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Messias double gives Gudja first win of the season

Gudja's Hubert vella (left) passes the ball ahead of a Lija Athletic challenge. Photo: Christine Borg


Messias 16, 50 pen


Gudja: G. Zammit-6.5, Y. Messias-7.5 (85 A. Caseres), J. Friggieri-7 (79 J. Brincat), L. Cremona-5 (67 T. Vella-6), G. Mensah-6, I. Gonzalez-6, H. Vella-6, G. Adamovic-, J. Bolanas-5.5, J. Grioli-5, P. Mota-5.

Lija: L. Bonnici-5, L. Muscat-,5 D. Scerri-5, E. Beu-6, J. Brandon-, M. Jimenez-, J.Cruz Gill-5, N. Wells-4, N. Virano-5 (76 R. Dalli), A. White-5, V. Alhinho-4 (81 N. Micallef).

Referee Philip Farrugia

Yellow cards: Virano, Bonnici, Gonzalez

BOV player of the match: Yuri de Jesus Messias

Yuri de Jesus Messias’s double sealed Gudja’s first win of the season as they deservedly saw off Lija Athletic at the National Stadium. The Brazilian struck twice to earn Gudja a convincing 2-0 win in a match which they dominated. His first strike would have been a worthy matchwinner, Jake Friggieri sweeping in from the half-way line before the Brazilian swept home in clinical fashion.

But Jesmond Zammit’s side deserved a second goal and got it when Lija goalkeeper floored the nippy striker and the Brazilian made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Once the game got underway Gudja started brightly and took the lead after 16 minutes when Jake Friggieri slipped a neat into the run of Yuri Messias who shot behind Luke Bonnici and into the corner.

Friggieri had been responsible for creating Gudja’s best chances in the opening half and after 40 minutes, his curling shot soared tantalising towards goal but Bonnici tipped the ball over the bar.

After the break, Lija coach Joseph Galea switched from 4-1-4-1 to a more offensive 4-3-3 but Gudja were always looking to work the ball into the feet of their pacey front pair – Messias and Friggieri.

In fact, on 50 minutes, the Blues were awarded a spot-kick when Lija goalkeeper Luke Bonnici clipped Messias, who had got goal-side of him. The Brazilian picked himself up to send the goalkeeper the wrong side from the spot-kick.

Lija were at last stung into action and Erjon Beu saw his close-range shot pushed around the post by Glenn Zammit.

Gudja could have added a third on 70 minutes when Messias dribbled his way through but his angled shot came off the foot of the post.

But for all their huff and puff, Lija’s attacking ploy relied heavily on Beu’s deadball expertise. Eight minutes from time, the Albanian striker brought a good save from Gudja goalkeeper who pushed away the striker’s free-kick.

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