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Nadur Youngsters win ninth GFA Cup with last-gasp goal

Nadur Youngsters celebrate with the trophy at the Gozo Stadium. Photo: Anthony Cassar

Nadur Youngsters needed a last-gasp penalty to edge Għajnsielem 3-2 and win the GFA Cup for the ninth time in the club’s history to complete an incredible treble for season 2021-22. 

Nadur has won all the three major honours this season, namely the GFA Division One, the GFA Cup and the Knock Out for the first division. 

The victory in the GFA Cup confirmed the superiority that Nadur expressed on the sister island as they conceded just one defeat throughout the season.

The GFA Cup final lived up to expectations and left the large crowd on their hooks.

Għajnsielem seemed determined to end a disappointing season by winning a main honour despite the fact that they only had one foreigner in their starting line-up.

On the other hand Nadur were also keen to land this honour that has been missing from their trophy cabinet since the 2013-14 season.

Għajnsielem had a better start and on 11 minutes they were unlucky when a strike by Igor Nedeljkovic came off the upright.

Gradually, Nadur came more into the picture and opened the score on 32 minutes with a low shot by Marcelo Barbosa. 

Għajnsielem levelled matters in the fourth minute of the second half.

Defender Gennaro Hili pulled Igor Nedeljkovic inside his area, stopping a potential scoring opportunity, and was dismissed. The Serbian striker picked himself up to convert the penalty.

The match became much more interesting but on 68 minutes Nadur regained the lead when Barbosa released Ederson who hit a low shot that rolled into the net.

Għajnsielem scored a second equaliser on 79 minutes through a fine strike by Nedeljkovic following a personal action. 

When it looked as though the match was heading for extra-time, in stoppage time, Barbosa entered Għajnsielem’s area, turned round the goalkeeper but was denied from concluding towards an open goal with an irregular intervention by defender Lawrence Grima.

The referee pointed to the spot and dismissed Grima.

Barbosa took charge of the penalty and drilled the ball home to the delight of the Nadur fans.

At the end of the match, Nadur were presented with the trophy by Charmaine Borg, the Regional Manager of the Bank of Valletta for Gozo, and Dr Samuel Azzopardi, president of the Gozo FA.

Sannat retain status

Sannat Lions defended their Division One status with a 3-0 win over Division Two side Munxar Falcons, in the play-off for a place in the top flight next season.

The first division side held territorial supremacy and practically made sure of the win with three goals scored during the first half. 

Sannat created more scoring opportunities while Munxar failed to capitalise from some good chances to jeopardise their hopes of an upset.

Sannat opened the score on 16 minutes through a strike by Henry Fabian Solis after receiving from Aaron Azzopardi. 

Substitute Nicholas Grima made it 2-0 with an angled shot that was deflected into the net three minutes from the break.

Sannat sealed their win with a third goal on 45 minutes when Solis managed to push the ball into the net following a corner action.

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