The Malta Independent 19 October 2019, Saturday

BOV Premier League: Sliema, Gudja share spoils in 1-1 draw, both teams still searching for first win

Henry Brincat Saturday, 21 September 2019, 22:14 Last update: about 27 days ago
Photos: Jonathan Bugeja
Photos: Jonathan Bugeja

Sliema W.       1
Gudja U.          1

Sliema: J. Galea, M. Sansone, A. Stelitano, K. Shaw, M. Scerri (E. Agius 54), J. Cisotti, JC Gill, S. Seydou (C. Zappa 46), S. Miloskovic, C. Pani, JP Farrugia 

Gudja: T. Aquilina, J. Bondin, Z. Cassar, A. Friggieri (PP Sammut 77), R. Winchester, C. Santana (L. Cremona 88), G. Mensah (D. Grima 83), A. De Barros, H. Vella, JA Bolanos, J. Grioli

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Referee: A. Johnson

Asst. refs: D. Sultana, D. Stankovic

4th official: F. Zammit

Scorers: C. Zappa 61, A. Friggieri 64

Yellow cards: H. Vella 42, M. Scerri 45, R. Winchester 71, C. Pani 87, A. Stelitano 90

BOV Player of the match: R. Winchester

TMI Top 3: 1. C. Santana; 2. J. Cisotti; 3. R. Winchester

 Attendance: 585

Sliema and Gudja shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw yesterday evening in the second match at the Centenary Stadium.

The two goals arrived in the space of three minutes in the second half. Claudio Zappa gave Sliema the lead but Aidan Friggieri levelled matters for Gudja three minutes later.

Both teams remain searching for their first win with Gudja registering their 4th draw and Sliema their second.

It was a well balanced affair in the first half with Sliema taking control of the proceedings in the early stages, but with Gudja coming back strongly in the final 20 minutes.

Both teams had their scoring chances, but Gudja, apart from being well organised at the back and in midfield, created more than their more experienced opponents.

The match followed mostly the same pattern in the second half. Sliema appeared to be slightly better at the start, but Gudja were giving as much as they received.

When Sliema took the lead, I thought Gudja's resistance would fall apart, but they fought back gallantly to quickly score an equaliser.

From then onwards, the two teams played cautiously and neither team created scoring chances except Gudja who almost won the contest had it not been for a great save by Sliema goalie Jake Galea deep into added time.

Sliema should have taken the lead on 6 minutes when following a Juri Cisotti cross, Jean Paul Farrugia failed to conclude in front of a gaping goal.

After an uneventful 20 minutes, debutant referee Alex Johnson stopped the match for a few minutes after some fault was found in the net of the Gudja goalpost.

When the match resumed, on the 29th minute, Rundell Winchester advanced unhindered into the Sliema area, but goalie Jake Galea covered himself with glory as he blocked the Gudja striker's shot to a corner.

Two minutes later, it was former Sliema player Aidan Friggieri who tried his luck from the edge of the area, but the ball sailed harmlessly over the bar.

As Gudja insisted in attack, it was Winchester who again tested Galea, but the Sliema goalie dived sideways to save.

In the 34th minute, after a lapse in the Gudja defence, Seydou seemed to have a good chance to put Sliema in front, but Juan Andres Bolanos blocked his close range effort to a corner.

In first half added time, from a Friggieri corner, a Hubert Vella header was deviated by a Sliema defender just over the goalpost for another cornerkick.

Soon after the start of the second half, Gudja goalie Timothy Aquilina was called to save a Cistotti freekick while at the other end, Carlos Santana had a shot going just wide.

Winchester also had a shot saved somewhat easily by goalie Galea.

But at the other end, on 61 minutes, Sliema managed to take the lead when substitute Claudio Zappa controlled the ball well at the edge of the area to fire a great shot past goalie Aquilina.

Gudja did not take long to level matters. In fact, it took them just three minutes and it was former Blues striker Aidan Friggieri who beat Jake Galea in the Sliema goal after receiving a through pass from Winchester.

In added time, Gudja almost claimed all the three points when an overhead kick by Zachary Cassar brought the best out of goalie Jake Galea who saved the result for the Wanderers.

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