Nadur edge past Victoria Wanderers
Qala Saints obtained a 1-0 win over Oratory Youths to ensure they ended the first round at the top of the GFA Division One standings.
For Qala, this was their fourth successive win and further consolidated the Saints’ ambitions that they are capable of challenging for the league title for a second successive season.
The Maroons started strongly and scored the all-important goal after five minutes of play.
Lucas Baretto Da Silva entered Oratory’s area and teed up Igor Nedeljkovic who hit first-time with the ball hitting the bar before ending into the back of the net.
Oratory’s reaction was sterile and they also failed to capitalise on the potential scoring opportunities.
Champions Nadur Youngsters obtained three precious points following a 1-0 win over SK Victoria Wanderers.
The Gozitan champions ended the first round just one point behind leaders Qala Saints.
This was the second successive win for Nadur who had to battle hard to take all three points against a spirited Wanderers side.
The Youngsters dominated the match for long spells but struggled to create their scoring opportunities into goals as the Rabat side defended well and had opportunities to score themselves.
In fact, both sets of goalkeepers distinguished themselves with some fine saves.
Nadur’s winner arrived on 75 minutes when Marcelo Barbosa fired home after a swift break.
Second-from-bottom Xagħra United continued to defy the odds when they stunned Xewkija Tigers 1-0.
Xagħra, who had surprised Nadur Youngsters in the previous match, have moved outside of the relegation zone.
On the other hand, Xewkija saw their title hopes receive another blow as they slipped four points behind the league leaders.
Xagħra dictated play for much of the match and netted the winner on 38 minutes when Leiner Garcia fired home with a low drive.
Għajnsielem moved away from the bottom spot when they came from behind to overcome Kerċem Ajax 2-1.
Kerċem Ajax, who are struggling for results this season, had the better start and took the lead on 11 minutes through a strike by Emmanuel Peters.
Kerċem suffered a blow on 37 minutes when they had Christian Attard sent off for a second bookable offence.
Għajnsielem soon hit back and levelled matters on 42 minutes through Bruno Da Cruz.
The match was evenly contested after the break with Għajnsielem grabbing the winner nine minutes from time through Luiz Henrique Santana Motta.
GFA Division Two
Victoria Hotspurs, Sannat Lions, and Munxar Falcons enjoyed a winning start in this season’s Division Two campaign.
Promotion favourites Victoria cruised past Żebbuġ Rovers 4-1. The Hotspurs opened the score on 34 minutes through Shaun Attard but the Rovers levelled matters five minutes later through Pierre Paul Camilleri.
However, the Hotspurs regained the lead on 45 minutes with a goal scored by Lorenzo Atzori before sealing their win with goals from Lucas Farrugia (59) and Wellington Valentim De Sousa (76).
Żebbuġ ended the match with ten men when Ryan Saliba was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Sannat Lions came from behind to beat St Lawrence Spurs 4-2. The Spurs were on top for the first hour as they surged ahead through Jurgen Portelli and had an Ayesller Carvalho penalty saved by the Sannat goalkeeper.
Sannat equalised on 43 minutes with a goal scored by Boubacar Kanta.
The Lions stepped up their game and went on to take the three points with goals from Paul Said (80, 84) and Boubacar Kanta (87).
St Lawrence Spurs pulled one back in the second minute of stoppage time from a penalty converted by Carvalho.
Munxar Falcons edged past Għarb Rangers 1-0 in a match that saw three players sent off.
Munxar’s all-important goal arrived on 42 minutes through Vitor Gabriel Soarez Souza.
Għarb ended with nine players as they had Milos Perisic (64) and Samuel Sillato (84) sent off.
On 84 minutes, the match was suspended for some minutes and here Munxar had Keith Borg shown a red card.
Friday – Kerċem
GFA Cup Preliminary Round
Xagħra vs Kerċem Ajax 19.00
GFA Cup Preliminary round
SK Victoria W. vs Għarb 12.45
Żebbuġ vs Munxar F. 15.00
Sunday – Kerċem
GFA Cup Preliminary round
Għajnsielem vs Xewkija T. 12.45
Sannat L. vs Victoria H. 15.00
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