Sannat favorites to avoid direct relegation
The results of the latest matches from the GFA Division One did not cause any particular changes in the standings but established two verdicts – Għajnsielem assured themselves of finishing as runners-up while Xewkija Tigers are mathematical certain of their first division status.
Champions Nadur Youngsters stretched their lead at the top of the standings to 15 points while the only undecided issue of the championship is relegation, although Sannat Lions are favourites to avoid direct relegation after a draw with bottom-placed SK Victoria Wanderers.
The match between Sannat Lions and SK Victoria Wanderers was the main match of the weekend as a win for either side could have decided who will play in the second division next season.
But in the end, Sannat and the Wanderers each took a point following a 1-1 draw, with the Lions, who remained one point ahead of SK Victoria with two matches to go, are favourites to be handed a relegation play-off match with Munxar Falcons.
The Wanderers were on top during the first hour of play, but they only managed to score one goal, courtesy of a Kersten Grima strike on 41 minutes.
But Sannat fought back strong and managed to equalise three minutes from time when Aaron Azzopardi scored directly from a free-kick.
Nadur Youngsters continued to show their superiority in Gozitan football as they registered their 17th win from 19 matches by defeating Oratory Youths 2-0.
Nadur dominated their opponents and took the lead on 31 minutes when Joseph Zammit tapped the ball home.
The Youngsters, however, had to wait until 84th minute to seal the three points when they doubled their lead through Marcelo Barbosa on 84 minutes.
Għajnsielem and Victoria Hotspurs took a point each following a 2-2 draw.
The Hotspurs were the better side during the first period and opened the score on 43 minutes through a low shot by Robinson Blandon Randon.
But the Blacks levelled the score in the first minute of stoppage time through an Igor Nedeljkovic free-kick.
Għajnsielem went 2-1 up on 86 minutes when substitute Johnny Camilleri was first to the rebound after the Hotspurs goalkeeper failed to hold onto the ball, and deposited into an empty net.
But it was the Hotspurs who had the final say as in stoppage time they were awarded a penalty, for a foul on Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes, and Blandon Rendon made no mistake from the spot.
Meanwhile, Xewkija Tigers clinched three important points after thrashing Kerċem Ajax 6-0.
This was Xewkija’s first win over Kerċem this season as the latter had obtained four wins in previous matches, two in the first two rounds of the championship and the other in cup ties.
Xewkija’s hero was Matthias Mercieca who netted a hat-trick (15, 50, 80).
Elton Da Silva grabbed a brace (25, 89) with the other goal coming from substitute Shola Haruna Shodija on 83 minutes.
GFA Division Two
The GFA Division Two ended with a full programme of matches which saw champions Qala Saints complete their campaign unbeaten following a 3-0 win over Żebbuġ Rovers.
Qala took an early lead through Ralph Ebube Okpokwu before Brandon Said sealed the points with a second half brace and also assured himself of finishing as the top scorer with 17 goals.
At the end of the match Qala players, officials and supporters were presented with the league trophy by GFA president Samuel Azzopardi and BOV manager for the Gozo Region Charmaine Borg.
In the other matches last weekend, St Lawrence Spurs and Għarb Rangers took a point each following a 1-1 draw while Munxar Falcons obtained a 2-0 win over Xagħra United.
PLAYING ON SATURDAY
GFA DIVISION ONE KO FINAL
Għajnsielem vs Nadur Y. 16.00
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