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FIRST DEFEAT OF THE SEASON

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Marsaxlokk survived a late fightback from Gudja to seal a deserved win over this year’s surprise package as Andrea Agostinelli’s side will ruefully look back at missed chances.

Agostinelli has taken Gudja from relegation candidates to a side that would have gone second with a victory against Marsaxlokk.

That should have been an extra incentive for Gudja to turn on the style against the opposition who had won only once so far in the Premier League.

But instead, they failed to make the most of their greater possession and territory.

With so much at stake, it was no surprise that both teams began nervously. Gudja dominated the opening spell but for all their possession created very little.

After Leonardo Aguirre had forced a save from Glenn Zammit’s palms, Gudja threatened for the first time inside the first 10 minutes.

Nicolas Navarrete burst past Dejan Vukovic, but his shot bounced under the body of Marko Drobnjak before the Serbian goalkeeper got hold of the ball.

Barely 60 seconds before half-time, Andre Prates burst clear down the middle channel and played Samuel Gomes da Mata clean through on goal. But the Brazilian midfielder hesitated when one-on-one with Drobnjak and the Marsaxlokk keeper blocked his effort.

The wasted opportunities from Gudja meant frustration was the overriding emotion in a high-tension game.

Tempers boiled over after Peter Xuereb and Neil Micallef tangled and this led to an exaggerated ruck next to Drobnajk’s goalposts.

In a rare pleasing build-up, Ayrton Attard set up Adrian Ferraris Santiago who headed at Glenn Zammit only to see Farid Romero Zuniga shoulder barge him out of the way. Referee Daniel Portelli did not hesitate to point to the spot. From the ensuing spot-kick, Aguirre sent Zammit the wrong way.

Gudja reacted immediately and Drobnajk had to be at his best to deny James Arthur.

But Marsaxlokk delivered the killer blow on 71 minutes when Kristian Keqi was on hand to head the ball past Zammit from Juan Cruz Aguilar’s corner.

Gudja slowly hauled themselves back into the game and substitute Ahinga Selemani produced a sublime turn and volley to spark Andrea Agostinelli’s men into life. But a second Gudja goal would have been harsh on the hard-working and lively Marsaxlokk players and they managed to hold on to stop the rot and pick up three vital points.

Referee: Daniel Portelli


KRISTIAN KEQI (MXK)

BOV PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Source: sportsdesk.com.mt

Gudja

# Player Position Goals Assists Yellow Cards Second Yellows Red Cards
1Glenn ZammitGoalkeeper00000
4Karl Micallef 10Defender00000
5Andre Prates RodriguesDefender001 (36')00
9Vito PlutForward001 (65')00
10Ayrton Azzopardi 4Midfielder00000
11Ahinga Bienvenu Selemani 88Forward1 (76')0000
13James ArthurMidfielder001 (89')00
19Johann BezzinaMidfielder00000
39Samuel GomesMidfielder011 (29')00
77Nicolas NavarreteMidfielder00000
88Farid Zuniga 11Defender001 (55')00
3Juan Andres BolanosDefender00000
14Neil MicallefDefender001 (33')00

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