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Dramatic win puts Kerċem just behind leading duo

Kerċem Ajax grabbed a dramatic victory over Victoria Hotspurs to stay within touching distance of joint-leaders Għajnsielem and Nadur Youngsters in the GFA Division One.

The Ajax prevailed by the odd goal in three to move just one point behind the Division One front-runners.

Kerċem Ajax and Victoria Hotspurs were very aggressive in the first half and created several scoring chances.

The Hotspurs took the upperhand after the break but were too erratic in front of goal. They were made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal with Kerċem clinching the winner in a swift break at the death.

Kerċem took the lead on 87 minutes when Euller Da Silva Rodrigues fired home from a dubious offside position following a Sebastien Martinez Turizo pass.

But the Hotspurs fought back and looked to have rescued a point when Elkin Serrano Valero headed home the equaliser.

However, there was another twist as in the second minute of stoppage time Luiz Henrique released Da Silva Rodrigues who rounded the goalkeeper and fired the ball into an empty net.League pacesetters Nadur Youngsters and Għajnsielem both clinched their third successive win to remain in charge in the league standings.

Għajnsielem scored two second-half goals to clinch a hard-fought 2-0 win over Oratory Youths.

The Blacks opened the score on 52 minutes through a strike by Kevin Farrugia after receiving from Jhon Arboleda Valencia before Johnny Camilleri sealed the win with a second goal in stoppage time.

Nadur Youngsters broke little sweat to ease past Sannat Lions 4-0.

The Youngsters endured a slow start but still managed to break the stalemate on the half hour when Marcelo Barbosa intercepted Fabian Xuereb’s attempted clearance with the ball finishing into the back of the net.  

Former Ħamrun Spartans striker Barbosa doubled the score on 64 minutes headed the ball from close in after the Sannat goalkeeper had somewhat kept out an effort from  the rebound of the goalkeeper who had blocked partially a shot by striker Judivan.

Joseph Mario Vella made it 3-0 for Nadur on 75 minutes with a long-range strike before Stefan Cassar wrapped up the win late on after being set up by substitute Owen Peter Bugeja.

In the other match from the GFA Division One, Xewkija Tigers bounced back from their heavy defeat to Nadur Youngsters when they eased past bottom side SK Victoria Wanderers 3-1.

Xewkija opened the score on 10 minutes through Rodney Buttigieg, who was making a return after a two-match ban.

The Tigers doubled their lead on 63 minutes when David Udo Monday handled the ball inside his area and from the spot Shola Haruna made no mistake.

The Wanderers pulled a goal back six minutes from time through Aud-Gustine James Obaje.

But Xewkija made sure of the points with a third goal scored by Rafael Da Silveira. 

NEXT FIXTURES AT GOZO STADIUM

PLAYING TODAY

Għajnsielem vs Victoria H.       19.00

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

Kerċem Ajax vs Xewkija T         16.00

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

SK Victoria vs Sannat L.             16.00

PLAYING ON MONDAY

Nadur Y. vs Oratory Y. 19.00

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