Saints keeper’s gaffe hands Mosta sham­bolic win

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Sil­vio Vella

■ 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

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