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Qala Saints delay Nadur Youngsters’ title celebrations

Qala Saints kept alive this season’s title race when they beat leaders Nadur Youngsters 2-1 to bridge the gap from the GFA Division One leaders to five points with three matches to go.

The Youngsters came into the match fully aware that a win would hand them a second successive Gozitan title.

However, Nadur failed to make the most of their superiority in terms of possession and looked in trouble each time Qala pushed men forward.

Shaun Bajada’s team gradually grew in stature, scoring a goal in each half and managing to preserve their lead despite playing the final minutes of the match with a player less.

Nadur were unlucky not to take the lead on the half-hour mark when Gianluca Muscat’s shot came off the bar.

Qala were handed the lead a minute later when Nadur goalkeeper Steve Sultana, who was under pressure by Rafael Prudente, inadvertently pushed the ball into his own net in attempt to clear a Joshua Buttigieg cross.

Just before the break, Qala came again close when Jordi Parnis’s shot was deflected onto the bar.

Nadur’s response failed to arrive and on 67 minutes, Qala doubled their lead when Paris stormed inside the area and beat Sultana with an angled drive.

The Youngsters re-opened the match six minutes later when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Joao Ferrari Silva on Marcelo Barbosa. The Brazilian forward picked himself up and made no mistake from the spot.

Five minutes from time, Qala had goalkeeper Owen Attard dismissed for dissent but despite being a man down they held on to the win.

In the other Top-4 match, Xewkija Tigers earned their first points in the second phase with a 3-1 win over Kerċem Ajax. 

The Ajax took a deserved lead through a header by Ognjen Rolovic following a free kick by Bruno Da Cruz on 24 minutes. 

But Xewkija refused to throw in the towel and they levelled matters through Matthias Mercieca on 38 minutes.

The Tigers kept up the momentum after the break and surged ahead on 57 minutes through Rodney Buttigieg before sealing the points when substitute Chris Camilleri fired home a firm drive that flew into the net.

Għajnsielem made it three wins in a row in the Play-Out phase as they beat Oratory Youths 2-0.

Both teams created scoring opportunities but Oratory were too erratic in front of goal.

Għajnsielem opened the score on 42 minutes when Pedro De Lima headed home a cross by Alberto Xuereb. 

Oratory should have equalised on 54 minutes when they were awarded a penalty but from the spot Haran Goncalves Barbosa, saw his shot saved by Għajnsielem goalkeeper Adrian Parnis. 

Għajnsielem sealed the points in stoppage time when Alberto Xuereb concluded a fast break.

Sannat Lions and Victoria Hotspurs took a point each after a

2-2 draw.

The final outcome saw the two teams moving closer to Oratory Youths in the tussle against relegation. 

Sannat twice managed to go ahead through goals by Deison Arvey Cuero (25) and Christian Dingli (71).

But the Hotspurs kept fighting and managed to take a point following goals by Ricado Faria and Lucas Mancuso.

GFA Division Two

SK Victoria Wanderers are very close to making a quick return to the top flight after brusing aside Munxar Falcons 5-0.

The Wanderers need just one point from their final match against bottom-placed Għarb Rangers tomorrow to become champions. 

The Citizens were in dominant form against Munxar, with their goals coming from a brace by Sam Harland (3, 70) and Aud-Gustine James Obaje (7, 59) with Joseph George Vella (41) also putting his name on the scoresheet.

Obaje could have completed a hat-trick but saw his penalty in stoppage time saved by goalkeeper Damien Spiteri.

Xagħra United remained three points behind the Wanderers with a hard-earned 1-0 win over St Lawrence Spurs. 

Michael Bezzina scored the all-important goal on 14 minutes.

Żebbuġ Rovers were back to winning ways when they defeated Għarb Ranges 5-2.

Għarb took the lead through Christian Cardona (18) but Żebbug turned the result in their favour with goals from Matthion Formosa (45), Ryan Saliba (55), Lorenzo Atzori (60) and Matthew Grech (62). 

Christian Cardona pulled goal back for Għarb but it was Żebbuġ who had the final say as Atzori added a fifth goal on 82 minutes.

Next Fixtures

Gozo Stadium
GFA Division One
Oratory Y. vs Victoria H. 18.00
Kerċem Ajax vs Qala S. 20.00


Kerċem Arkafort Stadium
GFA Division Two
Munxar F. vs St Lawrence 13.00
SK Victoria W. vs Għarb R. 15.15


Kerċem Arkafort Stadium
GFA Division Two
Xagħra vs Żebbug R. 13.00

Gozo Stadium
GFA Division One
Sannat L. vs Ghajnsielem 13.00
Nadur Y. vs Xewkija T. 15.00

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