Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Żejtun overcome St Andrews to retain three-point lead
Feb 11, 2020
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General
BOV Challenge League
PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt
PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt

  • PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt
  • PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt

BOV First Division League leaders Żejtun Corinthians maintained their three-point lead at the top after beating fellow promotion contenders St Andrews 3-2. 


It was a highly entertaining match with St Andrews taking the lead in the 15th-minute thanks to a Miguel D’Alessandro goal. Captain Neil Tabone levelled matters for Żejtun just after the half-hour mark with Joseph Ogunuppe putting the Corinthians in front in the 39th minute. The same Ogunuppe added his second of the afternoon on 72 minutes but three minutes later, young substitute Mattia Veselji pulled one back for the Saints who are now fourth in the table, level with Naxxar Lions on 25 points.
 

On Friday night, Lija Athletic hit back from a goal down to beat Mqabba 4-2. Lija suffered an early setback as John Micallef put Mqabba ahead, scoring from a goalmouth melee as early as the fourth minute. It took Lija some time to recover but one minute before half-time, Russell Fenech netted the equaliser. Three minutes after the break, Mqabba regained the lead thanks to a Dylan Micallef goal.

 

Their lead lasted only two minutes as Botswana international Kabelo Seakanyeng made it 2-2. The same player put Lija in front six minutes later and on the hour, Clifford Gauci, playing his 100th match in the First Division, put the result beyond doubt with a fourth goal for Lija.
 

Qrendi collected three important points in their bid for promotion, beating strugglers St George’s 4-1. The team led by Renzo Kerr-Cumbo secured their win in the second half after a fairly balanced opening half.

 

All goals arrived after the break. In the 47th minute, Qrendi were awarded a penalty and Alexander Nilsson made no mistake from the spot. Qrendi scored their second in the 68th minute thanks to a Dasser Sammut goal. In the 73rd minute, St George’s suffered a blow as Mattia Mentosa sustained a hamstring injury with his team having already effected three substitutions.

 

Four minutes later, Qrendi sealed the outcome of the match, thanks to an opportunistic goal by Brazilian substitute Jonatan Silveira. With four minutes on the clock, St George’s scored a consolation goals thanks to a fine free-kick by Dylan Caruana. In the 89th minute, however, Qrendi restored their three-goal load thanks to Lee Joe Schembri.

 

LIONS STAY IN PROMOTION RACE

Naxxar Lions beat a low-key Pietà Hotspurs side 4-0 on Sunday. It was already 3-0 at half-time with two goals by Nigerian debutant Abubaker Bello-Osagie on 32 and 37 minutes. One minute before the half-time whistle, Edson Farias added goal number three for Naxxar, heading home a Darren Falzon free-kick. There was little action in the second half with Naxxar adding a fourth goal thanks to a Falzon penalty.
 

The relegation battle is a very interesting one this season, with practically eight teams involved. Vittoriosa Stars were the only one of these eight to gain maximum points last weekend. The team led by Ivan Zammit beat an in-form Pembroke Athleta team who had not lost in the league since November. Pembroke took the lead thanks to the 10 league goal of veteran Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza in the sixth minute. Just after the hour, Luca Casha equalised with the same player scoring a dramatic winner deep into added time.
 

Last Friday, Swieqi United and Żebbuġ Rangers shared the spoils in a 1-1 stalemate. Kyle Muscat opened the scoring for Swieqi on 13 minutes, with Nigerian striker Lawrence Chiedozie scoring the equaliser in the 42nd minute. Two minutes later, Swieqi were reduced to 10 men as Felipe Fernandes was shown a direct red card. However, Żebbug could not take advantage of their numerical advantage in the second half.

 

Qormi and Fgura United, another two teams with relegation issues, played out an interesting match on Sunday at the Centenary Stadium. Fgura took a two-goal lead at half-time, thanks to a penalty by Alejandro Toncheff just before the half-hour and a Gustavo Ferreira strike one minute before the break.

 

Qormi managed to pull one back on 64 minutes courtesy of a Freud Gnindokponou goal and deep into added time, Serbian centre-back Ratko Mandic headed in the equaliser for Qormi.

 

CURRENT STANDINGS
Żejtun Corinthians 32 points; Lija Athletic 29; Qrendi 26; Naxxar Lions, St Andrews 25; Pembroke Athleta 23; Swieqi United, Pietà Hotspurs 19; Żebbuġ Rangers, Qormi 17; Vittoriosa Stars 15; St George’s, Mqabba 14; Fgura United 13.

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