Malta Football Association
NEWS:
Pembroke on top, Marsa, Swieqi and Qrendi follow
Dec 23, 2020
Posted in:
General
BOV Challenge League
(c) Jeffrick Cachia
(c) Jeffrick Cachia

  • (c) Jeffrick Cachia
  • (c) Jeffrick Cachia

Pembroke Athleta 1 Marsa 1

An exciting 1-1 settled the issue yesterday evening between the two top teams of the Challenge League. It was a tense encounter, an encounter that gave its best after the break with a rather cagey first half. Marsa had more possession of the ball in the first half, but Pembroke were well organised and the Redblues only came close on 26 minutes when a Dylan Grima shot just missed the upright by a whisker. In the second half both teams started to tire out, leaving more spaces for goal mouth actions. Lydon Micallef missed a good opportunity at the start of the second half, heading over the bar when well placed, and a Jackson Lima shot went over the bar. On 56 minutes Pembroke took the lead with a long ball towards Abdul Abdeen, who trapped the ball well rounded the goalkeeper and put the ball at the back of the net. Marsa coach Ivan Zammit made four substitutions at one go as Marsa pushed everything forward. Pembroke had to defend for long stretches but Marsa only had a glimpse of goal with long distance efforts from Lima. Fifteen minutes from time Marsa were rewarded when Jonathan Bondin headed home a Lima corner from the left, a ball which was deflected into his own net by substitute Adolphus Marshall. Pembroke, the only undefeated team in the NCL so far, are still top of the table with four points ahead on Marsa, who however have two matches in hand.


Pembroke Athleta 4 Żebbuġ Rangers 1
Last Saturday, Pembroke defeated Żebbuġ 4-1 to continue with their fine league run. Although the team of Thane Micallef deserved the victory for the chances created throughout the match, the score is rather harsh on Żebbuġ who in the second half staged a very good rally. The first half was dominated by Pembroke who managed to score two goals in the space of two minutes for a commanding lead. Pembroke opened the score on 23 minutes when Ogunnupe’s low cross was met by Abdul Abdeen who scored from close range. Two minutes later from a corner action Kyle Frendo headed home. The second half was a completely different game with Żebbuġ pulling one back two minutes into the second half through John Micallef. Żebbuġ now pushed forward and Pembroke lost their self-confidence, having some anxious moments in defence. However, Pembroke still managed to create some good scoring opportunities in their fast breaks, with Abdul Abdeen missing some easy chances. Fifteen minutes from time, substitute Pedrinho sealed the issue scoring a very good goal from the edge of the area. Deep in stoppage time another substitute, Kenneth Aquilina scored Pembroke’s fourth and final goal.


Marsa 1 Mqabba 0
An in-form Marsa team registered their seventh consecutive win by beating Mqabba 1-0 at the Centenary stadium last Saturday. Although Marsa had Leighton Grech sent off in the early stages, they fully deserved their victory as they were in total control of the game. It was Brazilian striker Patrick jean Texeira in the 32nd minute who sealed the three points from a direct free kick, beating a hapless Mqabba goalkeeper Jonathan Grech. Mqabba had centre back Neil Falzon sent off on 72 minutes for a second caution.

Swieqi United 3 Fgura United 1
Swieqi came from a goal down to beat a lively Fgura side 3-1, thanks to three goals by Nigerian striker Ibrahim Salis, who rose to the top of the Top Scorers list with 11 league goals. Fgura started the match well, creating a series of goal scoring chances and they opened the score in the 29th minute with a goal from Fgura's captain Gilbert Martin. Swieqi were forced to react and created a good chance in the 41st minute with a shot by Mirco Vella which was saved by Fgura goalkeeper Brandon Bartolo. The equaliser came in the 3rd minute of first half's added time from a brilliant long range freekick by the same Mirco Vella, with Salis touching the ball behind Bartolo. Swieqi then dominated the second half and scored twice in the opening 15 minutes with two more goals by Salis on 52 and 60 minutes. Swieqi go into the Christmas break at rank three in the standings.

Qormi 0 Qrendi 1
Qrendi, fourth in the table, kept their promotion chances alive with a hard-earned victory over bottom side Qormi 1-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium last Sunday. Daniel Bueno gave Qrendi the three points with a goal in the 51st minute. The first half was a balanced one with neither side creating any goal scoring opportunities. After Bueno’s goal, Qrendi eased the pressure, but were always in control of the game, with Borislav Gyorev’s side never giving the impression to give a treat to the Qrendi rear-guard.

San Ġwann 0 Marsaxlokk 0
Marsaxlokk and San Ġwann earned a point each in a balanced and keenly contested match, which however failed to reach high standards. The game was played under a heavy downpour which practically lasted till the whole 90 minutes. Marsaxlokk had some good scoring opportunities in the opening stages of the match, but the San Ġwann custodian made some very good saves. San Ġwann had some efforts from Andrea Zammit which slightly missed the target. The second half started with Uchenna Umeh going near for San Ġwann with his shot going inches wide and on seventy minutes, San Ġwann goalkeeper Cain Formosa made a brilliant save denying veteran Mifsud Triganza from close range. Fifteen minutes from time Marsaxlokk were down to ten when Christian Degabriele received a second yellow. However, in the remaining minutes Marsaxlokk even though with a man less, went out for the winner but the deadlock remained till the final whistle.

Naxxar Lions 5 St George’s 1
Naxxar Lions piled more misery on lowly St George’s winning easily 5-1, with Erikys da Silva netting a hat-trick. It was a one-way traffic affair in the first half with Naxxar building a three-goal lead. On the resumption however, the saints staged a good reaction, reducing the arrears and even going close to a second goal. Then in the dying minutes Naxxar scored two further goals to put the issue beyond doubt. The Pioneers were in dismal form at the start with Naxxar in full control. The Lions took the lead on ten minutes when Erikys da Silva scored his first goal direct from a freekick. Six minutes later Edson Farias scored a great goal with a shot on the turn from the edge of the area. Seven minutes from the break Erikys da Silva made it three with a fine header off a Steve Meilak cross. At the start of the second half St George’s looked a transformed side and Naxxar had to defend for long stretches. On 62 minutes, Bruno Bryan scored a good goal with a shot from the edge of the area, and two minutes later the Blues were unlucky when a Dylan Caruana shot hit the upright. Naxxar put their minds at rest with a fourth goal ten minutes from time with Erikys da Silva obtaining his hat-trick with a shot that hit the base of the upright before finishing at the back of the net. Deep in stoppage time Mark Fenech scored Naxxar’s fifth and final goal, resolving a melee in front of goal.

Pieta’ Hotspurs 2 Vittoriosa Stars 1
Pieta’ recorded a much-needed win over Vittoriosa Stars last Sunday at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, which somewhat eased their relegation worries. Early in the match, on 17 minutes, there was a hands ball incident in the Vittoriosa box, with the referee in charge pointing at the spot. James Scicluna made no mistake to put his team 1-0 up. However, just after the half hour mark, there was another penalty given, this time for Vittoriosa, with Ali Oularbi sending Pieta’ goalkeeper Miguel Chetcuti the wrong way. The Hotspurs regained the lead again on the 67 minute thanks to a towering header by Ze Lucas. Deep into added time, Vittoriosa were awarded another penalty but this time Oularbi failed to score, much to the relief of the Pieta’ clan.

Official Sponsors
Commercial Partners