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Resounding win for Nadur Youngsters as Xewkija Tigers ease relegation worries

Nadur striker Marcelo Barbosa (left) moves past Michael Uzor, of Sannat Lions. Photo: Anthony Cassar

Newly-crowned champions Nadur Youngsters confirmed their superiority in Gozitan football when they trounced Sannat Lions.

Xewkija Tigers picked up a crucial win as they beat bottom-placed SK Victoria Wanderers to move out of the relegation zone.

Following this result, the relegation battle will be contested between SK Victoria Wanderers and Sannat Lions who will face each other in a direct clash this weekend.

Nadur Youngsters obtained a 7-0 win over Sannat Lions that matured with six goals scored before the hour mark. 

Despite having been confirmed already as champions, the Youngsters were still motivated to get all three points and they raced into a three-goal lead by the end of the first half following goals by Stefan Cassar (6), Lucas Moreira (24) and Marcelo Barbosa (36). 

After the break, Nadur kept up the pressure and scored four more goals.

Joseph Zammit, who marked his debut with the Malta U-21 national team with a goal against Lithuania, added a fourth on 50 minutes, while Ederson made it 5-0 two minutes later. 

On 57 minutes, Cassar grabbed his second of the match before substitute Joseph Xerri seal the win with a seventh goal ten minutes from time.

Għajnsielem kept their hopes of finishing in the runners-up spot when they edged Oratory Youths 1-0.

The Blacks had some of their regular players missing due to suspension and suffered Oratory’s play for most of the opening hour. 

The Youths also had an early attempt from Pablo Vinicius Ferreira that was stopped by the post. 

But it was Għajnsielem who scored the winner on 68 minutes through a tap-in by veteran Johnny Camilleri.

Għajnsielem were unlucky not to add a second goal minutes later but a low shot by substitute Ryota Watanabe hit the base of the post. 

Seconds from the end of stoppage time, the Youths had Karl Formosa sent off after receiving a second caution for shooting the ball towards an opponent when the referee had ordered a free-kick.

Victoria Hotspurs extended their good form of late with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Kerċem Ajax to consolidate fourth spot in the standings. 

The Ajax saw more of the ball during the opening stages, but the Hotspurs opened the score on 19 minutes from a penalty, that was converted by Robinson Blandon Rendon. 

Kerċem had a good reaction and five minutes from the break they levelled the score with a fine strike by Joshua Buttigieg.

Kerċem tried to keep up the momentum after the break but the Hotspurs regained the lead on 51 minutes with a low shot by Christian Vella. 

The Ajax increased their efforts and scored a second equaliser on 87 minutes through Euller Da Silva Rodrigues. 

However, it was Victoria Hotspurs who had the final say when in a quick break, Rendon fired home the winner with a low drive.

Xewkija Tigers boosted their hopes of retaining their top-flight status when they edged SK Victoria Wanderers 1-0.

The Tigers have now moved level on points with Oratory Youths in a mid-table position and six points clear of second-from-bottom Sannat Lions with only three matchesleft.

The match was evenly balanced with scoring chances few and far between.

Xewkija scored the only goal of the match three minutes from the breakthrough Elton Da Silva.

The Wanderers could have earned at least a point from this match when they were awarded a penalty on 63 minutes for a handling infringement by Dylan Mercieca.

However, Alhassan Temitope Rufais saw his effort coming off the bar.

GFA Division Two

Qala Saints grabbed a 4-1 win over bottom-placed Għarb Rangers to extend their lead over second-placed Munxar Falcons to 17 points and stay on course to complete the season unbeaten.

The main protagonist of the match was striker Brandon Said who scored two goals in each half. 

Said opened the score on 15 minutes and made it 2-0 six minutes later.

The Qala forward completed his hat-trick on 66 minutes.

Għarb pulled a goal back on 76 minutes through Rodrigo Apestegui Duran. 

But Said had his final say when grabbing his and the team’s fourth goal on 77 minutes.

Żebbuġ Rovers made sure of third spot in the standings with a 2-0 win over Munxar Falcons.  The Rovers win matured with goals scored after the break through Orlando Atzori (69) and Daniel Mesa Pineros (89).

GFA Knock Out

Xagħra United obtained qualification to the semi-finals of the BOV GFA Knock Out for the second division with a 3-1 win over Għarb Rangers. 

Xaghra took a two-goal lead through Savio Galea (33) and Matthias Cordina (48) but Għarb pulled one back through Carlos Cutajar on 57 minutes.

Xagħra made sure of qualification with a third goal on 85 minutes through Shemar Tristan Blair.

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA DIVISION TWO

St Lawrence S. vs Għarb            13.00

Qala Saints vs Żebbuġ R.           15.15

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION ONE

SK Victoria W. vs Sannat           13.30

Kerċem A. vs Xewkija T.            16.00

PLAYING SUNDAY

KERĊEM STADIUM

GFA DIVISION TWO

Xagħra Utd vs Munxar F.          13.30

GFA DIVISION ONE

Għajnsielem vs Victoria H.       13.30

Nadur Y. vs Oratory Y. 16.00

PLAYING WEDNESDAY

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION TWO KO SFs

Xagħra Utd vs Munxar F.          17.45

Qala vs Żebbug Rovers              20.00

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