The Malta Independent 18 January 2020, Saturday

BOV Premier League: Dexter Xuereb strike helps Mosta win three precious points

Henry Brincat Wednesday, 8 January 2020, 20:57 Last update: about 9 days ago
Photo: Domenic Aquilina
Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Mosta      1

Gudja       0

Mosta: A. Vella, P. Soares, G. Aquilina, W. Gomes, D. Bonnici, D. Xuereb, T. Farrugia, DJ Brown, M. Muchardi, Z. Brincat, CE Ememe

Gudja: J. Debono, J. Bondin, Z. Cassar (N. Rodrigues 66), A. Friggieri, R. Winchester (J. Grioli  85), L. Cremona, J. Brincat (G. Mensah 50), A. De Barros, M. Jimenez, JA Bolanos, AR Miranda

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Referee: T. Farrugia Cann

Asst refs: L. Portelli, P. Apap

4th official: M. Apap

Scorers: D. Xuereb 27,

Yellow cards: T. Farrugia 53, L. Cremona 71, A. Vella 90, Z. Brincat 90

BOV Player of the match: D. Xuereb

TMI Top 3: 1. D. Xuereb, 2. JA Bolanos, 3. M. Muchardi.

Attendance: 157

A Dexter Xuereb 27th minute strike was enough for Mosta to gain three precious points from a direct relegation clash with Gudja.

This was the last match of the first round. It was scheduled to be played on 14 December but was postponed due to the strong winds which caused havoc at and around the Centenary Stadium.

The victory enabled Mosta to move to joint 8th place in the standings with Birkirkara on 16 points. Gudja drop one place to 11th, remaining on 14 points.

The first half was equally balanced but Mosta might have had a slight edge in possession.

The two sides played open football and both created scoring chances with Mosta scoring the only goal midway through - it gave them a narrow lead over their rivals at the interval.

Gudja did not stare at their opponents and also had their own chances. But they failed to conclude as they might have desired and after the opening 45 minutes, their disappointment was obvious.

In the second half, after a good start by Mosta, Gudja took over the initiative and attacked consistently in search of an equaliser.

However, they still failed to save at least a point as Mosta were well organised at the back.

In the final minutes, they pressed harder, but still failed to test goalie Vella seriously.

The match had a fiery start. In the first minute, Mosta's Muchardi hit a shot over the bar from the edge of the area, while at the other end, an Aidan Friggieri cross was missed by Winchester in front of the Mosta goal.

On 18 minutes, following a Dexter Xuereb cross, Gabriel Aquilina had a shot saved in two attempts by Jonathan Debono.

Gudja replied three minutes later through a James Brincat volley that was saved by goalie Andreas Vella with the aid of the crossbar.

Mosta took the lead in the 27th minute, when Dexter Xuereb crossed into the Gudja area from far out. The ball was missed by friend and foe and surprised even goalie Debono as it landed at the back of the net.

Moments later, Gudja went close through a De Barros shot which was deviated just wide of the upright by a Mosta defender to an abortive corner.

Soon after, Gudja threatened through a Cremona cross which was headed towards goal by Juan Andres Bolanos but goalie Vella dived sideways to effect a great save.

Mosta opened the second half in attack and in the 52nd minute they missed a good chance through Gomes who headed well over the bar from a Duane Bonnici cross.

On 69 minutes, in a swift Mosta counter-attack, Ememe was set by a team-mate, but his shot from just outside the area completely missed the target.

Gudja missed a good opportunity to equalise on 78 minutes. Substitute Nivaldo Rodrigues was set by Bolanos and advanced into the Mosta area, but with goalie Vella rushing out of his charge, the Gudja striker kicked the ball well wide of the target.

Gudja pressed hard for an equaliser in the final 20 minutes, but Mosta defended well and kept their cool to emerge winners.

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