Saints keeper’s gaffe hands Mosta shambolic win
■ This match was a page of blank notes. It was shoddy and of the poorest quality and there is no point dressing it up as anything else.
Mosta won it courtesy of a gaffe by St Andrew’ keeper Jake Galea in the first half and a couple of narrow escapes, including a post hit by St Andrews in the second half. But in true fairness, neither side deserved to win.
The lack of invention largely explains why both teams have won only twice out of six in the Premier League this season
Of more serious concern was the fact that both teams struggled to show cohesion or personality.
Mosta coach Edmond Lufi made five changes from the team that lost to Birkirkara the previous week. Emanuel Bartolo, Onwudinjo, Dexter Xuereb, Adraian Caruana and Victor Oseghale were all dropped with Yenz Cini back in goal, Kurt Magro retaining the captain’s role, Njongo Priso returned from suspension and Kemar Reid leading their attack in a 4-1-4-1 formation.
St Andrews started with Kyrian Nwoko in attack instead of Ryan Darmanin, but otherwise kept the same players who defeated Sliema Wanderers in the previous match.
The first half was bleak, matching the weather at Ta’Qali, bereft of any excitement or real goalmouth action. Both sides displayed a grim lack of creativity.
Mosta were gifted the opening goal after 36 minutes when they tried to push forward with some guile. Saints keeper Galea dropped the ball as he tried to hold Priso’s looping shot and Kemar Reid was on Mosta: Y. Cini, G. Bezak, L. Martinelli, D. Djoufack, T. Grant, K. Frendo, K. Magro, M. Vlcek (A. Borg), R. Paisley (Z. Brincat), K. Reid (D. Xuereb), N. Priso St Andrews: J. Galea, M. Johnson, K. Kesinovic, B. Che (D. Camilleri), F. Udoh, E. Beltre, K. Nwoko, J. Farrugia (M. Scicluna), D. Brandle (J. Walker), Z. Kastrevic, I. Paz Referee: F. Zammit Asst.refs: L. Portelli, S. Attard 4th official: M. Degabriele Scorers: K. Reid 36 Yellow cards: K. Reid, L. Martinelli, E. Beltre, Z. Kastrevec, I. Paz Player of the match: D. Djoufack (Mosta) TMI top 3: 1. K. Nwoko 2. K. Frendo 3. D. Djoufack
hand to steer the ball into an unattended goal.
St Andrews missed a glaring opportunity to draw level at the start of the second half. Nwoko played a through ball for Kastrevec who hit the foot of the post to Cini’s right.
Nwoko had another low shot parried by the Mosta keeper soon after. Towards the hour, keeper Cini did well to tip Udoh’s effort into a corner as the Saints were after an equaliser but with little conviction.
Yet it would be a struggle to remember any other incidents.
Mosta captain Kurt Magro (right) reaches first ahead of Ziga Kastrevec of St. Andrews (left) Photo: Domenic Aquilina