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Marsaxlokk cruise past Żebbuġ in newcomers battle

Marsaxlokk cruised past Żebbuġ Rangers on Saturday. Photo: Christine Borg


MARSAXLOKK  3         

Almeida 11 o.g; Fonseca 42; Keqi 74

ŻEBBUĠ RANGERS J. Azzopardi-5.5, S. Bugeja-5.5, L. Almeida-5.5, Y. Tonna-6, S. Jankovic-6, C. Lokoli Ngoy-6, R. Sanchez-5.5 (74 S. Buttigieg), A. Soto-5.5 (72 J. Sciberras), S. Miloskovic-6 (72 T. Bartolo), G. Gesualdi-5.5 (72 A. Mizzi), K. Bondin-5.5 (60 R. Vella).

MARSAXLOKK M. Drobnjak-6, A. Attard-6 (77 C. Borg), K. Keqi-7, W. Serrano-6, P. Xuereb-6 (77 R. Tonna), S. Ferraris-6.5 (64 W. De Souza), J. Aguilar-6, L. Aguirre-6, D. Vukovic-6, D. Agius-6 (64 E. Uzeh), T. Fonseca-6.5 (77 S. Moracci).

Referee Glen Tonna

Yellow Cards Aguilar, Soto, Jankovic.

BOV Player of the Match Kristian Keqi

Marsaxlokk registered their first win in the BOV Premier League as they defeated Żebbuġ Rangers 3-0 in a clash between two teams who were promoted from the Challenge League at the end of last season.

The Southseasiders were a better side throughout the ninety minutes and definitely deserved the three points. Żebbuġ, on the other hand, disappointed following some encouraging performances in the previous outings.  

Marsaxlokk coach Pablo Doffo made no less than six changes from the team which lost to Balzan as he named new signings goalkeeper Marko Drobnjak, Kristian Keqi, and Juan Cruz Aguillar in the starting line-up along with Ayrton Attard, Peter Xuereb, and Daniel Agius. Żebbuġ, on the other hand, had one change as Gaetano Gesualdi was preferred to Wilker Rocha Santos.

Marsaxlokk managed to take the lead after just ten minutes.  Keqi served Santiago Ferraris on the left and the latter’s conclusion was deflected by Leandro Almeida past goalkeeper Jamie Azzopardi.

Żebbuġ replied with a Stefan Jankovic freekick from which Stanimir Miloskovic’s header was parried by goalkeeper Drobnjak on 21 minutes. On 37 minutes, Charles Lokoli Ngoy received a cross from the right but his conclusion was blocked by a defender and four minutes later, Drobnjak performed a good save on a freekick by Yanis Tonna.

However, three minutes from the end of the first half, Marsaxlokk doubled the score. Daniel Agius delivered a freekick from the right and from the left, Tiago Fonseca headed the ball onto the far post and into the net.

Just before the end of the first half, Żebbuġ went close with an angled shot by Lokoli Nogy which was blocked by Drobnjak.

Twelve minutes in the second half, Ferraris had a shot from outside the area ending just over the bar. Marsaxlokk almost increased the lead on 65 minutes when Keqi advanced on the left and exchanged the ball with Fonseca before hitting home but the goal was disallowed for the former’s offside position. Five minutes later, a Roberto Sanchez freekick from the right was parried by the Marsaxlokk goalkeeper.

However, Marsaxlokk extended the lead on 74 minutes.  Attard entered the area from the right but his attempt was blocked by Jamie Azzopardi with Keqi placing the ball at the back of the net off the rebound.

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