VIVA World Cup: Gozo place fifth — Padania, Kurdistan reach final

Gozo turned a defeat into a victory in the match for the fifth and sixth places against Provence, therefore defending their placingin the previous edition of the VIVA World Cup.

It was a deserved win for the host team. The Gozitan players seemed more determined and produced more scoring opportunities than their opponents. Gozo did their best to obtain the victory and to make up for the heavy defeat conceded in the last match of the group stage. At the end, their efforts were rewarded with a goal that arrived one minute from time. This was a historic result for Gozo as it was the first win on the field against international opponents. It was also a result that rewards the efforts of all those involved in starting this experience for the Gozitan team in the VIVA World Cup, a result which should give a boost for further improvement in the next editions of this competition.

Provence, on the other hand, failed to recover from the upset of the defeat concede in their previous match and were not in a position to put Gozo in serious difficulty. They had a slow rhythm and never managed to put their opponents under pressure.

The hosts of the tournament had a good start to this match and produced the first scoring opportunity of the encounter on 6 minutes. John Camilleri came face to face with the goalkeeper but the striker saw his shot blocked by the goalkeeper. Three minutes later, Provence replied when off a short clearance by the rearguard, a shot by Sebastien Juan was well saved by goalie Mark Grima. One minute later, Provence were also unlucky to have a strike by Nassim Guendouz hit the crossbar.

Provence gained confidence and started to dictate matters, opening the score on 19 minutes through Stephane Juan who headed in goal from close distance a good cross from the right flank.

On 26 minutes, the two teams ended with a player less on the field when Gozo’s Milos Stojanovic and Provence’s Jalile Zeroual were sent off for retaliation. Three minutes later, Provence were again dangerous through a low drive by Benattar that ended just wide. Gozo recovered from the difficult moment and one minute after the half hour of play they went very close to scoring. Rodney Buttigieg won a tussle at the defense but had his low shot blocked by the goalkeeper and off the rebound, John Camilleri incredibly concluded over the crossbar. On 32 minutes, the hosts were unlucky when a low shot by Jason Portelli hit the foot of the post with the goalkeeper beaten. Four minutes from half time, Gozo lost another good opportunity to level the score when John Camilleri’s shot from an angled position ended wide.

After the resumption, Gozo maintained their momentum and on 49 minutes John Camilleri concluded badly from an ideal position.

However Gozo levelled the score one minute before the hour of play. Rodney Buttigieg received a through ball on the left flank, penetrated the defense and placed in goal with a low shot.

One minute later, the same Buttigieg could have put the Gozitans in the lead following a similar action but on this occasion his attempt was blocked by the goalkeeper. From the rebound, John Camilleri also failed to conclude in goal and Provence’s defence managed to clear the danger. Provence recovered from the difficult moment and started to share play with in the midfield. However, on 72 minutes, Gozo went again close to scoring through an attempt by John Camilleri that was turned in corner by goalie Gossot. Four minutes later, Rodney Buttigieg concluded incredibly wide a fine move at the heart of Provence’s defense by John Camilleri. Gozo’s goalkeeper Mark Grima saved the result for his side with two good saves in the space of one minute. On 87 minutes, the extreme defender neutralized a shot by Nassim Ramande following a personal action and in the following action he saved an attempt by Stephane Juan from close distance.

Gozo scored the goal that decided the issue on 89 minutes when John Camilleri received the ball in the area and fired in goal with a low drive from an angled position.

In the remaining minutes Gozo managed to control their one goal lead to end the tournament at the fifth place on the table.

GOZO M. Grima, J. Cefai, F. Apap, A. Portelli (A. Simoncic), M. Cordina (I. Adesina), R. Buttigieg, J. Camilleri, J. Portelli, S. Bajada, M. Stojanovic, A. Williams.

PROVENCE T. Gossot, S. Tognarelli (T. Rarcade), B. Benattar, Y. Attar, J. Perrin (K. Bourqoua), N. Guendouz (Y. Liset), S. Juan, B. Borghesi (N. Ramdane), J, Zeroual, J. Fiala, C. Benchaa.

Referee: Aaron Fenech (Malta)
Asst. Referees: 1st Eucharist Portelli (Gozo), 2nd Per-Anders Blind (Sweden)
Fourth Official: Gheorghie Radu (Romania)
Scorers: R. Buttigieg 59’, J. Camilleri 89’ (G); S. Juan 19’ (P)


Padania became the first finalists of the tournament and will be defending the VIVA World Cup title after defeating Regno Delle Due Sicilie with two goals after the break. The match was quite exciting and produced some good play from the two sides. Regno Delle Due Sicilie were the better side during the first half but suffered Padania’s comeback in the second half. Padania seemed more experienced to approach a semi final as they maintained composure during difficult moments and redesigned their tactical deployment once they managed to score the opening goal. The southern Italians had a positive performance during the first hour of play but failed to recover once they suffered the first goal of the match.

Regno Delle Due Sicilie came out in a better shape and held territorial supremacy during the first half. However, they found it difficult to penetrate Padania’s organized rearguard and created their scoring opportunities through set-pieces from long distance. Padania, on the other hand, operated mainly with counter breaks and managed to threaten their opponent’s rearguard on more than one occasion. Regno Delle Due Sicilie had their best scoring opportunity of the first half on 26 minutes when a direct free kick by Cappezzuto was turned in corner with difficulty by goalie Pedersoli. Padania were dangerous on 37 minutes but Cortinovis’ low drive was well saved by goalie Izzo. Four minutes from half time, Padania goalkeeper was again called to make a difficult save following a low shot by Di Giacomo.

Padania produced some pressure over their opponents during the early stages of the second period but they only managed to gain a series of corner actions.

However, the northern Italians opened the score on 62 minutes. Stefano Tignonsini produced a good move on the left flank and his cross arrived to an unmarked Mauro Nannini who headed easily in goal.

Regno Delle Due Sicilie tried to react but Padania did some changes in the deployment and started to control play. The northern Italians also operated with counter breaks and on 72 minutes a shot by substitute Andrea Rota missed the target. Padania’s Vanni Chiarotto went close to double the score one minute later but his low shot following a move by Angelo Motta was blocked by goalie Izzo.

Padania made sure of a place in the final with a goal that arrived four minutes from time. Substitute Maurizio Ganz advantage of some hesitation by a defender and lobbed over goalie Roberto Izzo who was out of his position.

The southern Italians were now demoralized and Padania controlled their comfortable lead in the remaining minutes of the match.

PADANIA M. Pedersoli, E. Pedersoli, S. Tignionsini, M. Bertoni, L. Taddeo, R. Cortinovis (A. Casse), L. Mosti (M. Rostirolla), V. Chiarotto (M. Ganz), A.G. Motta, M.S. Nannini (M. Prandelli), S. Ghezzi (A. Rota).

REGNO DELLE DUE SICILIE R. Izzo, F. Maresca (M. Zamparelli), A. Valerio, G.L. Esposito, M. Capezzuto, D. Macari (M. Altieri), E. Velardi, A. Deluca (B. Rea), A. Bonavolonta (F. Balestra), P. Cappuccilli, R. Di Giacomo.

Referee: Hatim Karim Azad (Kurdistan)
Asst. Referees: 1st Luciano Casnati (Italy), 2nd Aaron Fenech (Malta)
4th Official: Joe Bajada (Gozo)
Scorers: M. Nannini 62’, M. Ganz 86’


Kurdistan earned a place in the final of the VIVA World Cup 2010 with a hard-earned win over Occitania. Thus, the final of this fourth edition of the competition will be a repetition of the previous edition.

In this second semi-final, Kurdistan saw more of the ball but Occitania defended well and operated dangerous breaks that left them in contention until the final stages of the match. Occitania took the lead with a first-half goal but suffered Kurdistan’s pressure after the break and ended up conceding two goals that earned Kurdistan a deserved qualification.

Kurdistan came out more aggressive and started to put pressure over Occitania from the early stages of the match. However, Occitania were well deployed and managed to control strikers Ayad, Qaraman and Rahman from creating danger. As time passed, the French side started to get out of their area mainly through counter breaks.

On 37 minutes, Occitania opened the score through a deflection by Eric Gamet following a free kick by Wilfred Alquier.

Kurdistan lost an open scoring opportunity two minutes from half time. Ayoob Ayad won a ball in the area but had his shot blocked by the goalkeeper and from the rebound Hyder Qaraman incredibly concluded over the crossbar from a good position.

Occitania nearly surprised Kurdistan after five minutes of play into the second period when an angled shot by Guilhem Soro ended just high. Three minutes later, Kurdistan had a goal by Muhsin disallowed for an offside position.

Kurdistan’s efforts were rewarded on 71 minutes when they leveled the score through a tap-in by Hydar Qaraman to conclude a cross from the right flank by Nooruldeen.

Kurdistan maintained the pressure and took the deserved lead on 82 minutes. Substitute Karzaz Mohammed entered Occitania’s area in a fast break and placed in goal with a low shot that passed past substitute goalkeeper Remi Veziat.

Occitania tried to produce a reaction but the closest they went to scoring was six minutes from time when a strike by substitute Boris Massare was cleared with difficulty by goalie Dydar Hamed. Occitania ended on a negative note as they had Wilfred Alquier sent off in the third minute of stoppage time for a foul on Aziz.

KURDISTAN D. Hamed, M. Hamakhan, S. Haseeb, A. Schakor, H. Seyamand, B. Abdulkarim, N. Shukri (A. Aziz), D. Rahman (F. Haidar), S. Muhsin (H. Nooruldeen), H. Qarman, A. Ayad (K. Mohammed).

OCCITANIA J. Leban, B. Naumceuski (A. Backmann), M. Ballue, A. Beaure, G. Hernandez, N. Cayetano, W. Alquier, J. Amiel, S. Taillan (B. Massare), G. Soro, E. Gamet.

Referee: Antonio Guida (Italy)
Asst. Referees: 1st Joe Bajada (Gozo), 2nd Per-Anders Blind (Sweden)
4th Official: Mario Mazzoleni (Italy)
Scorers: H. Qamaran 71’, K. Mohammed 82’ (K); E. Gamet 37’ (O)