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Nadur Youngsters celebrate 14th title with emphatic victory

Igor Nedeljkovic (centre) scores Nadur's second goal. Photo: Anthony Cassar

Nadur Youngsters were crowned Gozitan champions for a second successive season after their nearest rivals Qala Saints could only manage a 1-1 draw against Xewkija Tigers last weekend.

Elsewhere, Sannat Lions were relegated while Victoria Hotspurs will be looking to defend their top-flight status when they face Xagħra United, who finished second in GFA Division Two, in a promotion/relegation play-off.

Qala Saints failed to keep their title hopes alive when they could only take a point from their match against Xewkija Tigers.

The Saints were without Suzuki Bicudo and Jordi Parnis for a match they needed to win at all costs to remain in the title hunt.

However, Xewkija confirmed their good form of late to secure their third successive positive result.

Xewkija took the lead on 34 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Emanuel Buttigieg on Jhonluis Hernandes Leal and Damir Andelovic made no mistake from the spot. 

Qala hit back strongly and equalised four minutes later through a low shot by Ayesller Carvalho. 

Qala stepped up their drive to try and grab a winner but were dented by the Xewkija goalkeeper who effected a string of fine saves.

Qala thought they surged ahead on 64 minutes when Rafael Prudente fired home from close in but the ‘goal’ was annulled for a handball infringement.

Seconds from the final whistle, Qala came again close but efforts from Ferrari Silva, Shaun Attard, Conrado Prudente and Nathan Chukwudi Njoku were blocked by the Xewkija defence.

Nadur celebrated their third title crown in the last four years with a 4-1 win over Kerċem Ajax to get back to winning ways.

The Youngters were off to a strong start when Marcelo Barbosa put them ahead after ten minutes before Igor Nedeljkovic made it 2-0 nine minutes later with a low drive.

Barbosa took centre stage in the second half when netted twice on 49 and 59 minutes to complete his hat-trick and become the league’s top scorer with 15 goals.

At the end of the match, Nadur’s players and officials celebrated their title success with their fans.

In the first match from the Play-Out, Oratory Youths had the better of bottom-placed Sannat Lions 2-1 to secure their top-flight status for another season.

With this result, Sannat were relegated as their closest rivals Victoria Hotspurs obtained a 3-2 win over Għajnsielem.

Oratory’s win over Sannat matured with two goals scored during the first half.

Jovan Mijuskovic opened the score on 34 minutes from a penalty before they sealed the points through an own goal by Mario Mifsud in the seventh minute of stoppage time. 

Sannat managed to pull a goal back late in the match through Anthony Sultana.

Victoria Hotspurs kept alive their hopes of retaining their top-flight status when they beat Għajnsielem 3-2. 

The match was well contested and could have ended in a draw. 

The Hotspurs took an early lead with a goal scored by Brandon Said after six minutes of play.

But Għajnsielem levelled the score on 29 minutes from a penalty converted by Pedro Augusto Mota De Lima.

The Citizens regained the lead on 32 minutes when Ricardo Faria took the rebound from the goalkeeper and placed in goal with a low drive.

Għajnsielem managed to restore equilibrium on 57 minutes through a Kurt Bajada’s shot.

But it was the Hotspurs who had the final say when Faria netted the winner on 68 minutes.

KO Division Two

Xagħra United and Żebbuġ Rovers progressed to the semi-finals of the Division Two knock out after overcoming Għarb Rangers and St Lawrence Spurs respectively.

Xagħra avoided an embarrassing elimination when defeating Għarb 2-1.

Their task was made difficult after 13 minutes when Marlon Mamo was dismissed for dissent.

Għarb took the lead on 51 minutes through Cyriel Buttigieg. 

Four minutes later, Xagħra equalised through substitute Kenneth Mercieca. Għarb could have restored their lead when they were awarded a penalty but Vitor Soarez Sousa saw his shot saved by the goalkeeper.

They were made to pay for this miss as Xagħra grabbed the winner ten minutes from time through substitute Joel Xuereb.

The match between Żebbuġ and St Lawrence Spurs was evenly-balanced with Lorenzo Atzori grabbing for the Rovers.


Gozo Stadium

Div. Two Challenge Cup final

SK Victoria W. vs Xagħra           15.00


Gozo Stadium


Għajnsielem vs Kerċem             14.00

Nadur Y. vs Qala Saints             16.00


Gozo Stadium

Division Two KO SFs

Żebbuġ R. vs Munxar F.             18.00

Xagħra vs SK Victoria W.           20.00

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