Hotspurs Lose to Qala St Joseph
Qala Saints FC : 3
Victoria Hotspurs FC : 1
22’ (0-1) Christian Vella
23’ (penalty missed – high) Elton Alexandre Da Silva (VH)
L. Gatt, O. Cremona, C. Vella, O.G. Fernandes, J. Azzopardi (D. Hili), A. Debrincat (A. Xiberras), L. Farrugia (E. Xiberras), L. Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira, S. Sillato, E.A. Da Silva, D.C. Kassekar.
Promoted side Qala Saints continued to impress during this first part of the championship and remain undefeated as they earned three points form a 3-1 win over Victoria Hotspurs. With this result, and at the end of Match-Day 4, the Maroons became co-leaders on the table while the Hotspurs remain the only side of the top flight without a point.
The match was well contested during the first hour of play. The Hotspurs seemed heading towards a positive result as they opened the score midway through the first half and one minute later they were awarded a penalty but the Citizens missed the opportunity to increase their lead and lost their momentum. On the other hand Qala increased their efforts and manged to turn the result in their favour before the end of the first half. After the break Victoria struggled to recover the deficit while Qala seemed more effective in their offensive play. The match was practically decided when the Maroons scored their third goal so that they administered play during the final stages of the encounter.
The match produced some good scoring opportunities at the two ends of the field as both Qala and Victoria tried to take command of play. Play was balanced but the Maroons managed to capitalise better from the scoring opportunities and took the break in the lead with a goal that arrived on the stroke of half time.
1’ The Hotspurs were dangerous after just 49 seconds of play when Christian Vella released Andrea Debrincat at the edge of Qala’s area but the curling shot by the latter ended just wide.
3’ (protests for penalty) Qala protested for a penalty when Rafael Conrado Prudente ended on the floor following a challenge with two defenders.
5’ Qala’s Ayesller Carvalho had an attempt directly from a free kick that was saved to a corner by goalie Liam Gatt.
8’ The Hotspurs replied with a shot by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes following a prolonged action that was saved to a corner by goalie Franklin Vella.
11’ The Maroons could have created more danger but a header from a good position by Joshua Buttigieg, following a cross by Lawrence Grima, ended wide.
22’ (0-1) The Hotspurs opened the score through a spectacular strike from outside the area by Christian Vella following a short clearance by Qala’s defence, that ended out of the reach of the goalkeeper.
23’ (penalty missed – high) Victoria Hotspurs had a golden opportunity to double their lead when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by goalie Franklin Vella on Lucas Farrugia, but Elton Da Silva’s shot from the spot kick ended high.
35’ (1-1) The Hotspurs were punished for the missed chance as Qala levelled the score when Rafael Conrado Prudente took the ball from Victoria’s defence and placed in goal with a low shot.
45’ Victoria’s goalie Liam Gatt was well placed and neutralised a header by Rafael Conrado Prudente form a good position.
45’ (2-1) Qala turned the result in their favour in the following action as Brazilian striker Rafael Conrado Prudente produced pressure on Victoria’s defence, won the ball and netted easily with a low drive.
Victoria tried to produce a reaction but the Maroons seemed more motivated after the break and as time passed by, the latter dictated matters and also added another goal to their lead.
7’ Victoria’s goalie Liam Gatt had good timing to clear the ball from the danger area before Rafael Conrado Prudente could conclude towards goal.
10’ the Hotspurs replied with a header by Lucas Mancuso Lemos Ferreira following a corner kick by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes that ended just wide.
15’ Victoria’s goalie Liam Gatt was called to make a difficult intervention to turn to a corner a low shot from outside the area by substitute Julian Yoiti Suzuki Bicudo.
22’ Qala went again close to increase their lead but a header by Julian Yoiti Suzuki Bicudo following a free kick by Manwel Xerri ended just wide.
31’ (3-1) Qala added another goal when Victoria’s defence failed to clear the ball from their area following a throw in by Lawrence Grima, Victoria’s Lucas Farrugia headed badly inside his area and Julian Yoiti Suzuki Bicudo took the opportunity and concluded in goal with an acrobatic shot.
33’ The Hotspurs could have reduced the score but a strike from outside the area by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes was partially saved by goalie Franklin Vella and from the rebound the shot by Lucas Farrugia was blocked by the defence.
35’ Victoria’s goalie Liam Gatt made another good save to block a shot by substitute Nathan Chukwudi Njoku and from the rebound the attempt by Rafael Conrado Prudente was cleared of the fatal line by central defender Lucas Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira.
45’ Qala’s Martin Buttigieg could have sealed the win with a fourth goal but his shot from close distance was well blocked by goalie Liam Gatt.
45+4’ Victoria’s last opportunity to reduce the deficit arrived through a shot directly from a free kick by Elton Da Silva that was well saved by Qala’s keeper Franklin Vella.
FT (QS 3 – VH 1)
Match Report and Photos: Gozo FA
Victoria Hotspurs F.C.
Nadur Youngsters F.C.
Gozo Stadium | 14:00