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Last-gasp San Gwann goal foils Marsa

San Ġwann’s Andrea Zammit (right) moves past Manolito Micallef. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier


Leaders Marsa missed the chance to extend their lead at the top after they were held by San Ġwann in an eight-goal thriller at the Centenary Stadium.

While it had been San Ġwann who had been on top for most of the game, Marsa produced an incredible turnaround which, despite missing from the spot on one occasion, only saw them drop points after an Andrea Zammit goal just before the final whistle.

San Gwann goalscorer Zammit told the Times of Malta that scoring early helped the side on the day.

“We started strongly and scored a goal in the first minutes which was great,” the 17-year-old said.

“However, we conceded immediately which was quite a setback. Luckily, we got back into the lead and kept on fighting. After all those goals and their missed penalty, we got that boost to score the last goal.”

Marsa, without the suspended coach Ivan Zammit, will rue their late errors which cost them the win.

Midfielder Leighton Grech, who had a standout performance on the day lauded the side’s determination, while giving credit to San Ġwann whom he says “shared most of play” with them throughout.

“Today we showed heart, especially because we had eight or nine players missing, as well as our coach – we were stretched thin,” the former Birkirkara midfielder said.

“However, I believe that when we scored our fourth goal, we had no excuses. We could have easily held onto the score, but San Gwann played just as good from the first minute. They’re a good team and they’ve got many great young players.”

This was Marsa’s second consecutive draw, following a 1-1 scoreline against Pembroke Athleta in their previous game.

“It’s true that we’ve had two straight draws which might sound concerning, but these were against the second- and third-placed team, so they were always bound to be difficult. The good thing is that Pembroke have also drawn their last game, so we remain with that three-point advantage.”

The match, which was delayed by half an hour due to assistant referee Vasil Vasilev suffering an injury during warmup and had to be replaced, made up for the wait as after only seven minutes, San Ġwann opened proceedings. Amid confusion and calls for handball inside the area, Attah Chibueze’s header tipped the ball over Marsa goalkeeper Nicky Vella and into the net.

Marsa equalised a minute later when Grech made a run on the right and his shot from just inside the area twisted around Saints’ shotstopper Dean Sciberras and in.

Marsa took control and eventually the lead when from a corner, forward Lydon Micallef was floored with referee Ishmael Barbara pointing to the spot and Jackson Lima duly converted.

The Reds thought they had secured a lead going into the break but in the final minute of the half, a throughball into the area was met by Quadri Adediran who passed into the area with Attah backheeling the ball into the net.

The second half started similarly as from an Attah cross, the ball bounced off Marsa’s Shola Shodiya and into the path of Uchenna Calistus who fired low past Vella.

After the hour, Grech regained parity for Marsa as from his run past the halfway line, he laid the ball to Micallef and his cross was mistimed by Sciberras, leaving Grech wide open to tap in his second goal.

Marsa were not finished yet and got their fourth in the 70th minute when another delivery from Micallef saw Ian Zammit turn the goalkeeper and put the ball into the empty net.

They could have closed off the game on 77 minutes but when Shodiya was tripped inside the area, but the Nigerian shot the penalty onto the upright.

Marsa were made to pay for this miss as in the last minute, Andrea Zammit sped past his marker and beat Vella to level the match.

SAN ĠWANN: D. Sciberras, Q. Adediran, J. Bowman (79 A. Falzon); C. Gauci, C. Attah, Z. Bowman, A. Zammit, C. Omoruanzoje, C. Gauci, U. Calistus (73 S. Kuyper), G. Pace (46 K. Bartolo).
MARSA: N. Vella, D. Agius, I. Zammit (85 M. Galea), A. Monticelli, M. Micallef, J. Lima, S. Diacono (70 D. Mifsud), C. Gatt Baldacchino, L. Grech, S. Shodiya (79 P. Teixeira), L. Micallef.
Referee: Ishmael Barbara
Scorers: Attah (S) 7, 45; Grech (M) 8, 68; Lima (M) 37 pen.; Calistus (S) 52; I. Zammit (M) 71; A. Zammit (S) 90.
Best player: Leighton Grech (Marsa).



VITTORIOSA: R. Marmara, I. Abela, L. de Melo (78 A. Oularbi), G. Sultana, J. Farrugia, Q. Bregman (78 G. Zammit), D. Sowatey, K. Pace (36 C. Spiteri), A. Galea, R. Farias, D. Borg Castaldi (86 R. Dalli).
FGURA UNITED: L. Moore, T. Yanagizawa (56 D. Quintero), C. Ciantar (56 J.P. Attard), J. Stensen (78 J. Barbara), T. Grech (71 G. Martin), S. Nanapere, O. Mifsud, C. Gandini (78 D. Mbala), S. Borg, D. Caruana, N. Ojuola.
Referee: Daniel Casha
Scorer: Farias 55.
Red card: Sultana (V) 67.


ST. GEORGE’S: M. Bartolo, M. Caruana, J. Briffa, Y. Nomura (68 K. Suemitsu), B. Gomes, W. Zamble, L. Agius, J. Sultana, M. Farrugia (74 K. Abela), R. Tanti, O. Magro (54 J. Grech).
MQABBA: M. Buhagiar, N. Falzon, G. Mannino, R. Cauchi, J. Castano (84 B. Sciberras), K. Cutajar (92 O. Khatib), J. Azzopardi, R. Spiteri (92 N. Abouaisha), M. Bangoura (54
K. Borg), D. Micallef, G. Mical-
Referee: Stefan Pace
Scorers: Castano 64; Borg 90.


PEMBROKE ATHLETA: P. Schranz, C. Zammit, K. Farrugia, D. Sant, G. Attard, J. Bajada, T. Fenech, P. Santos, L. Chiedozie (82 J. Oghenekewaro), J. Ogunuppe (27 J. Etim), P. Sammut (61 M. Borg).
QRENDI: J. Azzopardi, D. Azzopardi (81 M. Brincat), S. Schembri (51 J. Busuttil), L. Martinelli, E. Vella, A. Agius, B. Muscat (81 J. Diumasumbu), C. Camilleri, S. Perdomo, A. Nilsson, D. Bueno (70 M. Gatt).
Referee: Ezekiel Barbara.
Scorers: Santos (P) 44; Perdomo (Q) 85.

ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS: M. Grech (68 A. Benjelloun), S. Bugeja, J. Micallef, G. De Marino (50 K. Atkinson), A. Mizzi, J. Silveira (56 L. Mijic), C. Gauci (56 K. Bondin), R. Vella, C. Vella, G. Gesualdi, J. Carbone (50 S. Miloskovic).
QORMI: M. Falzon, O. Sidibe, M. Busuttil, A. Ayoub (65 L. Williams), L. Farrugia (73 M. Busuttil), L. Theuma (57 N. Falzon), G. Borg, R. Caruana (65 T. Grima), I. Mizzi, N. Gauci, A. Oliveira (57 R. Uriu).
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Scorers: Ayoub (Q) 13; Carbone (Ż) 15; C. Gauci (Ż) 21; Gesualdi (Ż) 25 pen.; Atkinson (Ż) 51, 60; Busuttil (Q) 77; Bugeja (Ż) 83.


ST ANDREWS: D. Formosa, I. Azzopardi, M. D’Alessandro, N. Bradshaw (80 J. Sixsmith), M. Bartolo, K. Sano, A. Borg Olivier, Z. Muscat, G. Stefansson, L. Borg (89 L. Grech), D. Jackson (70 M. Ono).
SWIEQI UNITED: J.C. Debattista, M. Attard (80 C. Bouvet) J. Magri Overend, J. Micallef (72 M. Vella), J. Willy (46 T. Ayorinde), A. Schembri Wismayer, A. Okamura (80 M. Ivanovic), C. Cutajar, F. Temile, J. Azzopardi, I. Micallef (82 L. Zammit).
Referee: Aleksandar Jovanovic.
Scorers: Stefansson 36 pen.; Sixsmith 85.

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