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Nadur Youngsters, Għajnsielem stay on course for GFA Cup final meeting

Għajnsielem’s Jhon Arboleda Valencia is sandwiched in between Nathaniel Mercieca (left) and Wesley. PHOTO: ANTHONY CASSAR

The four semi-finalists of the BOV GFA Cup were decided last weekend as the quarter-final matches were played at the Kerċem Arkafort Stadium. 

Gozitan football giants, Nadur Youngsters and Għajn-sielem progressed to the semi-finals to stay on course to set up a final meeting.

So far, the Youngsters and the Blacks are still in the running to win all three major honours of Gozitan football.

Nadur Youngsters breezed into the last four with a comfortable 3-1 win over Victoria Hotspurs. 

There was little separating either side in the first half but after the break, Nadur started to impose their game and managed to break the deadlock on 50 minutes through a Judivan strike.

Nadur failed to capitalise on their supremacy and it was the Hotspurs who levelled matters on 64 minutes with a fine shot by debutant Robinson Blandon Rendon.

The Youngsters soon recovered their poise and restored their lead two minutes later when Judivan lobbed the ball over Hotspurs goalkeeper with a backheel.

The Brazilian forward marred his fine display on 78 minutes when he was sent off for hitting an opponent.

Despite being with a player more on the pitch, the Hotspurs failed to capitalise and it was Nadur who sealed their win when netting a third goal. Marcelo Barbosa saw his close-range shot inadvertently deviated into his own goal by Oliver Cremona.

Nadur will now face Oratory Youths in the first semi-final of the GFA Cup after the latter needed extra-time to edge past SK Victoria Wanderers.

The derby match between Oratory and the Wanderers exposed both sides’ limitations in attack and the match entered extra time following a goalless draw.

Oratory scored the decisive goal on 97 minutes through substitute James Grima who took advantage of a misunderstanding between the defence and Victoria’s debutant goalkeeper Mladen Kukrika.

Għajnsielem also earned their place with the last four teams in the competition after they defeated Kerċem Ajax 1-0.

The Blacks scored the goal that decided the issue on 33 minutes through a header by Shaun Attard.

But Kerċem remained in contention and the outcome was uncertain until the final whistle.

Kerċem were reduced to ten players on 84 minutes as Luiz Henrique Santana Motta was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Second division side Qala Saints will be facing Għajnsielem in the second semi-final of the competition following their 3-2 win over first division side Sannat Lions. 

This result was undoubtedly the biggest surprise of the competition but the Maroons deserved the win as they were more direct in their play. 

Qala opened a three-goal lead through a brace by Brandon Said (40, 46) and a goal by Ebube Ralph Okpokwu (55). 

Sannat left it late to produce a reaction and only managed to pull two goals back through Fabian John Xuereb on 73 minutes and an own goal committed by Samwel Muscat on 78 minutes.

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA DIVISION TWO

Xagħra vs Għarb Rangers         12.30

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION ONE

Oratory Y. vs Xewkija T.            15.00

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA DIVISION TWO

Qala Saints vs Munxar 12.30

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION ONE

Victoria H. vs Sannat L 15.00

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