Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Perfect start for Fgura United and Swieqi United
Oct 7, 2020
Posted in:
General
BOV Challenge League
PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt
PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt

  • PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt
  • PHOTOS: Stephen Gatt

After their disappointing start against Vittoriosa on match day 1 (0-1), promotion favourites Marsa grabbed their first victory of the season, easily disposing of the other Cottonera side St. George’s 3-1 in a one-sided affair.

 

Marsa had already scored twice inside the first eight minutes with goals from Teixeira Maia and Lydon Micallef both from corner actions. Rather surprisingly St. George’s, who lost their opening fixture against Swieqi (1-2), pulled one back on 33 minutes with a great header from Dylan Caruana, but Marsa immediately re-established their two-goal cushion with a well taken shot from Coelho Confettura. Marsa continued to dictate in the second half and the Saints were reduced to ten twenty minutes from time when their goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi was sent off when he stopped the ball with his hands outside the area.


Fgura beat St Andrews 3-0 last week and made it two wins out of two, overcoming Zebbug Rangers thanks to a goal in added time.

 

In the very first Zebbug attack after two minutes, Fgura’s Noah Ojuola cleared the ball from the goal line after a John Micallef header. Just after the half hour mark, Donys Quintero’s attempt for Fgura from close-in missed target after a free-kick by Thomas Grech. Close to the hour, Fgura appealed for a penalty after a shot by Giovanni Galea appeared to bounce off the arm of Micallef but the referee waved to play on.

 

Three minutes later, an attempt by Jonatan Silva on the other saved was saved by Brandon Bartolo and the same Bartolo turned an angled Chris Vella shot from just outside the box into a corner. Zebbug, who lost their opening game 2-1 against Mqabba, kept on dictating and Stanimir Miloskovic had another attempt on 70 minutes but without the desired outcome. One minute into added time, Luka Mijic’s header was cleared from the goalline by Charlles Gandini.

 

Deep into added time, Fgura scored the all-important goal. A cross by Quintero from the left created havoc in the Zebbug defence, with Travis Bartolo clearing initially an attempt by Jean-Paul Attard. The ball fell into the path of substitute Ryan Zammit who drove the ball home.

 
Qormi, after losing 2-0 to Naxxar on match day one, registered their first win of the season beating Pieta by the odd goal in five in a highly entertaining game. Pieta, who also lost their opening fixture (0-1 against Pembroke), had more open chances in the first half with Ze Lucas missing a couple of sitters, but Qormi were sharper in front of goal with debutant Daniel Perassolli showing class all the way.
 
The Brazilian opened the score with a majestic freekick on nine minutes but two minutes later James Scicluna levelled matters, and just before the break Luke Farrugia restored Qormi’s lead with a great shot from the edge of the area. On the hour substitute Sheldon Pisani made it 2-2 for Pieta but in the space of two minutes Ishaya Jalo received a double booking and was sent off. Qormi immediately took advantage with Perassolli scoring a beauty for Qormi’s winner. Pity for the Brazilian that he received a second yellow card in stoppage time.
 
Qrendi deservedly beat St Andrews, who’s late rally was not enough to win a point from this match. The team of Daniel Agius did most of the running in the first half and on 29 minutes, a 20-meters distance shot of Leejoe Schembri, destined for top corner, just missed target. In the 34th minute,
 
Qrendi took the lead thanks to Sebastian Perdomo, who drilled the ball behind Duncan Formosa at the second post after some good work of Calvin Camilleri on the left flank.
 
 
On the stroke of half-time, Qrendi goalkeeper Dunstan Zarb blocked an attempt of Miguel D’Alessandro in style, St Andrew’s only real opportunity before the break. In the very first serious attack after the break, Emerson Vella was fouled in the box by Miguel D’Alessandro, with the referee pointing at the spot. Alexander Nilsson made no mistake to give his team a two-goal cushion lead. 
 
 
On 55 minutes, Nicholas Bradshaw hit the crossbar with a powerful shot from the edge of the box. On the other side, Leejoe Schembri’s shot on 67 minutes was turned into a corner by Formosa. St Andrews pulled one back with seven minutes left on the clock and two minutes later a Fenandes bombshell from the edge of the box was saved by Zarb. 
 
Swieqi maintained their 100 percent record beating Naxxar in a spectacular match 4-1 with all five goals scored in the second half. Salis Ibrahim was Swieqi’s hero, scoring three goals in the process (51st, 82nd and 84th minute) and also missing another great opportunity from the penalty spot.
 
 
Joel Ellul temporarily levelled matters close to the hour thanks to a splendid free-kick. Frank Temile scored Swieqi’s fourth on the stroke of full-time. Apart from the five goals scored, the second half also produced three penalties, with only one scored, and three red cards.
 
Swieqi’s Daybe Borg was the first one to get dismissed on 57 minutes and four minutes later, Naxxar defender Farid Zuniga collected his second yellow of the match. Naxxar finished the match with nine players as Bradley Schembri saw red deep into added time.
 
 
Marsaxlokk made their Challenge League debut obtaining a deserved 1-1 draw against Pembroke. Marsaxlokk were superior in the first half with Pembroke custodian Schranz making a string of excellent saves to keep his opponents at bay.
 
 
Ironically, Pembroke broke the deadlock early in the second half with an Abdul Abdeen header, taking control of the match. Marsaxlokk however did fight back and obtained a deserved equaliser when ex veteran striker Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, who had just come in as a substitute, won a penalty, and from the spot Juninho Cabral made no mistake.
 
 
San Gwann, who beat Qrendi by the odd goal in five in their opening fixture, and Vittoriosa Stars shared the spoils with a one all draw.  The team of Jean-Paul Desira started well and Andrea Zammit hit the post in the 18th min after being sent through by Uchenna Umeh. However, in the 34th minute, San Gwann were reduced to ten men when Glen Pace committed a bad foul on Renan Bigode just outside his own penalty box. 
 
 
But eight minutes after this incident, San Gwann took a deserved lead thanks to a wonderful free-kick by Zammit, to send his team with a 1-0 advantage into the dressing rooms.  In the very first San Gwann attack after the break, Chibueze Attah could have done better but his attempt was neutralised by Vittoriosa goalkeeper Ryan Caruana. As expected, Vittoriosa dictated play in the second half but, initially, without creating any clear goalscoring chances. 
 
However, in the 65th minute, a Gianluca Sultana free-kick was headed in by Renan Bigode, leaving San Gwann goalkeeper Cain Formosa without a chance. Barely a minute later, a Quincy Bregman attempt from close range just missed target.
 
 
On 81 minutes, Luca Mallia did well to help his defence with a goal line clearance after another Vittoriosa goal attempt. On the stroke of full-time, San Gwann captain Christian Gauci’s header from a corner kick action was cleared of the line by Kurt Pace and a minute later, Caruana saved well on another attempt of the lively Zammit.

 
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