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Naxxar and San Ġwann in a tale of missed chances

San Ġwann’s Luca Mallia (right) is blocked by Ryan Cassar. Photo: Wally Galea


San Ġwann and Naxxar Lions had to settle for a goalless draw on Saturday as the sides battle to stay in the upper half of the standings.

The match, characterised by numerous missed opportunities by both teams, leaves San Ġwann in fourth place on 31 points and Naxxar in seventh on 24.

While Naxxar looked the better side in the opening 45 minutes, they failed to capitalise and Lions coach George Vella admitted it would have been a different story had they taken their chances.

“It doesn’t really matter who has the most chances, it depends on whether you take them or not,” Vella told The Times of Malta.

“If we had scored, the game would have been different. They would have pressed us more or they could have been demoralised. If you demoralise your opponent, you can go on the counter to score another goal.

“All in all, the players did their best and most of what we did in training worked. Unfortunately, there were some decisions made by the referee which left much to be desired and from our end, we created but failed to finish.

“But we are getting better after each game and I believe that we can get very good results in the future if we keep on like this.”

On the other end, San Ġwann stood out much more after the break and coach Jean Paul Desira said it was a question of belief.

“In the first half, we were very quiet – I think we waited for too long and we didn’t believe we could create chances and be dangerous so that we can exploit (Naxxar’s) weaknesses,” he admitted.

“In the second half we were much more determined, and we created much more. Today was based on who is the more threatening and I think we weren’t that much today.

“The game was important as all others are but in terms of staying in the division, we’re not happy because we wanted three points. But there are seven points between us and Naxxar – another team fighting like we are.

“We’ll take the point, but we have to be realistic as we need to be more dangerous to get more points next time.”

Naxxar could have gone ahead after just six minutes as new signing Rendon Robinson pushed the ball into the area before having his shot blocked by San Ġwann goalkeeper Cain Formosa. The ball fell to Edson Farias but he scuffed the chance in front of the gaping goal.

Formosa was put to work again four minutes later when he saved another Robinson shot.

The match went into a lull, before San Ġwann had their one and only chance of the half before the break but Luca Mallia put the ball wide from a counter.

After the change of ends, Farias missed another golden opportunity. Nick Borg sped through before hitting a low cross to Farias who took too many touches before hitting a shot that was blocked by a defender.

Naxxar appeared wasteful with their chances but San Ġwann looked no closer to making them pay until they had their best chance of the game five minutes from time.

Uchenna Calistus’s cross shot hit Ayrton Azzopardi but Omar Borg did well to keep the ball out.

SAN ĠWANN: C. Formosa, Q. Adediran, L. Mallia (51 A. Zammit), C. Gauci, S. Kuyper (71 A. Chibueze), O. Spiteri, Z. Bowman (87 J. Bowman), C. Omoruanzoje, C. Gauci, U. Calistus, G. Pace.
NAXXAR LIONS: O. Borg, J. Sciberras (66 B. Schembri), M. Fenech, E. Farias (68 S. Martinez), N. Borg, A. Azzopardi, R. Cassar, S. Meilak, D. Kassekar, L. Schembri, R. Robinson (83 C. Bibaku).
Referee: Shaun Calleja.
Best player: Nick Borg (Naxxar).



PEMBROKE: P. Schranz, A. Marshall, K. Farrugia, D. Sant, K. Frendo, P. Santos (75 J. Ogunuppe), A. Abdeen (89 J. Etim), T. Fenech (46 M. Zarb), C. Zammit (93 G. Attard), J. Bajada, M. Ciantar (46 N. Frendo).
MQABBA: M. Buhagiar, N. Falzon, G. Mannino, K. Cutajar, R. Spiteri, N. Abouaisha (82 S. Pisani), D. Micallef (82 J. Azzopardi), G. Cesani (89 R. Cutajar), G. Azzopardi, G. Micallef (89 G. Bugeja), M. Bangoura.
Referee: Etienne Mangion.
Scorer: Frendo 53.


ŻEBBUĠ: M. Grech, S. Bugeja, J. Micallef, A. Mizzi, J. Silveira, C. Gauci, R. Vella, C. Vella (60 K. Tanti), K. Atkinson (52 L. Mijic), S. Miloskovic (73 G. De Marino), G. Gesualdi.
VITTORIOSA STARS: R. Caruana, C. Spiteri, I. Abela, G. Sultana (77 R. Dalli), Q. Bregman (46 L. Gauci), D. Sowatey (37 A. Cilia Mumford), A. Galea, G. Zammit, A. Oularbi (68 L. de Melo), R. Farias, D. Borg Castaldi (37 D. Serna).
Referee: Daniel Portelli
Scorer: Gauci 21, 30, 71.


ST GEORGE’S: M. Bartolo, M. Caruana, J. Briffa, B. Gomes (63 C. Kelechi), W. Zamble, L. Agius (87 K. Abela), J. Sultana, R. Tanti, J. Grech, Y. Nomura (55 K. Suemitsu), M. Farrugia.
ST ANDREWS: N. Grima (12 D. Formosa), I. Azzopardi, M. D’Alessandro, M. Ono, N. Bradshaw (69 J. Sixsmith), M. Bartolo, A. Borg Olivier, W. Camilleri, L. Borg, D. Jackson (69 K. Sano), K. Bituemi (63 G. Stefansson).
Referee: Aleksandar Jovanovic.
Scorers: Nomura (SG) 20; Borg Olivier (SA) 32; Suemitsu (SG) 59.


FGURA UNITED: L. Moore, C. Ciantar, J. Barbara, T. Grech, G. Martin (76 S. Nanapere), O. Mifsud, C. Gandini, D. Mbala (46 D. Quintero) S. Borg, D. Caruana, N. Ojuola.
MARSAXLOKK: F. Tabone, C. Degabriele, J. Morales (90 D. Sammut), N. Ghio, D. Cartella (78 Zezinho), J. Spiteri (78 R. Sammut), B. Sciberras, C. Brincat (80 G. Barone), P. Xuereb, R. Winchester, R. Fenech.
Referee: Ishmael Barbara.


SWIEQI UNITED: J. Debattista, I. Micallef (70 L. Zammit), M. Attard, J. Magri Overend, J. Micallef, J. Willy, A. Schembri Wismayer (81 K. Sultana), A. Okamura, C. Cutajar, T. Ayorinde (76 F. Temile), J. Azzopardi (81 M. Camilleri).
QORMI: M. Falzon, O. Sidibe, Mauro Busuttil (76 Miguel Busuttil), L. Farrugia, L. Theuma, G. Borg, N. Falzon, I. Mizzi, R. Uriu (76 K. Nanakida), I. Zammit, L. Williams (58 A. Ayoub).
Referee: Slawomir Olucha
Scorers: Schembri Wismayer 57, 63, 78 pen.; Micallef 90.


MARSA: N. Vella, J. Bondin, A. Monticelli, M. Micallef, J. Lima (63 R. Coelho), C. Gatt Baldacchino, D. Grima, L. Grech (63 M. Gauci), S. Shodiya (58 P. Texeira), L. Micallef (79 I. Zammit), D. Agius.
PIETA: M. Chetcuti, S. Okoh, M. Portelli, N. Pace Cocks, J. Ghio (90 Z. Leonardi), D. Segura, N. Pisani (90 G. Borg), S. Mizzi, I. Jalo (72 C. Ze Lucas), J. Scicluna (64 D. Mesa), L. Galea.
Referee: Slobodan Petrovic.
Scorers: Micallef 7; Monticelli 45.

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