25.10.13 Dos Santos doubles fires Swieqi to victory
The writing was on the wall for a Swieqi side that had simply failed to deliver during the last two matches. Indeed, such was the below-par performance against Mgarr that there was bound to be some reaction against a polished Santa Venera side.
Thankfully, Swieqi managed to deliver when it mattered. On 14 minutes, ABNER DOS SANTOS managed to race through the Santa Venera defence and after a neat true ball by Thomas Naudi managed to chip the yellows' goalkeeper and put Swieqi ahead. A great start for the men in orange. Santa Venera had their dangerous moments too but the backline was well marshalled by none other than Daniel Bianco as well as the battle-hardenend Glendon Refalo and Ryan Magri. Dos Santos could have made it two had he not scuffed a chance right before half time. One on one with the goalkeeper and with plenty of time he opted for the chip rather than the finish but his attempt failed to produce that second elusive goal.
Swieqi more or less started the second half like the first. Dos Santos was again dangerous and he produced the goods on the 56th minute. A good counter-attacking move found Kenneth Ekezie and the striker managed to beat a Santa Venera defender and deliver a neat, crisp pass in the centre of the box whereupon ABNER DOS SANTOS was there to ram the ball home past the hapless goalkeeper. 2-0 and Swieqi were cruising.
Santa Venera then began to pile on the pressure in the Swieqi box. With the Orange midfield tiring, Matthew Asciak was brought off in place of John Debono - (Debono making his first appearance since January) and Ekezie was replaced with the vibrant Matthew Fenech. Santa Venera did manage to pull a goal back on 79 minutes thanks to Mark Grech. The centre-forward found himself unmarked in the Swieqi area and his left footed strike found its way past goalkeeper Matthew Sapiano. With coach Debrincat tightening the defence with Kyle Calleja (on for the injured Jeremy Gatt Coleiro), the Orange managed to withstand a final assault on their area to secure a vital three points.
Swieqi United: M. Sapiano, M. Asciak (J. Debono), L. Burlo, G. Refalo, T. Naudi, K. Ekezie (M. Fenech) , A. Wingfield, R. Magri, J. Gatt Coleiro (K. Calleja), D. Bianco, A. Dos Santos
Santa Venera: O. Saimi, A. Micallef, R. Bezzina, Y. Law, R. Zammit (N. Refalo), G. Ancilleri (D. Vella), B. Cremona (D. Camilleri), D. Rapa, J. Micallef, R. Carbonaro, M. Grech
Referee: Darryl Agius
FT:SANTA VENERA 1 SWIEQI UNITED 2
Monday, 21st October 2103 Competition: BOV 3rd Division, Luxol Stadium
Article: Dr Michael Calleja
Photography: Jeffrick Cachia