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Ten-man Nadur Youngsters score impressive victory over Victoria Hotspurs

Nadur striker Ederson (right) is challenged by Henrique de Sousa Maciel. PHOTO: ANTHONY CASSAR

Nadur Youngsters confirmed their supremacy in Gozitan football when they battled past Victoria Hotspurs 4-2 despite playing for much of the encounter with a player less.

The clash between Nadur and Victoria was the main match of the weekend as Nadur were aiming to prolong their unbeaten run in the championship and defend their six-point lead over their closest rivals.

On the other hand, the Hotspurs were confident that they could win points against the favourites for the title and move away from the current sixth position on the table. 

For this match, the Hotspurs had Henrique De Souza Maciel who was making a return after some months away from Malta, and his presence was an added source of motivation for the Hotspurs to end their calendar commitments with an important victory.

The Hotspurs were the more offensive side in the opening minutes and looked to have gained the edge when Nadur Youngsters were reduced to ten men after nine minutes.

Gianluca Muscat was shown a straight red card after denying Robinson Blandon Rendon a clear scoring opportunity.

But the Youngsters kept their poise and came close to taking the lead when efforts by Ederson were somehow kept out by goalkeeper Daniel Spiteri.

It was the Hotspurs who took the lead on 16 minutes when Maciel fired home after a good personal move.

The Hotspurs seemed overconfident and Nadur soon punished their opponents when they turned the result in their favour. 

The Youngsters levelled the score on 21 minutes through a tap-in by Judivan Flor Da Silva following a low cross by Marcelo Barbosa and two minutes later the same Barbosa made it 2-1 with a fine shot. 

The Hotspurs, however, managed to restore parity on 26 minutes when Nadur’s goalkeeper partially saved a free kick by Rendon and from the rebound Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes deposited the ball into an empty net.

Just before half-time, Nadur were also unlucky when Marcelo Barbosa saw his curling shot from a free-kick stopped by the post. 

Nadur looked a revitalised side in the second half and took control of play with Victoria’s keeper often called to make important interventions to keep his side in contention. 

Nadur regained the lead on 75 minutes with a fine shot from inside the area by Joseph Zammit following a cross by Ederson. 

Two minutes from time, the Hotspurs also ended with ten players as Oliver Cremona was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Nadur sealed their win in the second minute of stoppage time when Judivan seized possession on the edge of the area, rounded the goalkeeper and deposited the ball into an empty net.

Ghajnsielem bounced back from two consecutive defeats to claim all spoils following a 4-0 win over bottom placed SK Victoria Wanderers. 

With this result, the Blacks regained second place in the standings as they now share the spot with Kerċem Ajax on 19 points. 

Għajnsielem suffered a blow on 14 minutes when their prolific forward Igor Nedeljkovic was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Neil Camilleri. 

The Blacks, however, still managed to dominate their opponents for much of the match.

Għajnsielem opened the score on 33 minutes through a header by Daniel Farrugia and made it 2-0 on 56 minutes through a shot from an angled position by Johnny Camilleri. 

Fifteen minutes from time, Għajnsielem were awarded a penalty for a foul by substitute Adam Refalo on Ryota Watanabe and Camilleri converted form the spot kick to mark his 150th goal in the Gozitan top flight. 

Għajnsielem scored their fourth goal from another penalty, awarded on 86 minutes for a foul by Oliver Curmi on Watanabe, and substitute Dejan Bogdanovic made no mistake from the spot.

Sannat Lions registered a 2-1 win over Oratory Youths to move up to fourth place in the standings.

Sannat opened the score from a penalty on 16 minutes, Samuel Azzopardi upended Henry Fabian Solis inside the area and the latter converted from the spot kick. 

On 34 minutes, Oratory levelled the score. They were awarded a free-kick from which Goncalves Barbosa’s shot was not withheld by the Sannat goalkeeper and from the rebound Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva bundled the ball home.

Seven minutes from time, Oratory defender Samuel Azzopardi committed a foul inside his area on Nebojsa Biculjevic and the referee awarded a second penalty to Sannat. 

Here, Azzopardi was shown a second yellow card and was sent off. Solis took charge of the penalty and blasted the ball home.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Oratory ended the match with nine players as substitute Daniel Atzori was sent off for stopping Daniel Borg from a clear scoring opportunity.

Qala Saints consolidated their leadership in the GFA Division Two when they brushed aside Xagħra United 4-1.

Qala opened the score after only two minutes of play through Charlon Farrugia. But Xaghra levelled matters ten minutes later with a goal scored by Luke Attard. 

The Saints converted their superiority by scoring another three goals before the hour mark.

The Maroons regained the lead on 31 minutes through Ralph Ebube Okpokwu and on 56 minutes, Xagħra’s defender Savio Galea committed an own goal in an attempt to clear the danger. 

Qala scored the fourth goal on 59 minutes through Brandon Said.

Għarb Rangers surprised promotion contenders Żebbuġ Rovers with a 1-0 win. 

The match was well contested with both sides creating some good scoring opportunities.

But it was Għarb who scored the winner on 66 minutes to secure their first league win of the campaign.

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