras (C. Cardona), O.G. Fernandes, E. Xiberras, R. Blandon Rendon.

In the opening match of the last Match-Day of the BOV Gozo Football League of the first division, Victoria Hotspurs obtained a 3-1 win over Xewkija Tigers and ended the championship on a positive note. This was the last match of the championship for the two sides which did not have any impact on the final standings as the Hotspurs were already sure of finishing at the fourth placement in the table while Xewkija were already certain that they retained their first division status for the next season.

Both Victoria and Xewkija took the field of play without any pressure but they both seemed determined to obtain a win in their last match of the 2021/2022 season. As a result, the match turned out to be entertaining with various scoring opportunities at the two ends of the field and it was not a surprise that it was decided with goals scored during the final stages.

Overall the Hotpusrs created more danger and were also unlucky on at least three occasions when attempts were stopped by the woodwork. Xewkija however remained in contention for more than an hour of play but they compromised the possibility to earn a point by conceding two goals in the space of three minutes.
Timeline
The Hotspurs came out more aggressive for this math and created some very good scoring opportunities during the opening minutes. Xewkija however were also dangerous in their breaks and managed t end up in the lead despite the fact that they missed an opportunity from a penalty.

3’ The Hotspurs could have opened the score but an effort directly from a free-kick by Henrique Maciel was saved to a corner by goalie Kyle Attard.

8’ The same goalkeeper was at the right place to block an effort by Lucas Farrugia.

9’ Xewkija replied through a header by Rodney Buttigieg following a corner kick by Joseph George Vella that was neutralised by Victoria’s goalie Owen Attard.

10’ (penalty – saved) Xewkija had a golden scoring opportunity to open the score when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Victoria’s Damon Hili on Elton Da Silva but the same striker saw his shot from the spot-kick that was saved to a corner by goalie Owen Attard.

19’ The Hotspurs were denied from opening the score when Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes passed to Henrique Maciel. The latter had his attempt that ended out of the reach of the goalkeeper but Xewkija’s defender Dylan Mercieca recovered in time and headed off the fatal line to a corner and avoided a certain goal.

21’ (post) Victoria was also unlucky when a header by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes following a corner kick by Henrique Maciel hit the base of the post. The Hotspurs recovered possession in the following activities but the attempt by Henrique Maciel was saved by Xewkija’s goalie.

22’ (0-1) Xewkija opened the score through a low drive towards the far post by Elton Alexandre Da Silva after entering the area with personal action.

26’ (goal disallowed) Xewkija could have doubled the score but a goal by Matthias Mercieca after receiving from Emiliano Lattes was disallowed for an offside infringement.

28’ (post) The Hotspurs replied with a fine shot by Henrique Maciel following a personal action that was stopped by the post with the goalkeeper beaten.

30’ Xewkija operated a dangerous action through Elton Da Silva but Victoria’s keeper was well placed and saved the danger.

32’ (goal disallowed) Xewija had a second goal, this time netted by Emiliano Lattes, that was disallowed for an offside infringement.

34’ The Tigers missed another good scoring opportunity but an effort by Matthias Mercieca from a good position ended wide.

35’ In the following action the Hotspurs could have capitalised better but a strike from a good position by Robinson Blandon Rendon missed the target.

39’ Victoria’s striker Andrea Debrincat entered Xewkija’s area but hesitated to conclude so that the defence recovered and cleared the danger to a corner.

42’ Xewkija’s goalie Kyle Attard was again called to make a difficult save to block a good shot by Robinson Blandon Rendon.

43’ Xewkija went very close to scoring the second goal but Matthias Mercieca incredibly headed wide from an ideal position followi9ng a cross by Haruna Shodija Shola.

45+1’ The Hotspurs were again denied from scoring the equaliser when the goalkeeper saved a good shot by Henrique Maciel following a personal action.

HT (0-1)

Second Half

The Hotspurs continued to express more offensive play and as time passed by, they increased their efforts in an attempt to recover the deficit. Victoria gained more confidence after scoring the equaliser so that they ended up dominating the last part of the encounter and turned the result in their favour by scoring two goals in the space of a few minutes.

1’ Victoria’s Henrique Maciel entered the area but he insisted too much on the initiative and was denied from concluding towards goal from an ideal position with an effective intervention by the defence.

2’ Xewkija replied with an effort by Emiliano Lattes that was saved by Victoria’s keeper.

11’ (post) The Hotspurs were once again unlucky when Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes entered Xewkija’s area and the ball arrived at an unmarked Henrique Maciel but the latter had his low shot that was stopped by the post.

12’ In the following action Xewkija’s Matthias Mercieca won the ball from Victoria’s defence but his strike from outside the area was saved to a corner by goalie Owen Attard.

13’ Victoria’s goalie was again called to make a difficult save to turn to a corner a good shot by Matthias Mercieca.

14’ Xewkija’s goalie Kyle Attard made a good save to block a good shot from an angled position by Robinson Blandon Rendon.

15’ (1-1) The Hotspurs retained possession from the short clearance and from the resultant melee Lucas Farrugia fired in goal from close distance.

25’ Xewkija operated a counter break that ended with a first-timer by Elton Da Silva that missed the target.

29’ The Hotspurs were again dangerous through an initiative by Robinson Blandon Rendon who entered Xewkija’s territory and released Lucas Farrugia but the latter had his shot that was blocked by goalie Kyle Attard.

31’ (2-1) The Hotspurs turned the result in their favour when Xewkija’s goalie Kyle Attard partially saved a strike by Robinson Blandon Rendon. From the rebound, the ball arrived at Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes who delivered a cross towards the goalmouth and Henrique De Souza Maciel headed in a goal from close distance.

34’ (3-1) The Citizens increased their lead by scoring the third goal that arrived through a low shot by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes following a personal action.

41’ Xewkija could have reduced the deficit but a header by Haruna Shodija Shola from a free-kick by Emiliano Lattes ended over the crossbar.

45+2’ Xewkija had the last scoring opportunity of the encounter but an attempt from an angled position by Emiliano Lattes ended wide.

FT (VH 3 – XT 1)

Match Report: Gozo FA
Photos: Gozo FA

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