Kerċem Ajax maintain pressure with dramatic win
The top three teams in the Gozitan championship were in winning form on Match-Day 5 to extend their lead over the other contenders, while Sannat Lions moved away from the red zone with a crucial victory over the relegation strugglers SK Victoria Wanderers.
In the main match of the weekend, Għajnsielem registered a 3-0 win over Victoria Hotspurs.
The Hotspurs looked the better side during the opening stages of encounter but they failed to convert a number of scoring opportunities.
Gradually, Għajnsielem started to grow into the match and shared more play in midfield.
The Hotspurs should have opened the score on 43 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Daniel Farrugia on Kakra Boayke-Mensa.
But from the resultant penalty, Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Adrian Parnis.
The Hotspurs paid dearly for this miss as a minute later the Blacks took the lead.
Kevin Farrugia connected to a cross by Kurt Grima and head the ball into the net.
Grima struck again in the second minute from the restart to put Għajnsielem well in charge of the match.
The Hotspurs suffered a blow eight minutes from time when they were reduced to ten players after Kebell Suso Kebba was sent off for a second bookable offence.
A minute later, Għajnsielem’s player coach Daniel Bogdanovic, who had just come on as a substitute, darted inside Victoria’s area and set up Johnny Camilleri to head home.
Nadur produced the right response to their rivals when they strolled past Oratory Youths 5-0 to notch their fourth successive victory and remain at the top of the standings.
Oratory came into the match on the back of a series of encouraging performances last weekend they were no match to Nadur and practically threw in the towel before the half-hour mark.
Nadur dominated right from the outset and surged into a two-goal lead inside the opening half hour.
Judivan put the Youngsters ahead with a long-range shot on 28 minutes before Marcelo Barbosa made it 2-0 a minute later.
The Youngsters went into the half-time interval with a three-goal lead with a fine strike from Stefan Cassar in stoppage time.
Nadur remained on top after the break and wrapped up their win with quick-fire goals from Barbosa who secured his second successive hat-trick in the GFA Division One.
Minutes before the end of the match, Oratory could have scored a consolation goal but a fine shot by Karl Formosa was stopped by the woodwork.
Kercem Ajax maintained their winning run following a dramatic 6-4 win over Xewkija Tigers as they continued to impress and remain the only serious contenders to GFA Division One front-runners.
The match turned out into a rollercoaster where the two sides had good patches of play.
However, Kercem were more determined during the final stages and ended up obtaining the win which at an earlier stage could have gone either way.
Xewkija came out in a better shape and scored two goals through Joseph George Vella (7) and Rafael Da Silveira (22).
Kerċem fought back and restored the equilibrium with goals from Euller Da Silva Rodrigues (31) and Joshua Buttigieg (38).
The Ajax turned the result in their favour after the interval with goals scored by substitute Jean Paul Mizzi (58) and Wesley Simeao Dos Santos (62).
More drama was in store as Xewkija scored two goals in the space of two minutes through a Joseph George Vella penalty on 67 minutes and substitute Joel Xuereb (68).
But Kerċem were not to be denied and Euller put them 5-4 ahead on 70 minutes.
More misery was in store for the Tigers when substitute Dylan Mercieca was sent off after receiving a second caution.
The Ajax sealed their win when Jean Paul Mizzi grabbed their sixth goal seven minutes from time.
Xewkija ended the match with nine players when in the third minute of stoppage time Carlo Abela was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.
Sannat Lions edged past SK Victoria Wanderers 1-0 in a direct clash between two relegation rivals. This was Sannat’s first win in the championship and have now moved up to fifth place in the standings.
The Wanderers saw more of the ball but failed to capitalise from their scoring opportunities.
Sannat scored the decisive goal on 52 minutes with a direct free kick from Lucas Silva Gomes.
On 58 minutes, the Wanderers had Asante Agyeman was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the same action.
Despite being a man down, SK Victoria almost grabbed a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time when substitute Fabricio Rozkiewcz saw his header coming of the upright.
PLAYING ON SATURDAY
GFA Division Two
Qala Saints vs Xagħra Utd 13.30
GFA Division One
Xewkija T. vs Għajnsielem 16.00
PLAYING ON SUNDAY
GFA Division Two
Żebbuġ R. vs Għarb R. 13.30
GFA DIVISION ONE
Nadur Y. vs SK Victoria W. 16.00
GFA DIVISION ONE
Oratory Y. vs Victoria H. 19.00