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March 13, 2023

Clash against relegation ends all square

GFA BOV Gozo Football League Division I: P/O (MD 17) Gozo Stadium
Sannat Lions FC: 2
Victoria Hotspurs FC : 2
40’ (1-1) penalty Ricardo Silva Faria
79’ (2-2) Lucas Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira

Victoria H:
K. Barbara, D.C. Kassekar, O. Cremona (E. Xiberras 74), O.G. Fernandes, J. Azzopardi (L. Farrugia), B. Said, N. Inguanez, L. Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira, S. Sillato (J. Grech), A. Debrincat, R. Silva Faria.
The direct clash between the two sides occupying the last two places on the Play-Out table, Sannat Lions and Victoria Hotspurs, ended in a draw of four goals so that the Hotspurs retained a one-point lead over the same Sannat but with this result, the two teams moved very close to Oratory Youths who are currently occupying a safe place.
The match was well contested as both teams ideally needed the full points at stake. The Hotspurs saw more of the ball throughout the ninety minutes but they found it extremely difficult to conclude towards Sannat’s goal. On the other hand, Sannat tried to protect their area with many players and operated their offensive play through counter breaks. The outcome of the encounter was determined by mistakes in the respective defensive departments which were capitalised on by the two teams.

The two teams came out determined to take control of the play and during the first half of the match, it seemed that the win could go either way. Sannat were the first side to score but the Hotspurs were not demoralised and managed to score an equaliser from a penalty so that both sides remained in contention for the win.
7’ The Hotspurs were dangerous through a header by Brandon Said following a free kick by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes but the ball ended on the roof of the net.

9’ Sannat’s goalie was called to make an important intervention to save to corner a strike from outside the area by Lucas Mancuso.
15’ (1-0) Sannat took the lead when Aaron Azzopardi delivered the ball inside Victoria’s area from a free kick and Deison Arvey Cuero hit from a close distance and the ball ended in goal among protests from Victoria’s players claiming that the goalkeeper was obstructed by a player in an offside position.
29’ The Hotspurs went close to levelling the score when Sannat’s defence failed to clear the ball from their area but Brandon Said’s low shot aimed towards the far post ended wide.
34’ (post) Sannat could have doubled their lead when Sanchez Gonzales passed to Christian Dingli outside Victoria’s area but the latter had his low shot that was stopped by the post. Sannat regained possession in the same action but the effort from a good position by Lucas Silva Gomes ended high.
37’ Sannat’s goalie was well placed and neutralised a shot from outside the area by Andrea Debrincat.
39’ (1-1) penalty The Hotspurs were awarded a penalty for a foul by goalie Luke Buttigieg on Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes and Ricardo Silva Faria made no mistake with his shot from the spot kick.
45+3’ Victoria’s Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes had a shot from outside the area that ended away from the goal.
HT (1-1)
Second Half
The match continued to be well contested after the break with few serious scoring opportunities. The Hotspurs held territorial supremacy for longer stretches while Sannat created their offensive attempts through sporadic counter breaks. For some time Victoria produced pressure on Sannat’s defence but the strikers were often neutralised by Sannat’s defence.
4’ Victoria’s Lucas Mancuso had an attempt directly from a free kick that ended away from the goal.
11’ Sannat’s keeper Luke Buttigieg was well placed and punched away a shot from a free kick by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes.
13’ Victoria were denied from taking the lead when a header by Lucas Mancuso from a free kick by Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes was cleared from the goalmouth by Arata Takatori with the goalkeeper beaten.
18’ The Hotspurs once again threatened Sannat’s defence through a personal action by Ricardo Silva Faria but the shot by the Brazilian striker got a deflection by the defence and play resumed with a corner kick.
21’ Victoria was again dangerous through another header by Lucas Mancuso from a corner kick by Lucas Mancuso but the ball ended high.
23’ Sannat’s goalie Luke Buttigieg was called to make another important intervention to save an effort by Lucas Mancuso after receiving from Ricardo Silva Faria.
26’ (2-1) Sannat regained the lead in their first serious attempt towards Victoria’s goal of the second period when Aaron Azzopardi took the ball outside the area following a corner action, his shot was partially saved by goalie Kyle Barbara and from the rebound, Christian Dingli netted from close distance.
34’ (2-2) The Hotspurs scored their second equaliser that arrived through a fine strike by Lucas Mancuso Lemos Santos Ferreira from the edge of the area that ended out of the reach of Sannat’s goalie.
42’ The Citizens missed an open scoring opportunity when Sannat’s defence failed to clear the ball following a free kick by substitute Etienne Xiberras and the ball arrived to an unmarked Lucas Mancuso who concluded incredibly high from close distance.
FT (SL 0 – VH 0)
Referee: Emanuel Grech
Source: GOZO FA

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