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Nadur Youngsters trounce Għajnsielem to lift GFA Cup

In the last match of the 2022-23 Gozitan season, champions Nadur Youngsters lifted the third trophy of the season with a 6-0 victory over Għajnsielem in the final of the BOV GFA Cup.

This was the second consecutive season where Nadur won the three main honours of local football and it was the tenth time that they secured the GFA Cup in the club’s history.

Nadur practically made sure of the win when netting four goals within the first 30 minutes of the match.

Marcelo Barbosa opened the score on seven minutes with a fine shot after exchanging the ball with Joseph Zammit.

On 21 minutes, Nadur doubled their lead with a goal scored by Stefan Cassar who capitalised from a miskick by the Għajnsielem defence.

Two minutes later Barbosa added another goal with a low shot before Igor Nedeljkovic made it 4-0 on 28 minutes with a fine strike from an unmarked position. 

The Blacks could have reduced the deficit early in the second half when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Patrick Dos Santos Cruz. But the same striker saw his shot from the spot ending wide. 

Nadur continued to be more dangerous and managed to add two more goals. Barbosa completed his hat-trick on 55 minutes before Nedeljkovic sealed the win with a low shot after receiving from Barbosa on 61 minutes.

After the match Charmaine Borg, the Regional Manager of the Bank of Valletta for Gozo, together with GFA officials, presented medals and the trophy to the Nadur Youngsters players.

Second division side Xagħra United defeated first-division side Victoria Hotspurs 2-1 in the Play-Off match for a place in the top-flight next season. 

Thus, Xaghra United made up for their disappointment of missing direct promotion from the second division and achieving their main objective of the season. 

This success by Xagħra also arrived a week after winning the KO competition for the second division so that they ended their commitments in the best possible manner.

The Hotspurs failed to make up for a very difficult season in this last match and found themselves being relegated despite their ambitions to be more competitive. 

The Citizens were favourites to win the match against Xaghra, but the latter were well-organised and paved the way to victory with two goals scored during the first part of the encounter. 

Kenneth Mercieca opened the score with a header on 18 minutes before Michael Bezzina doubled the lead with a low shot on 25 minutes. 

The Hotspurs reduced the deficit five minutes from the end of the first half when Olimpio Fernandes’ shot came off the bar and from the rebound Andrea Debrincat headed home.

The Hotspurs were unlucky during the opening minutes of the second period as they had two attempts that were stopped by the woodwork. 

As time passed by Xaghra grew in confidence and managed to defend their one-goal lead until the final whistle.

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