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Nadur Youngsters outclass Kerċem Ajax to go 13 points clear at the top

Nadur striker Marcelo Barbosa (right) races past Daniel Cassar. Photo: Anthony Cassar

Nadur Youngsters moved a step closer of being mathematically crowned as Gozitan champions when they crushed Kerċem Ajax 5-0 to open a 13-point lead at the top of the GFA Division One.

For this match, Kerċem had a number of regular players missing due to injury and suspension and found it hard to match their opponents.

Nadur dominated the match from start to finish, wrapping up the proceedings inside the first half hour when surging into a four-goal lead.

Jordi Parnis opened the score in the sixth minute with a close-range header and the Youngsters doubled their lead eight minutes later when Kerċem defender Nicholas Inguanez inadvertently deviated the ball into his own net.

Marcelo Barbosa added a third goal on 20 minutes after being set up by Stefan Cassar.

Ederson came close to make it 4-0 when he saw his shot coming off the woodwork, but the Brazilian made amends on 27 minutes with a low shot that rolled into the net.

The Youngsters added a fifth goal on 58 minutes when Judivan headed home from an Owen Peter Bugeja cross.

Minutes later, Kerċem could have scored a consolation goal but Luiz Henrique Motta saw his effort from a free kick coming off the crossbar.

Għajnsielem continued to struggle to find the best form as they could only manage a 1-1 draw against Sannat Lions.

During the first half, Għajnsielem seemed determined to make up for the defeat conceded in the corresponding first-round fixture against the Lions. But they only managed to head for the half-time interval with a slender one-goal lead.

The clock marked 12 minutes when Igor Nedeljkovic was brought down inside the area by the Sannat goalkeeper and the Serbian striker made no mistake from the spot.

Towards the end of the first half, Għajnsielem could have added another goal but Nedeljkovic’s  shot hit the bar.

Sannat improved after the break and equalised on 67 minutes when Marlon Mamo surprised the Għajnsielem goalkeeper with a lob from the distance.

Xewkija Tigers and Victoria Hotspurs shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller.

With the point gained, the Hotspurs preserved their lead over the teams battling relegation while Xewkija moved a point above bottom-placed SK Victoria Wanderers.

The Hotspurs opened the score from a free kick by Henrique Maciel after seven minutes.

But Xewkija staged a reaction and turned the result in their favour early in the second half.

They levelled matters on the hour mark from a Elton Da Silva penalty and three minutes later Matthias Mercieca beat SK Victoria’s keeper with a low drive.

The Hotspurs regained composure and levelled the score on 67 minutes through a header by Robinson Blandon Rendon following a free kick by Maciel. 

Three minutes from time, the Hotspurs regained the lead when an effort by Rendon was blocked by the Xewkija keeper and from the rebound Christian Vella fired home.

Xewkija, however, saved the result in stoppage time when the Hotspurs’ defence failed to clear a cross and Emiliano Lattes was on hand to fire home from the edge of the area.

GFA Division Two

Qala Saints ended their second-round commitments with a 3-1 win over Żebbuġ Rangers to preserve their unbeaten record and open an 11-point lead at the top.

Qala paved the way to the win by scoring two early goals through Brandon Said (2) and Ralph Ebube Okpokwu (26).

But Żebbug pulled one back with a goal from Daniel Mesa Pineros in the first minute of stoppage time.

But  Qala killed off the match nine minutes from time with another goal from Said.

Żebbuġ ended the match with ten players when Ian Buttigieg was sent off for a second booking.

Munxar Falcons’ promotion challenge suffered a blow when they suffered an unexpected 4-1 defeat to Xagħra United. 

Xagħra striker Shemar Tristan Blair was the protagonist for his side when he scored all four goals.

It was Munxar who drew first blood threw Luke Meilak on 25 minutes.

But Xagħra fought back strong after the break with Blair hitting the target four times to seal the win.  In the other match, Għarb Rangers and St Lawrence Spurs earned a point each following a 1-1 draw.

Gharb took the lead on eight minutes through Gabriel Debrincat. But the Spurs restored parity on 19 minutes through Jurgen Mario Portelli.

On 78 minutes, St Lawrence ended playing with ten players when Daniel Micallef was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Għajnsielem in Knock Out final

Ghajnsielem came from a goal down to see off Victoria Hotspurs 3-1 to book their place in the GFA Knock Out final.

The match was well contested during the first period but the Hotspurs took the lead with a goal scored by Henrique De Souza Maciel on 24 minutes. 

The Blacks came out more aggressive after the break and on 51 minutes they were awarded a penalty for a foul by James Tabone on Igor Nedeljkovic. 

The Għajnsielem striker had his shot from the spot kick partially saved by Victoria’s keeper Daniel Spiteri but the Serbian was first to react to fire home the rebound.

Two minutes later the Hotspurs were reduced to ten men when Damon Hili was sent off for retaliation. 

Ghajnsielem took advantage of having an extra player when they sealed qualification with two late goals from Nedeljkovic.

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON FRIDAY

GFA DIVISION ONE

GOZO STADIUM

Xewkija T. vs Oratory T             19.00

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

GFA DIVISION TWO

KERĊEM STADIUM

Qala Saints vs Xaghra Utd         12.00

Żebbuġ R. vs Għarb R. 14.15

GFA DIVISION ONE

GOZO STADIUM

SK Victoria vs Kercem A.           16.00

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

GFA DIVISION TWO

KERĊEM STADIUM

Munxar vs St Lawrence             13.30

GFA DIVISION ONE

GOZO STADIUM

Nadur Y. vs Għajnsielem           16.00

PLAYING MONDAY

GFA DIVISION ONE

GOZO STADIUM

Sannat L. vs Victoria H.             19.00

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