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Gozitan league pacesetters suffer defeats

Nadur Youngsters striker De Oliveira Joao Vitor Florencio (centre) skips past two Xaghra defenders. Photo: Anthony Cassar

Title challengers Xewkija Tigers and both Nadur Youngsters suffered unexpected defeats against Qala Saints and Xagħra United respectively, in the GFA Division One.

Leaders Xewkija missed the chance to extend their lead at the top as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Qala.

It was a deserved win for the Saints who move up to second in the standings.

Qala came out strongly and surprised their opponents with a goal scored in the fifth minute when Lucas Baretto backheeled the ball into the net.

Xewkija failed to produce a reaction as Qala administered the lead and could have sealed the win during the final stages but a lob by Baretto missed the target.

Nadur Youngsters failed to get back to winning ways as they slumped to the first defeat in the championship against Xagħra United.

Xagħra, who prior to this match were bottom and still without a win, were trailing by two goals on the hour mark. But they staged an impressive reaction to turn the result when they netted four times late on.

Play was balanced in the first half with Nadur taking the lead after six minutes when Marcelo Barbosa scored directly from a free-kick.

The Youngsters had an excellent start in the second half and the same Barbosa made it 2-0 after a quick break.

Nadur seemed heading towards a comfortable win but Xaghra surprised their more-quoted opponents and levelled the score with a brace scored in the space of two minutes by substitute Joel Xuereb (67, 69).

Nadur seemed shocked and Xagħra went on to take the lead through a Savio Galea header on 79 minutes.

Xaghra made sure of the win in stoppage time when Daniel Pineros tapped the ball home from close in.

SK Victoria Wanderers failed to maintain their winning momentum when they were held to a goalless draw by Kerċem Ajax.

The Ajax saw more of the ball for most of the match and their best chances to score came from Olimpo Fernandes and Emmanuel Peters who were stopped by the woodwork.

Għajnsielem and Oratory Youths took a point each after sharing four goals. The two sides needed a win to move up the standings.

Although this was the fourth consecutive positive result for Oratory, the outcome of the encounter did not satisfy either team as the Youths remain in a mid-table position while the Blacks ended up at the bottom place in the standings.

Oratory were the better side for the first hour of play and enjoyed a deserved one-goal lead through a low drive by Andre Gabriel Castro Martins.

On resumption, play became nervous and on 62 minutes Oratory were reduced to ten players when Luis Gabriel Santos Silva was sent off for a second bookable offence.

From the resultant free kick, Għajnsielem levelled the score through Bruno Da Cruz.

Għajnsielem kept insisting and turned the result in their favour on 67 minutes through a low shot by Kenny Hili.

Oratory managed to recover and saved the result with a goal scored on 87 minutes from a header by substitute Keith Saliba.

Challenge Cup

Victoria Hotspurs and Sannat Lions will contest the final of the second edition of the Challenge Cup for the second division after taking a point each from their direct clash which ended in a 2-2 draw.

The Hotspurs had an excellent start and took the lead in the fourth minute through Wellington Valentim De Sousa.

Sannat could have equalised on 24 minutes but a penalty by Boubacar Kanta ended over the bar.

Sannat Lions were made to pay for this miss as on 36 minutes the Hotspurs doubled their lead through Lucas Farrugia.

However, Sannat staged a reaction after the break and levelled the score through two goals in two minutes scored by Boubacar Kanta (55, 57).

On 62 minutes, the Hotspurs had Wellington Valentim De Sousa sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

This decision led to some disorder on the terrace and the match was suspended for around 13 minutes.

During the suspension the Hotspurs ended with nine players as they had Joseph George Vella who was also sent off for dissent.

When played resumed the two sides failed to capitalise from their best chances as the stalemate prevailed.

Għarb Rangers registered their first win of the season following a 5-4 win over Munxar Falcons.

The protagonist for Għarb was striker Andrew Ofulue Chukwuwinke who scored four goals, including the winner. The other goal for the Rangers came from Carlos Cutajar.

The scorers for Munxar were Luke Meilak, Vitor Gabriel Soarez Souza, Samwel Muscat and Neil Mifsud.

Żebbuġ Rovers obtained a 1-0 win over St Lawrence Spurs so that the latter remain the only team without a point from the first four matches.

The decisive goal arrived on 31 minutes through Harry Paulin.

In stoppage time, Żebbug Rovers had Pierre Paul Camilleri sent off after receiving a second yellow card by the match official.

NEXT FIXTURES

SATURDAY– Kerċem Stadium

Challenge Cup
Għarb vs St Lawrence 13.00
Sannat Lions vs Żebbuġ 15.15
Munxar vs Victoria H. 17.30

SUNDAY– Gozo Stadium

GFA Division One
SK Victoria W. vs Qala S. 13.00
Kerċem Ajax vs Nadur 15.00

MONDAY – Gozo Stadium

GFA Division One
Oratory Y. vs Xewkija T. 19.00

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