Malta Football Association
San Ġwann new leaders, impressive win for Qrendi
Nov 6, 2020
Posted in:
BOV Challenge League
(c) Stephen Gatt
(c) Stephen Gatt

  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt
  • (c) Stephen Gatt

San Ġwann, promoted earlier this year from the 2nd Division, beat neighbours Swieqi United in a top of the table clash in the BOV Challenge League last weekend. Qrendi registered an impressive win over Fgura United, Żebbuġ Rangers and St Andrews both booked important wins while Marsa and Marsaxlokk were back in action as well.

St George’s 0 Marsaxlokk 0
The pioneers finally got off mark with their first point of the Championship, keeping a stronger Marsaxlokk at bay in a goalless draw. The first half clearly belonged to Marsaxlokk who made their attacking intentions clear from the start. However, the St George’s rear-guard gave little away throughout the match. Three minutes before the break, play had to be stopped for about five minutes as Marsaxlokk goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone collided with a defender with both players needing treatment. St George’s started the second half strongly with some good shots on target with Marsaxlokk slowly taking over the initiative again later on in the match. Neither team broke the deadlock however, much to the delight of the St George’s clan.

Vittoriosa Stars 1 Mqabba 1
Two goals in the second half settled this affair with Mqabba gaining their third successive draw. Vittoriosa enjoyed the lions share in the first half but Mqabba were the most dangerous with the Vittoriosa goalkeeper saving a point-blank header from Falzon, and with a Ryan Cutajar scorcher smashing against the crossbar. On the resumption the match was more balanced but Vittoriosa took the lead on 56 minutes with a Renan Bigode close range header. Mqabba’s reaction was immediate and effective with Johan Castano scoring a gem of a goal from well outside the area.

San Ġwann 1 Swieqi United 0
A goal by Owen Spiteri early in the second half gave San Ġwann three precious points against Swieqi United in a tense match. For Swieqi this was the second successive setback after their derby defeat against Pembroke in their last outing, as San Ġwann remain unbeaten. In the first half Swieqi had the better ideas even going close with a Marko Ivanovic header finishing against the crossbar. In the second half San Ġwann were a transformed lot and played the better football. They scored the winner on 65 minutes through Owen Spiteri and took command of the game with Swieqi only trying a comeback late in the game.

Żebbuġ Rangers 2 Pieta’ Hotspurs 0
Fausto Craighero’s Żebbuġ Rangers won their third consecutive match in the NCL, a hard-earned victory over Pieta Hotspurs. Young Jamie Carbone justified his place in the starting line-up by opening the score in the eight minute and in the 25th minute, Luka Gatt doubled the score for Żebbuġ. Pieta tried hard to get back into the match but Żebbuġ’s four men defence were outstanding. Deep into added time, Pieta's Jamie Scerri, who entered as a substitute a few minutes before, was shown a red card for dangerous play on Żebbuġ goalkeeper Matthew Grech.

Qrendi 4 Fgura United 1
Qrendi registered an impressive victory over the still unbeaten Fgura United after a fine display of attacking football. Qrendi immediately stormed forward with the polished Calvin Camilleri scoring a beauty after only four minutes, and Fgura defender Jake Stensen clearing off the goal line a certain goal minutes later. At the start of the second half Nilsson doubled the score after a fine solo run powering his way inside the area. Qrendi relaxed a bit and Fgura staged a good recovery pulling one back on the hour through a Nanapere penalty. This was the best patch of the game with Fgura in search of the equaliser, but their hopes faded four minutes from time when Qrendi sealed the issue with a Leejoe Schembri penalty. Deep in stoppage time substitute Michael Gatt finished off in style a breath-taking counter break.

St Andrews 1 Qormi 0
Plenty of young homegrown talent on the pitch in this encounter, especially on the side of St Andrews, led by veterans Joe Farrugia and Matthew Bartolo. The team of Brian Said started well and in the eight minute, Degran Jackson’s opportunistic header hit the post. Qormi’s Luke Farrugia had a wonderful opportunity to put his team ahead in the 25th minute but his effort sailed over the crossbar. Just after the half hour mark, a Jackson attempt was turned into a corner by Qormi goalkeeper Jonathan Vella. In the 38th minute, Jamie Sixsmith was fouled in the box and Farrugia made no mistake from the spot to put St Andrews 1-0 up. Close to the hour, a Danilo Perassolli free-kick hit the post for Qormi. On 78 minutes, an Isaac Mizzi header sailed inches over the crossbar after a corner action. A Malcolm Vella-Vidal scorcher on 80 minutes was stylishly turned into a corner by Vella and lanky substitute Jed Valletta could have added a second for St Andrews deep into added time but his lob missed target.

Pieta’ Hotspurs 4 Marsa 1
Ivan Zammit’s Marsa returned to action on Wednesday night but were soundly beaten by Pieta in an entertaining clash. It all started well for Marsa as they took the lead on eight minutes thanks to a Lydon Micallef header. It did not take Pieta’ long to equalise when Ze Lucas was fouled in box by Marsa goalkeeper Keith Brincat. Ze Lucas took the spot kick himself and sent the Marsa goalkeeper the wrong way. Ten minutes later Pieta’ took the lead via a fast counter attack with James Scicluna brilliantly outpacing his direct marker and beating Brincat from a difficult corner. On 34 minutes, Paolo Henrique was inches away of tapping in the equaliser after a cross from Coelho. Three minutes later, Coelho’s scorcher just missed target with Pieta goalkeeper Miguel Chectuti turning his effort into a corner.  On the stroke of half-time, Brincat misjudged a direct free-kick by Neil Pace Cocks, who sent his team with a 3-1 advantage in the break. Marsa tried desperately to get back into the match but the Pieta’ rear-guard stood firm.  On 70 minutes it was game over when Scicluna sent Diego Segura away on the left flank, scoring goal number four for Pieta’.

Marsaxlokk 3 Fgura United 1
Marsaxlokk deservedly beat Fgura yesterday night and took an early lead thanks to a header by Juninho Cabral in the 11th minute from a corner action. The team of Edgar Degabriele remained the most dominant team throughout the first half, but without creating any worth mentioning goalscoring opportunities. Fgura saw more of the ball in the second half, with Donys Quintero’s 20-meters shot on 58 minutes sailing inches over the crossbar. Fgura goalkeeper Brandon Bartolo performed a good save on Juninho’s close range effort ten minutes after. In the 70th minute, Marsaxlokk doubled the score thanks to another Juninho goal after some good work from Russel Fenech on the left wing. Two minutes later, Fenech scored with a low shot from the edge of the box to put the result beyond doubt. Four minutes from time, Gilbert Martin scored a consolation goal for Fgura, a fine strike with the ball finishing top corner.  

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