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Encouraging start for Għajnsielem and Xewkija in GFA league

Xagħra’s Kenny Hili tries to move past Claudio Antunes and Josiah Buttigieg. PHOTO: ANTHONY CASSAR

Għajnsielem, who are aiming to be among the challengers for the title this season, and Xewkija Tigers kicked off their GFA Division One campaign in winning fashion last weekend.

Għajnsielem obtained a 4-1 win over newly promoted Oratory Youths. 

The match turned out to be more difficult than expected for the Blacks as Oratory were in command for most of the first half.

The Youths surprised their more-quoted opponents when they took the lead on 25 minutes. Kenneth Mercieca fouled Karolis Chvedukas inside the area and from the resultant penalty, Rafael Ledesma converted from the spot. 

Għajnsielem fought back in the final stages of the first half when first Igor Nedeljkovic levelled matters on 38 minutes before Mercieca put them ahead in stoppage time.

The Blacks held the initiative after the break.   Five minutes into the second half, Mercieca added a third goal with a close-range shot after receiving from Sebastien Martinez Turizo.

The Blacks sealed the issue on 64 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the area by Michael Bezzina.

Xewkija Tigers scored a goal in each half to see off Xagħra United 2-0.

The Tigers took just ten minutes to break the stalemate through Joel Xuereb after he was released by Nicholas Micallef.

Xewkija seemed a bit complacent after that early goal and Xagħra tried to hit back but  missed some excellent chances.

Their profligacy in front of goal was duly punished by Xewkija who five minutes from time were unlucky to see Rodney Buttigieg’s header come off the post.

Minutes later, the Tigers were awarded a free-kick from which Claudio Antunes was left alone to drive the ball into the net.

GFA Cup

SK Victoria Wanderers raced into the quarter-finals of the GFA Cup when they saw off Kerċem Ajax 4-1.

The Wanderers were keen to avenge their defeat to Kerċem in the league the previous week and surged into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Audgustine Obaje who netted after six and 44 minutes. Kerċem tried to hit back but it was SK Victoria who made it 3-0 through Sam Harland.  The Ajax pulled a goal back three minutes from time courtesy of Samuel Saldanha.

The Wanderers had Eman Bugeja dismissed for a second booking but despite being with a man less they still added a fourth goal through Obaje.

Sannat Lions beat second division side Qala Saints with the odd goal in three. 

The Lions dominated the match and could have easily scored a more pronounced win. 

Sannat netted their goals within the first half hour of play through Damon Hili (9) and Milos Perisic (29). 

Qala reduced the deficit with a goal in the first minute of the second half through Joseph Buhagiar.

Sannat missed an opportunity to score a third goal just before the hour march but Hili’s shot was somehow kept out by substitute goalkeeper Matthew Muscat.

NEXT FIXTURES

SATURDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA Division Two: 12.30pm Munxar Falcons vs St Lawrence.

GFA Division One 3pm Nadur Youngsters vs Xagħra United.

SUNDAY

GOZO STADIUM

GFA Division Two: 12.30pm Qala Saints vs Għarb Rangers.

GFA Division One: 3pm Victoria Hotspurs vs SK Victoria W.

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