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Nadur Youngsters in comeback win to stretch lead at the top

Photo: Anthony Cassar

GFA Division One leaders Nadur Youngsters battled more than expected to see off bottom-placed SK Victoria Wanderers to move 14 points clear at the top.

Nadur found themselves a goal behind on the hour mark but kept their composure and scored two goals in the final stages of the match to clinch their 12th consecutive win in the championship.

Nadur were favourites to obtain a comfortable win from this encounter despite the fact that their build-up was disrupted by the speculation over their coach Branko Nisevic who eventually left the club to join Ħamrun Spartans.

The Youngsters headed into this match without Stefan Cassar and Joseph Mario Vella while the Wanderers were without Neil Camilleri and David Udo Monday.

Nadur as expected dominated right from the outset, but the Wanderers’ defence managed to resist the pressure with goalkeeper Mladen Kukrika distinguishing himself with a series of difficult interventions. 

The Wanderers surprised their more-quoted opponents on the hour mark when Fabricio Rozkiewicz won the ball at the edge of Nadur’s area and set up Aud-Gustine James Obaje to put his team ahead.

Nadur were not demoralised and levelled the score three minutes later.

They were awarded a penalty when Marcelo Barbosa was brought down inside the area by the Wanderers goalkeeper and from the spot the Brazilian forward made no mistake.

The Youngsters kept pushing forward and scored the winner on 80 minutes through a header by Lucas Moreira following a corner kick by Ederson.

Oratory Youths moved up to fifth place in the standings when they edged past Victoria Hotspurs 3-2.

Play was rather balanced during the first half. 

Victoria Hotspurs took the lead on 13 minutes from a penalty, awarded for a foul by goalie Angelo Brignoli on Henrique De Souza Maciel, and Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes made no mistake from the spot. 

Oratory Youths equalised on 25 minutes from another penalty, ordered by the referee for a foul by Etienne Xiberras on Goncalves Barbosa, and Pablo Ferreira cooly slotted home.

Just before half time the Hotspurs had a goal scored by Olimpio Fernandes ruled out for offside.

After the break Oratory took command of play and managed to turn the result in their favour on 57 minutes through a fine free kick by Ferreira.

Fifteen minutes from time, Ferreira completed his hat-trick when hitting home with a low drive.

The Hotspurs tried to fight back but could only pull a goal back five minutes from time when Andre Azzopardi was floored inside the area and from the penalty Maciel fired home.

GFA Division Two

Promotion favourites Qala Saints clinched a 2-0 win over Munxar Falcons in a top-of-the-table clash to move eight points clear of the same Falcons. 

The match turned out to be a hard-fought affair with Falcons throwing in the towel when falling two goals behind.

Qala’s win matured with a goal scored in each half. 

Ryan Meilak opened the score on 42 minutes and Brandon Said doubled the score on 58 minutes. 

Munxar’s best scoring opportunity arrived through a strike from outside the area by substitute Kenneth Mizzi but the ball was stopped by the crossbar

St Lawrence Spurs registered a 3-1 win over Xagħra United to consolidate their mid-table position. 

The Spurs took an early lead from a direct free kick converted by Alen Haska after four minutes of play.

But Xagħra restored parity on 25 minutes through a goal by Shemar Tristan Blair. 

The Spurs were the better side during the second half and regained the lead through a goal by Andrew Attard on 73 minutes.

The Spurs grabbed a third goal deep into stoppage time through Jurgen Mario Portelli. 

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON FRIDAY

GOZO STADIUM

GFA Division One

Kerċem Ajax vs Sannat              19.00

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA Division Two

Żebbuġ R. vs Munxar 12.30

GFA Division One

Għajnsielem vs Xewkija            15.00

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA Division Two

Qala vs Għarb Rangers              12.30

GFA Division One

Oratory vs SK Victoria W.         15.00

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