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Top-of-the-table clash between Nadur Youngsters, Qala Saints ends all square

Nadur striker Marcelo Barbosa (right) tries to force his way into the Qala Saints defence. Photo: Anthony Cassar

There were no winners in the top-of-the-table clash between Qala Saints and Nadur Youngsters as they cancelled each other in a goalless draw to continue sharing top spot in the GFA Division One.

The result has enabled Kerċem Ajax to close the gap with the joint-leaders to just three points for a three-way title battle.

The final stalemate between Qala Saints and Nadur Youngsters was a fair outcome to a match that produced few scoring chances.

Nadur had the better opportunities during the first half but a low drive by Marcelo Barbosa was cleared off the line by Emanuel Buttigieg.

Minutes later, Igor Nedeljkovic fired the ball over from routine distance.

Qala came more into the picture after the break with Ayesller Carvalho coming close from a free-kick but his shot finished just over.

Twenty minutes from time, Nadur were reduced to ten men when Joseph Vella was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Steve Sultana came to Nadur’s rescue late on when he pulled off a fine save to keep out an overhead shot from Shaun Attard.

Kercem Ajax extended their good form of late when they brushed aside Victoria Hotspurs 3-0 to close the gap with the joint-leaders.

Kerċem surged into a two-goal lead late in the first half, with Bruno Da Cruz firing them ahead on 37 minutes before Gabriel Cardona made it 2-0 in stoppage time.

Five minutes into the second half, Kerċem sealed the points through Luiz Santana Motta.

There were more woes for the Hotspurs as three minutes later they finished with ten men when Dimitri Kassekar was dismissed for denying a clear scoring opportunity to Pablo Vinicius Ferreira.

Għajnsielem and Xewkija Tigers took a point each following a 1-1 draw.

With this result, the Tigers preserved their three-point advantage over Għajnsielem and are firm favourites to play in the Championship Pool.

Xewkija Tigers opened the score on 48 minutes through a close-range shot by Johnny Camilleri.

On 54 minutes the Tigers were reduced to ten men as Dylan Mercieca was sent off for a foul on Kevin Farrugia. 

Għajnsielem saved the match on 82 minutes with a fine header by Patrick Dos Santos Cruz.

GFA Division Two

Oratory Youths earned three precious points with a 2-0 win over bottom-placed Sannat Lions to move further clear of their relegation rivals. 

Oratory secured the points with two late goals from substitute Kenny Hili on 85 and 90 minutes.

SK Victoria Wanderers, Żebbuġ Rangers and Xagħra United were victorious last weekend to preserve their top-three placing in the standings.

The Wanderers defended their sole leadership with a 3-1 win over Munxar Falcons. 

The Wanderers opened the score on 23 minutes through Joseph George Vella but on 31 minutes Munxar levelled the score through Aron Buttigieg. 

Victoria regained the lead through Neil Camilleri (52) before Aud-Gustine James Obaje sealed the points on 79 minutes.

Żebbuġ Rovers returned to winning ways when they beat Għarb Rangers 3-1.

Daniel Mesa Pineiros put the Rovers two goals ahead but Għarb re-opened the issue on 63 minutes through Omar Calleja. 

Żebbuġ, however, put their minds at rest with a third goal scored by Manuel Gauci (82).

Xagħra United obtained a 2-0 win over St Lawrence Spurs to keep alive their promotion hopes. 

Kenneth Mercieca was the protagonist when he netted the all-important goals on seven on 69 minutes that earned his team the points.

NEXT FIXTURES

PLAYING ON FRIDAY

GOZO STADIUM

Victoria H. vs Sannat L.             18.00

Għajnsielem vs Qala S.              20.00

PLAYING ON SATURDAY

Kerċem Arkafort Stadium

GFA DIVISION TWO

Għarb vs SK Victoria W.            13.00

Żebbuġ R. vs Xaghra Utd           15.15

PLAYING ON SUNDAY

Kerċem Arkafort Stadium

GFA DIVISION TWO

St Lawrence vs Munxar F.         13.00

GOZO STADIUM

GFA DIVISION ONE

Xewkija T. vs Oratory Y.            13.00

Kerċem Ajax vs Nadur Y.           15.00

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