Malta Football Association
Division One leaders Żejtun Corinthians held by Żebbuġ
Feb 5, 2020
Posted in:
BOV Challenge League

BOV First Division League leaders Żejtun Corinthians were unable to profit from the slip-ups of all the other promotion contenders last weekend. The Corinthians drew 1-1 against a well-organised Żebbug Rangers who took the lead on the stroke of half-time. Lawrence Chiedozie produced an excellent run on the right before crossing to the unmarked Saturday Nanapere who beat Żejtun goalkeeper Christian Cassar with an angled shot from just inside the box. 

In the 71st minute, Żejtun were awarded a penalty after a foul on captain Adrian Carabott in the box. Dylan Agius made no mistake from the spot.

Pembroke Athleta and Lija Athletic shared the spoils in an entertaining six-goal clash. Lija’s Erjon Beu scored a hat-trick in the second half, one from a penalty. Pembroke took the lead on 18 minutes thanks to a fine shot by Pedrinho from just outside the box. In the 33rd minute, Pembroke doubled their lead through Luka Mijic.


The second half belonged to Lija, Beu scored his first in the 49th minute with an angled shot. On 72 minutes, Lija were awarded a penalty when Aleksandar Vujovic felled Beu in the box. The Albanian striker stepped up for the kick, giving Schranz no chance. In the 81st minute, Lija took the lead thanks to a personal effort from Beu whose well-placed shot from the edge of the box beat Philip Schranz. However, two minutes from time, Neil Frendo headed the ball behind Bonnici from close range after a perfect cross from the right by Pedrinho.

For their part, St Andrews were held to a goalless draw by lowly Fgura United on Friday evening.



At the same time at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Vittoriosa Stars beat promotion hopefuls Qrendi 3-1. Halfway through the first half, Brazilian winger Renan Bigode put Vittoriosa 1-0 up and just after the break, centre-back Ousmane Sidibe doubled the lead.


Sebastian Perdomo pulled one back for Qrendi but on the stroke of full-time, a Gianluca Sultana penalty sealed the points for Vittoriosa – an important victory for the team led by Ivan Zammit in their battle against relegation. Qrendi defender Luca Martinelli was sent off in the penalty incident.

Besides Vittoriosa, Swieqi was the only other team who collected all three points last weekend, beating Naxxar Lions by the odd goal in five on Sunday.


Naxxar defender Benjamin Essel was red-carded in the very first serious attack of the match, with Alan Schembri-Wismayer putting Swieqi ahead from the resultant penalty. On the stroke of half-time, Tejumola Ayorinde doubled the score for Swieqi. In the 71st minute, Gilberto Carrara scored for Naxxar but four minutes later, Felipe Fernandes made it 3-1 for Swieqi, barely a minute after coming on as a substitute. 


A late Edson Farias penalty for Naxxar made Swieqi sweat for the remaining seven minutes but the Oranges held out for the win. Naxxar substitute Mead Mifsud was dismissed for a second yellow card deep into added time.

Saturday’s matches produced two identical 2-2 draws. Mqabba gained a point at the death against Pietà Hotspurs who, with eight minutes left to play, thought they were heading to victory as they led 2-0. The Hotspurs’ goals were scored early in the game thanks to James Scicluna on seven minutes and a Kilian Amehi penalty three minutes later.
Alexsandro dos Santos saved the day for Mqabba as he scored twice in the 82nd and 94th minutes. Brandon Grech, of Mqabba, was sent off for two bookings six minutes from time.


Qormi twice came back from behind against St George’s to share the spoils. Leeroy Bonett put the Pioneers 1-0 up on 14 minutes, with young Gilmour Sammut equalising for Qormi on the half-hour mark. Eight minutes later, Aaron Hili scored the second goal for St George’s, but new Qormi recruit Bradley Schembri converted a penalty five minutes from time to save a point for his new team.


Żejtun still lead the way on 29 points, three more than second-placed Lija and four ahead of St Andrews. The gap to the numbers four and five, Pembroke and Qrendi, is six points, while Naxxar follows on rank six with 22 points.


Pietà are seventh on 19 points, followed by Swieqi United on 18, neighbours Żebbuġ and Qormi on 16, Mqabba and St George’s on 14 and Vittoriosa and Fgura share bottom place on 12 points. 

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