Ghajnsielem, Xewkija Tigers reach BOV GFA Cup final

Ghajnsielem and Xewkija Tigers will be contesting the final of the BOV GFA Cup at the Gozo Stadium on Sunday, kick-off at 16:00, after both emerged as winners in the two semi-finals which were held on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. Xewkija, top the list of winners of the BOV GFA Cup with 10 wins while for holders Ghajnsielem, this will be their 17th presence in the final, and will be vying for their 7th win in this competition.

The Blacks defeated Oratory Youths 5-4 after extra-time in a highly entertaining first semi-final on Tuesday.  Oratory scored three within the first fourteen minutes as Seck Mbacke put them ahead on the 2nd minute, Joshua Buttigieg doubled the score on the 10th and four minutes later, Ralph Ebube Okpokwu made it 3-0. However Ghajnsielem hit back with goals by Joseph George Vella on the 24th and Luis Andre de Melo Lima on the 47th and 48th. Gibson Bothselo Mfuluane restored the lead for Oratory Youths on the 79th but Luis Andre de Melo Lima equalised on the 86th.

The game went into extra-time and five minutes in the first half of extra-time, Luis Andre de Melo Lima put the Blacks ahead for the first time. The Brazilian could have added another just before the end of the first half when they were awarded a penalty but Luis Andre de Melo Lima hit high from the penalty spot.

On Wednesday, Xewkija came from behind to beat Nadur Youngsters 2-1. Stanimir Miloskovic put the Youngsters ahead two minutes in the second half but Rodney Buttigieg levelled matters on the 68th and four minutes later, Halleson Thiago Barbosa Honorato made it 2-1.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Gozo Football Association President Dr. Samuel Azzopardi said “We are here, with our partners Bank of Valletta in this first ever event of this sort in Gozo to promote the final competition of the Gozitan football season. This competition is contested by all 14 Gozitan teams in both divisions of the BOV GFA leagues. We urge the team’s supporters to come to the Gozo stadium this Sunday to see their team play for the final award of the Gozo Football season.”

“This football season started with Xewkija against Ghajnsielem in the Super Cup, and will also close with these two teams facing each other in the final award of the season,” said Xewkija President Geoffrey Farrugia. “We will be missing captain Claudio Antunes through injury but we are convinced that we will produce another great match for our supporters.”

Xewkija’s Daniel Bogdanovic said “This being the final game of the season, we are looking to close the season the same way we started with a win. The team is in great shape with full confidence in our coach and this will serve us on the pitch to win this prestigious trophy”

Ghajnsielem coach Victor Caruana said that the team did not have a great start to the season. “Changes in the squad effected in January have changed our fortunes. Although the players are feeling the fatigue of all the recent matches, and we will be missing Kenneth Mercieca who is suspended, we aim to retain the trophy that we won last year.”