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Kerċem Ajax, Qala Saints go top as Nadur Youngsters suffer defeat

Xewkija’s Damir Andelovic is challenged by Sannat duo Ryan Grech (left) and Sebastien Turizo. Photo: Anthony Cassar

Title favourites Nadur Youngsters and Għajnsielem suffered unexpected defeats during the last round of matches from the GFA Division One.

On the other hand, Kerċem Ajax and Qala Saints bagged their third win of the season to go top of the standings and remain the only sides still unbeaten in the division.

Buoyed by their convincing win over Għajnsielem, Nadur were looking to extend their perfect start in the championship and seemed in a position to outclass the Tigers who earned their first points in the championship with a win over Victoria Hotspurs. 

Nadur, however, failed to prevail over Xewkija as the latter were very pragmatic with a defensive approach and surprised their more-quoted opponents with a 1-0 win. 

The Tigers scored the all-important goal on 23 minutes through a close range shot by Rodney Buttigieg.

Minutes later they could have doubled the score but a lob from the distance by Damir Andelovic came off the bar.

Nadur tried to fight back and thought they have levelled matters through Igor Nedeljkovic but the ‘goal’ was annulled for offside.

Minutes later Joseph Zammit was unlucky to see his header coming off the post.

During the dying moments, Nadur protested for a penalty, following handling infringement by Damir Andelovic inside the area, but the referee waved play on.

Għajnsielem conceded their second successive defeat within a week in when going down to Oratory Youths 2-0.

For most of the match, the Blacks piled the pressure on the Oratory defence but were erratic in their finishing.

On the other hand, Oratory goalkeeper Angelo Brignoli came to his side’s rescue with some fine interventions.

Haaran Goncalves Barbosa was Oratory’s protagonist after scoring both goals late in the match.

Oratory could have added a third goal just before the final whistle but Sunday Ubuwere’s shot came off the post. 

Qala Saints came from a goal down to see off Victoria Hotspurs 3-1.

The Hotspurs, who are the only team without a point in the championship, seemed heading towards a positive result when they took the lead on 22 minutes through a spectacular shot by Christian Vella.

The Rabat side could have made it 2-0 a minute later when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by goalkeeper Lucas Farrugia on Hotspurs forward Elton Da Silva.

But from the spot, the Brazilian blasted his shot over the bar.

That turned out to be a major turning point, as from then on Qala Saints took charge and scored quick-fire goals from Rafael Prudente on 35 and 45 minutes to head into the break 2-1 ahead.

Victoria’s reaction was sterile and the Maroons sealed the win on 73 minutes through a half volley by substitute Julian Yoiti Suzuki Bicudo.

Kerċem Ajax confirmed their good form with a 6-0 thrashing over Sannat Lions to go top alongside Qala Saints. 

Kerċem imposed their superiority from the early stages and practically made sure of the three points with four goals scored within the opening half hour through a brace by Gabriel Cardona (6, 14), and goals from Marcus Vinicius Da Costa Soares Da Silva (12) and a penalty converted by Luiz Henrique Santana Motta (30). 

Kerċem Ajax administered their advantage after the break but still managed to add two more goals through Soares Da Silva (56) and Mizzi (90).

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