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Kerċem Ajax stun GFA Division One leaders Qala Saints

Henrique Wilker, of Xagħra, controls the ball ahead of Luis Gabriel. PHOTO: Anthony Cassar

Kerċem Ajax eased their relegation worries when they stunned league leaders Qala Saints 2-1 last weekend.

This was Kerċem’s second win in the championship and completed a double of victories over Qala this season as the Ajax beat the Saints in the corresponding first-round fixture.

Qala, who had Lucas Matheus Da Silva missing due to a suspension, did not manage to convert their initial territorial supremacy in scoring opportunities as Kerċem were well deployed in their defence. 

Kerċem were the more clinical side and managed to race into a two-goal lead inside the first 53 minutes through a brace from Pablo Vinicius.

The Maroons increased their efforts during the last part of the encounter and pulled a goal back on 81 minutes through Lucas Baretto.

Qala could have scored an equaliser minutes later but long-range shot from Manwel Xerri hit the crossbar as Kerċem held on for the win.

After the final whistle there were some arguments between some players and Kerċem’s Karl Formosa and Qala’s Manwel Xerri were both shown a red card.

Xagħra United and Oratory Youths earned a point each in a goalless draw, a result that didn’t satisfy either side as they remained in the relegation zone.

Oratory twice came close to take the lead with efforts from Rocha Mendes and Almeida Lopes that came off the woodwork.

But Xagħra had the best chance to win it when on 71 minutes they were awarded a penalty but Henrique Da Silva’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Angelo Brignoli. 

There were more woes for Xagħra as four minutes from time they had Michael Bezzina sent off for a second bookable offence.

Munxar Falcons continue to upset the odds in the GFA Division Two as they opened a three-point lead at the top of the standings over Victoria Hotspurs and Sannat Lions.

Victoria Hotspurs drop points

The Hotspurs and Sannat Lions had kickstarted the second round of the championship when they cancelled each other in a goalless draw.

Sannat goalkeeper Kyle Attard stood out with a string of fine saves that denied the Hotspurs forwards.

The Hotspurs however failed to live up to their expectations as in their next outing they were beaten by Munxar 4-1.

Munxar adopted a prudent approach and were lethal with their quick counter-attacks. 

Munxar opened a two goal lead through Vitor Gabriel Soarez Souza (7) and Neil Mifsud (39).

The Hotspurs could have pulled a goal back but Joseph George Vella saw his effort from the penalty spot saved by Munxar goalkeeper Joel Micallef.

Victoria did re-open their match on 84 minutes through a header by Wellington. After this goal, there were some skirmishes and Victoria’s Oliver Cremona and Munxar’s Eman Bugeja were sent off after clashing in an off-the-ball incident.

Munxar went on to seal the points when scoring twice in stoppage time through Nathaniel Mercieca and Vitor Gabriel Soarez Souza.

Sannat Lions came from behind to register a 4-1 win over Żebbuġ Rovers. 

The Rovers opened the score through Stefan Farrugia (16) but Sannat turned the result in their favour before the break through a brace by Boubacar Kanta (20, 28).

Sannat held command of play after the break and wrapped the win with goals from Eric Gauci (71) and Boubacar Kanta (75).

Gharb Rangers registered their first win in the campaign with a 2-1 win over St Lawrence Spurs so that the latter remain without a point after five matches.

The match was well-contested, and the three goals arrived during the dying moments of the match. 

The Spurs took the lead with a goal scored by Victor John Saliba (78) but Għarb turned the match in their favour with goals from Tristan Axiak (80) and Andrew Ofulue Chukwuwunke (84).

NEXT FIXTURES

SATURDAY – GOZO STADIUM

GFA Division One

Għajnsielem vs SK Victoria    13.00

Nadur Y. vs Xewkija   15.00

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