Malta Football Association
Pembroke Athleta remain unbeaten in NCL
Dec 3, 2020
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(c) Stephen Gatt
(c) Stephen Gatt

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

Pembroke beat neighbours San Ġwann to remain on top of the table and the only unbeaten side in the BOV Challenge League. Swieqi made no mistake either, while the match of Marsa had to be abandoned last Saturday night due to a power outage. Naxxar and Pieta’ eased their troubles by winning their respective games. 

Pembroke Athleta 3 San Ġwann 1

Pembroke remained league leaders by winning the top of the table clash against San Ġwann. The team of young coach Thane Micallef are still the only unbeaten side in this competition and had a very good start, taking by storm their opponents in the first thirty minutes of the game. The Reds forged ahead on 12 minutes when Abdul Abdeen won a penalty after a tackle from Dion Fava. From the spot, Pedrinho made no mistake. Pembroke continued to dictate but on 35 minutes, San Ġwann drew level when Patar Kanzurov drove home following a corner action with the Pembroke defence failing to clear.  After this goal the game was more balanced with San Ġwann missing a sitter on 66 minutes with Owen Spiteri failing to score with an open goal at his mercy. They were made to pay for this as two minutes later an Etim corner was fumbled by goalkeeper Cain Formosa with the ball finishing at the back of the net. On 75 minutes Pembroke sealed the issue with a third goal scored by Abdeen after an impressive run.

Żebbuġ Rangers 1 Swieqi United 3
Swieqi ended Żebbuġ’s positive streak with a comfortable win, with Żebbuġ finishing the match with nine players. The Orange had a dream start going ahead after on 53 seconds when a deflected Ibrahim Salis shot finished at the back of the net. Żebbuġ tried to react and held the initiative for long stretches, but Swieqi were the most dangerous with Frank Temile and Salis hard to contain. Six minutes from the break Kyle Tanti pulled down Temile to receive his second yellow. On 43 minutes, Salis was floored inside the box by John Micallef, but from the penalty spot, Alan Schembri Wismayer failed to beat Grech with the same Schembri Wismayer blasting high the rebound. In the stoppage time of the first half there was another penalty for Swieqi when Jeremy Micallef was floored by goalkeeper Matthew Grech. The same Micallef took the kick with the ball smashing against the crossbar, but this time Salis was first on the rebound to head home. With ten men and two goals down Żebbuġ could not get back in the game and Swieqi scored a third on 58 minutes when Temile shot home from close range after Salis had hit the post twice in the same action. Ten minutes from time Żebbuġ were reduced to nine men as goalkeeper Grech received a second booking and deep in stoppage time Luka Mijic pulled one back for Żebbuġ.

St Andrews 0 Marsa 2 (abandoned)
This match was abandoned on 62 minutes as there was a power outage in the North of Malta. Lydon Micallef opened the score in the 19th minute and Dylan Grima doubled on 32 minutes. Two great goals, specially the last one was picture perfect with good combination football on the right flank between Leighton Grech and Josmar Galea. In the sixth minute after the break, Paolo Henrique nearly punished a defensive error by St Andrews but goalkeeper Nicholas Grima blocked his close-range effort. Just after the hour, Miguel D’Alessandro handled the ball into his own box with the referee ordering for a penalty. On the moment Jackson Lima took the penalty, all lights went off, which resulted that the match had to be abandoned. The MFA is currently looking for an appropriate date to play the last 28 minutes of this match.

Vittoriosa Stars 1 Qrendi 1
Vittoriosa Stars were dominant side in the first half and were very close to open the scoring in the second minute as Daniel Sowatey hit the crossbar with a header. The team of Ramon Zammit created a series of on target goal attempts but were denied to score by Qrendi's goalkeeper Dunstan Zarb. After the break, Vittoriosa continued to press and on the 55th minute Iro Curmi opened the score with an angled shot from the edge of the box. Qrendi, without the influential Alex Nilsson, injured, pushed more men forward and on the 83rd minute, Michael Gatt managed to get the equaliser for his team from a loose ball in the penalty area, to give his side a valuable point from this difficult match.

Pieta’ Hotspurs 1 Marsaxlokk 0
Pieta registered their second successive success beating Marsaxlokk by a late Diego Segura grounder, as Pieta returned to action after almost four weeks. The match failed to live up to expectation, much more was expected from both sides. Pieta were the better team in the first half, but shots at goal were nowhere to be seen. On the resumption Marsaxlokk held the upper hand with Peter Xuereb missing a great opportunity after even dribbling the opposing goalkeeper. On 73 minutes Marsaxlokk were reduced to ten men when defender Juan Morales received a second booking. On 84 minutes, Pieta grabbed the three points at stake when Segura scored a very good goal with a precise grounder from the edge of the area.

Naxxar Lions 2 Mqabba 0
Naxxar Lions defeated fellow struggling side Mqabba 2-0, thanks to two early goals scored inside the first eleven minutes of the game. This win lifts Naxxar over the same Mqabba in the lower part of the table. Both sides needed the points from this match and Naxxar went off to a flying start when Bradley Schembri scored a good goal with a low drive from just inside the area. Mqabba could not come to grips with the situation and on eleven minutes Naxxar were on velvet when Erikys da Silva scored from close with the Mqabba defence motion less. After these two early goals Naxxar controlled the game as Mqabba were very erratic and never put a foot right. In the second half Mqabba were more organised but they still lacked miserably in attack. A few days after the match, Mqabba coach Alfred Attard handed in his resignation.

St George’s 0 Fgura United 0
This was a low-profile match with neither team being able to create any danger in the box. After a quiet first half, St Georges were reduced to 10 men in the 50th minute when Bruno Bryan received a second yellow card. Fgura tried to take advantage of their numerical superiority but the St George’s defence held firm. Four minutes before the end of regular time, Fgura defender Charlles Gandini also received his marching orders. This was the sign for the Pioneers to push for the winner but the match ended goalless despite their late rally.

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