GUDJA UNITED 1
G. Zammit-6.5, M. Muchardi-6 (46 A. Friggieri), J. Arthur-6, R. Soares-6.5, L. Cremona-6.5, A. Selemani-6 (90 T. Nagamatsu), N. Tabone-6 (72 F. Zuniga), J. Bolanos-6.5, N. Dzalamidze-6 (60 N. Micallef), G. Nikabadze-6.5, M. Dias-6.
I. Akpan-6, R. Briffa-6, W. Donkin-6 (64 C. Ememe), G. Acheampong-6.5, B. Diarra-6 (46 S. Akinbule), T. Farrugia-6.5, L. Riascos-6, D. Antwi-6, R. Morisco-6.5, Z. Brincat-6 (71 M. Mifsud), J. Ekani-6.
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann.
Yellow cards: M. Muchardi, D. Antwi, G. Nikabadze, R. Briffa.
BOV Player of the Match: Llywelyn Cremona (Gudja).
Gudja United secured a spot in the Championship Pool for the first time in their history as an early goal handed them a narrow win over Mosta.
Both sides still stood a chance of securing a top-six finish with Gudja needing a win, hoping that Sirens would miss out on a win against Gżira United.
On the other hand, Mosta held a slim chance that they would beat Gudja, Sirens lost to Gżira and Valletta failed to beat Birkirkara.
With Sirens losing to Gżira United, Gudja leapfrogged the St Paul’s Bay side.
Meanwhile, Mosta ended the first phase in ninth place on 25 points, two behind Sirens, one less than Valletta and two ahead of Balzan.
Both sides had two changes from their last outing.
Llywelyn Cremona and Ahinga Selemani replaced Aidan Friggieri and Gabriel Mensah for Gudja while for Mosta, Roderick Briffa and Rafael Morisco were preferred to Jake Vassallo and Youri Loen.
Thane Micallef’s side had a perfect start, taking the lead after just three minutes.
Matias Muchardi delivered a free-kick from the left which created havoc inside the area with the ball being deflected towards goal by Mosta’s Boubakary Diarra with Llywelyn Cremona tapping home from close in.
The goal filled Gudja with courage and on 16 minutes, Cremona released Ahinga Selemani on the right but the latter’s diagonal shot was neutralised by Akpan.
Gudja threatened once again on 35 minutes when Giorgi Nikabadze controlled an assist from the left and rounded a defender before trying his luck with a shot which was neutralised by Akpan.
In the second half, Gudja were more keen to control their opponents although on 55 minutes, Dzalamidze served Cremona from the left but the latter’s conclusion from the edge of the area ended over the bar.
Mosta hit back with a long-distance effort by Zachary Brincat which just missed the target.
On 63 minutes, Acheampong delivered a free-kick from which Rafael Morisco’s header was parried by the Gudja goalkeeper.
At the other end, Akpan performed a save on a cross shot from the left by Neil Anthony Micallef on 76 minutes.
With news reaching the Gudja clan that Gżira had managed to level matters and eventually take the lead against Sirens, the southerners adopted an even more cautious approach to make sure of taking home the three points.