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Kerċem Ajax beat Oratory Youths to confirm their status among the top teams

Sannat Lions’ Fabian Solis, (left) is tackled by Dylan Mercieca, of Xewkija Tigers. PHOTO: ANTHONY CASSAR.

Kerċem Ajax reconfirmed their status as one of the top teams in the GFA Division One when they cruised past Oratory Youths to go clear in second place in the standings.

Kerċem took command of play early on and took the lead on 39 minutes through a header by Luiz Henrique Santana Motta from a corner action. 

Oratory tried to fight back after the break but failed to capitalise from some good scoring opportunities. 

Kerċem, however, retained their supremacy and doubled the score on 63 minutes with a low shot by Wesley Simeao Dos Santos after receiving from Sebastien Martinez Turizo.

Minutes later Oratory could have re-opened the issue but an effort by Pablo Vinicius Ferreira was deflected onto the crossbar.

But the Ajax practically made sure of the win on 79 minutes when they scored the third goal through a low drive by Daniel Cassar following a counter-attack.

In the other top-flight match last weekend, Sannat Lions and Xewkija Tigers earned a point each following a goalless draw. 

The final scoreline did not satisfy either side as they both missed an opportunity to widen their gap from the relegation zone. 

However, the final stalemate was a fair outcome as the two sides struggled to achieve the win.  Xewkija saw more of the ball for much of the match but they were often erratic in front of goal.

Xewkija’s best chance to break the stalemate arrived on 33 minutes when a direct freekick by debutant Elton Da Silva was stopped by the post. 

Sannat were in contention throughout the match and also had some good opportunities.

Their best chance arrived 12 minutes from time when a free-kick by Mario Mifsud got a deflection by the wall and the ball almost surprised Xewkija’s goalkeeper but ended just wide.

GFA Division Two

Qala Saints came from behind to beat Żebbuġ Rovers 3-2 and go top of the GFA Division Two at the end of the first round.

It was a remarkable victory from the Saints who found themselves two goals behind and had a players sent off during the match.

With this result, the Maroons confirmed their status as hot favourites to win promotion at the end of the season. 

Żebbuġ had an excellent start and surprised their opponents with two quick goals.

Mattias Camilleri Psaila tapped the ball home in the first minute of play and a strike by Daniel Mesa Pineros made it 2-0 two minutes later.

Qala fought back strongly and levelled matters with two quick-fire goals of their own from Ralph Ebube Okpokwu on seven minutes and Brandon Said two minutes later.

As time passed, Qala took command of play but three minutes from the break, they ended up playing with ten players as Manwel Xerri was sent off for a second bookable offence. 

Żebbuġ failed to capitalise from their numerical advantage and Qala went on to score the winner on 54 minutes through Okpokwu.

Munxar Falcons eased past Xagħra United 4-2 to join Żebbuġ in second place. 

Xagħra opened the score through Matthias Cordina (5) but Munxar recovered from the shock and turned the result in their favour.

Ayesller Carvalho levelled the score ten minutes later and the Falcons took the lead with a goal scored by Mario Azzopardi (38). 

Munxar scored the third goal from a penalty scored by Ayesller Carvalho (40) before Michael Tabone added a fourth goal on 53 minutes.

Xagħra grabbed a consolation goal on 88 minutes from an own goal committed by Mario Farrugia.

The Falcons ended the match with ten men when Farrugia was shown a second yellow card a minute from time.

In the last match of the first round, St Lawrence Spurs and Għarb Rangers shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw. For the Rangers, this was their first point of the season.

Għarb opened the score after 15 minutes of play through Christian Dingli.

But the Spurs equalised on 28 minutes through Christopher Cauchi. 

The Rangers regained the lead on 34 minutes with a goal scored by Gabriel Debrincat.

Substitute Luke Cilia saved a point for the Spurs when levelling matters on 48 minutes.

St Lawrence had Joseph Buhagiar sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence. 

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA DIVISION TWO

Xagħra Utd vs Qala Saints         12.30

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION ONE

Nadur Y. vs Victoria H. 15.00

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA DIVISION TWO

Għarb R. vs Żebbuġ Rovers      12.30

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION ONE

Oratory Youths vs Sannat         15.00

PLAYING ON TUESDAY

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION ONE

Għajnsielem vs Kerċem             19.00

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