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Ten-man Nadur beat Victoria Hotspurs, Għajnsielem hit Sannat for eight

x Nadur’s Gennaro Hili (left) shields the ball from Lucas Farrugi. PHOTO: ANTHONY CASSAR

Champions Nadur Youngsters bounced back from the Super Cup defeat as they kickstarted their title defence with a 5-3 win over Victoria Hotspurs. 

Both sides needed a win to start their league campaign in style and the Youngsters managed to do the job despite playing for a whole half with a player less as they withheld the Hotspurs’ late pressure.

Nadur expressed the better football during the first half and headed into the break ahead courtesy of a spectacular strike from Igor Nedeljkovic.

The Youngsters were reduced to ten men two minutes into the second half when Nadur goalkeeper Steve Sultana was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity outside the area. 

From the free-kick, Olimpio Gabriel Fernandes was first to the rebound after the substitute goalkeeper failed to hold on to the ball and placed easily in goal.

Nadur regained the lead on 53 minutes through another goal by Nedeljkovic. But the Hotspurs scored the second equaliser three minutes later through Elton Da Silva.

The Youngsters paved the way to the win with two goals in the space of five minutes through a penalty converted by Marcelo Barbosa (73) and an own goal committed by defender Oliver Cremona (78). 

The Hotspurs reduced the deficit in the fourth minute of stoppage time but they conceded a counter break a minute later and Barbosa sealed the win by scoring the fifth goal for Nadur.

Għajnsielem confirmed their good start to the season with an impressive 8-0 win over Sannat Lions.  The Blacks scored three goals during the early stages through brace by Shaun Attard (2, 12) and a goal by Claudio Henrique Da Silva Barbosa (20).

Għajnsielem’s Patrick Dos Santos Cruz added another goal on 66 minutes and four minutes later Sannat were reduced to ten players when Joseph Cassar was sent off for stopping a  clear goalscoring opportunity.

The Super Cup winners took full advantage and scored four more goals until the end of the encounter through a brace by Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos (72, 90p) and a goal each by Dos Santos Cruz (73) and substitute Chris Camilleri (77).

Kerċem Ajax had a very encouraging start in the championship with a 1-0 win over Xewkija Tigers. 

The Ajax were the better side for long stretches but were denied on a number of occasions by Xewkija goalkeeper Nikola Kosanin. They ended up suffering Xewkija’s reaction during the final stages of the match.

The decisive goal of the match arrived through a fine shot by Pablo Vinicius De Moraes Ferreira (68).

Newly promoted side Qala Saints had an excellent return to the top flight as they obtained a 4-1 win over Oratory Youths.

Qala opened the score on 11 minutes through Rafael Conrado Prudente and administered play for long stretches as Oratory’s reaction was sterile. 

Qala scored three more goals after the break through Joao Vitor Ferrari Silva (71), Rafael Prudente (77) and Nathan Chukwudi Njoku (83). 

Oratory’s consolation goal arrived in the first minute of stoppage time through a penalty converted by Haraan Hajazan Goncalves Barbosa.

Division Two

In the only match from the GFA Division Two Challenge Cup, Għarb Rangers and St Lawrence Spurs earned a point each after a 1-1 draw that hurt their hopes of reaching the final.

This was Għarb’s first point from two matches while the Spurs earned their second point after two matches. 

Għarb took the lead on 40 minutes through Viktor Laketic but St Lawrence saved the result by netting the equaliser on 66 minutes through John Axiak.

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON FRIDAY

GFA Div. One – Gozo Stadium

Qala S. vs Kerċem Ajax              18.00

Oratory Y. vs Nadur Y. 20.15

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

GFA Div. One – Gozo Stadium

Għajnsielem vs Victoria H.       18.00

GFA Division Two Challenge Cup

Kerċem Stadium

Munxar vs SK Victoria W.         17.00

Żebbuġ R. vs Xaghra Utd           19.15

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

GFA Div. One – Gozo Stadium

Xewkija T. vs Sannat L.              17.00

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