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Victoria Hotspurs, Xewkija Tigers extend perfect start

Xewkija’s Nicholas Micallef tackles Augustine Obaje. PHOTO: ANTHONY CASSAR

Victoria Hotspurs and Xewkija Tigers maintained their perfect start in the GFA Division One as they saw off Oratory Youths and SK Victoria Wanderers at the Gozo Stadium to secure their third successive win.

The Hotspurs produced a dominant display as they saw off Oratory Youths 3-1.

The Hotspurs were the better side during the first half and had the ball in the Oratory Youths net after only 14 minutes but Christian Mercieca’s goal was annulled for offside.

That was a temporary reprieve for the Youths as the Rabat side took the lead on 19 minutes courtesy of a Shaun Attard goal.

The Hotspurs made it 2-0 four minutes later when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by the Oratory goalkeeper on Henrique Maciel and Rodrigo Dos Santos made no mistake from the spot.

The Youths came close to pull one back but a Karolis Chvedukas header came off the bar.

The Rabat side all but wrapped up the points on 25 minutes when Christian Attard tapped the ball home to make it 3-0.

Oratory pulled a goal back on 35 minutes when Chvedukas surprised Victoria’s keeper with a thumping header from a Rafael Ledesma free-kick.

The Youths tried hard to re-open the issue but the Hotspurs controlled their advantage until the final whistle.

Xewkija Tigers came from behind to see off SK Victoria Wanderers by the odd goal in five.

The Tigers enjoyed the early exchanges but it was the Wanderers who forged ahead on 32 minutes through a fine shot by Gabriel Cardona.

Minutes later, the Citizens could have added a second goal but an attempt by Augustine James Obaje was stopped by the post. 

The Wanderers, however, doubled the score on 62 minutes through a close-range shot by Emerson Zammit.

Xewkija were not demoralised and levelled the score with two goals scored in the space of four minutes.

Rodney Buttigieg re-opened the issue with a header on 69 minutes and Joel Xuereb restored parity with a lob from an angled position. 

The Wanderers could have regained the lead on 78 minutes when the Xewkija goalkeeper partially saved a free kick by Zammit but from the rebound Cardona fired wide in front of a gaping goal.

The Wanderers paid dearly for this miss as Xewkija went on to score the winner three minutes from time.

Ajibade Adeshina fouled Rodney Buttigieg inside the area and from the resultant penalty Claudio Antunes converted from the spot.

In Division Two, Munxar Falcons and Qala Saints cancelled each other in a goalless draw.  

Qala were the better side during the first half but failed to capitalise from their best scoring opportunities. 

After the break, Munxar shared more the exchanges and any side could have gone and won the match.

The Falcons did have the ball into the Qala Saints’ net but Steve Dimech’s strike was ruled out for offside.

Missed opportunity

Qala missed a golden opportunity, just after the hour mark, when they were awarded a penalty but Ebube Ralph Okpokwu had his shot from the spot saved by the goalkeeper. 

Munxar ended the match with ten men as six minutes from time Peter Debono was sent off for a second bookable offence.

In the other match played last weekend, Għarb Rangers picked up their first points when they edged Żebbuġ Rovers 1-0.

Għarb dictated play for long stretches and netted the goal that mattered on 26 minutes through veteran Charles Hili.

The Rovers only managed to produce a reaction during the final stages of the encounter but Għarb defended their lead until the end.

NEXT FIXTURES

TOMORROW

DIVISION TWO

KERĊEM STADIUM

Gharb R. vs Munxar F. 12.30

DIVISION ONE

GOZO STADIUM

Nadur Y. vs Kercem     15.00

SUNDAY

DIVISION TWO

KERĊEM STADIUM

Żebbuġ vs St Lawrence             12.30

DIVISION ONE

GOZO STADIUM

Għajnsielem vs Xaghra              15.00

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