Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Żejtun regain top spot as promotion race intensifies
Mar 11, 2020
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General
BOV Challenge League
PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt
PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt

  • PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt
  • PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt

Żejtun Corinthians have regained top spot in the BOV Premier League following a deserved 3-1 win over relegation battlers Mqabba last Friday. 


Neil Tabone put Żejtun Corinthians 1-0 up just after the half-hour mark but defender Neil Micallef equalised for Mqabba just before the break. Żejtun restored their lead thanks to prolific striker Joseph Ogunnupe who concluded the first attack of the second half.

 

Żejtun striker Adrian Carabott was shown the red card on 78 minutes but Brazilian substitute Roberio do Nascimento added a third in the 86th minute to seal the Corinthians’ win which moved them two points clear of Lija.

 

Fgura United inflicted an unexpected defeat on Lija Athletic on Sunday morning, beating the high-fliers 3-1 with the last two goals coming in the dying minutes. Giovanni Galea put Fgura 1-0 up after converting a 15th-minute penalty. Erjon Beu equalised for Lija close to the half-hour mark, his 25th league goal of the season.

 

Despite creating a number of scoring opportunities, Lija could not add another goal. They suffered a setback when young Ismael Borg received his second yellow card on 69 minutes. When the match looked set to finish 1-1, Fgura produced a late rally, obtaining three points thanks to goals from substitutes Guga Ferreira (90) and Sergio Hili (94).

 

QRENDI BOOST

 

On Sunday afternoon, Qrendi obtained a 4-1 win over Naxxar Lions, a match between the numbers three and four in the standings. Qrendi took the lead on 19 minutes when Calvin Camilleri sent Jonatan Silva through during a fast attack, with the Brazilian beating Naxxar goalkeeper Omar Borg with a low drive.

 

Qrendi doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time, thanks to a header by centre-back Steven Schembri. In the 74th minute, a free-kick by Leejoe Schembri was beaten away by Borg but Jonatan Silva buried the ball home from the rebound.

 

Moments later, Naxxar’s Steven Meilak received a straight red card for dissent. There were two more goals in the dying minutes of the game. Substitute Abubakar Bello Osagie rounded off an attack by Naxxar in the 90th minute, beating Zarb from close range. Qrendi substitute Alexander Nilsson netted the fourth goal for his side deep into added time.

 

Pembroke Athleta beat Swieqi United on Friday night with the derby being decided thanks to a solitary goal scored by Kyle Frendo five minutes after the break. A much-needed win for Pembroke, who remain in contention for one of the promotion slots. They are one point ahead of sixth-placed neighbours St Andrews who edged past Pietà Hotspurs 1-0 on Saturday.

 

The all-important goal was scored by Degran Jackson on 24 minutes.

 

DERBY JOY FOR ŻEBBUĠ AND VITTORIOSA

 

The 52nd derby between Żebbuġ Rangers and Qormi went the former’s way by the odd goal in three. The match sprang into life in the second half when Nick Borg converted a 73rd minute penalty for Qormi. However, Żebbuġ managed to turn the match around thanks to a strike by Lawrence Chiedozie on 76 minutes and a 90th-minute penalty by substitute Saturday Nanapere. 

 

Vittoriosa Stars saw off neighbours St George’s 3-1 in this basement clash, an important three points for the team of Ivan Zammit in their bid to avoid relegation. On 17 minutes, Vittoriosa took the lead thanks to Renan Sgaria Farias who scored from close range.

 

Just before the hour mark, Vittoriosa doubled their lead thanks to another goal by Sgaria Farias whose low shot had the better of the St George’s custodian. Five minutes later, Oscar Guerrero added a third for the Stars after clever work by Tabone.

 

With six minutes remaining, St George’s scored a consolation goal thanks to Aaron Hili who headed home from Jurgen Grech’s free-kick from the right. It was however too little too late for the Pioneers, who remain bottom on 16 points, level with Mqabba.

 

CURRENT STANDINGS
Żejtun Corinthians 38 points; Lija Athletia 36; Qrendi 35; Naxxar Lions 31; Pembroke Athleta 30; St Andrews 29; Żebbuġ Rangers 27; Pietà Hotspurs 24; Fgura United 22; Swieqi United, Qormi 21; Vittoriosa Stars 19; St George’s, Mqabba 16.

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