Gudja stun Stars in five-goal thriller
Vittoriosa Stars 2
Gudja United 3
Gudja United stunned promotion favourites Vittoriosa Stars in an exciting encounter yesterday.
Bulgarian Kiril Aleksandrov was the star of the show for the Division One newcomers as his quick pace posed huge problems to the Vittoriosa defence.
Both teams had a player sent off , but things took a turn for the worse for the Stars when they lost Roberto Brincat to injury late on after they had already effected all their substitutions and ended the match with nine players.
Gudja started well and on seven minutes, Chircop released Bugeja whose shot ended up just wide.
Gudja were awarded a penalty on 21 minutes when Ryan Sell was brought down by goalkeeper Jean Matthias Vella with referee Philip Farrugia pointing to the spot and showed the red card to the Vittoriosa goalkeeper. Aleksandrov made no mistake to put Gudja ahead.
Vittoriosa took some time to react and it was only after 39 minutes that they came close when Marcelo Pereira’s low shot finished wide.
The Cottonera side drew level on 55 minutes when Matthew Xerxen failed to hold onto Pereira’s header and from the rebound Brincat headed the ball home.
Gudja almost regained their lead on 57 minutes when George Chircop fed Aleksandrov whose drive was saved by Sean Cini.
Gudja made it 2-1 on the hour when Aleksandrov beat substitute goalkeeper Sean Cini from close in following a Ivan Kurtisic free-kick.
Vittoriosa were stunned and they conceded again minutes later when Aleksandrov beat two defenders before slotting home from close in.
Four minutes from time substitute Mark Barbara reduced the arrears for Vittoriosa when he beat Xerxen with a low drive.
Deep into stoppage time Vittoriosa thought they had drew level when Samir Arab hit the ball into the net but the ‘goal’ was disallowed as Arab was judged to have pushed Gudja defender Josef Tonna.
Vittoriosa S.: J.M. Vella, R. dos Santos, S. Arab, M. Buttigieg, L. Vella Critien, R. Brincat, A. Spiteri (Sir. Arab), M. Tabone (M. Barbara), M. Pereira, G. Muir, L. Micallef (S. Cini).
Gudja Utd: M. Xerxen, A. Abela, E. Vella, J. Tonna, G. Chircop, E. Bugeja, K. Azzopardi, R. Sell (R. Debattista), K. Polidano, I. Kurtusic, K. Aleksandrov (C. Grech).
Referee: Philip Farrugia.
Man of the match: Kiril Aleksandrov (Gudja).