Malta Football Association
Pembroke regain top spot, impressive win for San Ġwann
Jan 26, 2021
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BOV Challenge League

In week 17 of the BOV Challenge League, Pembroke beat Marsaxlokk while San Ġwann impressed with an emphatic win over Vittoriosa Stars, who showed great form recently. League leaders Marsa did not play as their match against St George's was postponed. 

Pembroke Athleta 1 Marsaxlokk 0

Pembroke returned to the top of the standings, as Marsa’s game against St George’s was postponed, when they beat Marsaxlokk 1-0 thanks to a Neil Frendo strike twelve minutes from time. Pembroke now enjoy a one-point lead over Marsa who however have a game in hand. It was not one of Pembroke’s best matches yesterday as they struggled to have the better of their opponents who put up a brave and well organised defensive match. The game never reached high standards as Pembroke were rarely dangerous. Pembroke’s best chance in the first half came on 28 minutes when an Abdul Abdeen grounder from an acute angle hit the base of the upright. On the resumption Pembroke continued to have more possession of the ball, but it had to be a great strike from Neil Frendo that gave them the point, as on 78 minutes he produced a spectacular overhead kick. which found the top corner of the net, a goal worth the three points. Five minutes from time Marsaxlokk were down to ten when captain Clive Brincat was sent off for dissent.


San Ġwann 4 Vittoriosa Stars 1

The January transfer window always brings in exciting new foreign players and San Ġwann certainly did well by obtaining the signatures of fast winger Sjaak Kuyper and Quadri Adediran, the latter scoring a brace against Vittoriosa Stars. On 29 minutes, Adediran put his side 1-0 up with a header from a corner and Luca Mallia doubled the score in the 41st minute. In added time of the first half, Renan Bigode reduced the gap for the Stars from the penalty spot. Adediran, at times unstoppable, scored his second goal of the match on 74 minutes and three minutes later, Uchenna Umeh sealed San Ġwann’s impressive victory, who gave Vittoriosa Stars simply no chance to get into the match. It was San Ġwann’s fourth win from four games this year and the team of coach Jean-Paul Desira surpassed Swieqi on the standings and are now in third spot.


Swieqi United 0 Naxxar Lions 2

Edson Farias scored a brace in the first 25 minutes of the match to give Naxxar a much-deserved victory over high flying Swieqi. For Swieqi this was a severe setback as frontrunners Marsa and Pembroke consolidated their positions. The Orange gave one of their poorest performances, but credit goes to Naxxar who dominated from the start never allowing their opponents to settle down. After fifteen minutes play, Naxxar were in front when Farias scored a good goal from well outside the area with Jean-Claude Debattista completely beaten. Swieqi never put a foot right and on 25 minutes the Lions made it two when Leejoe Schembri’s low drive from the right was met by Farias who drilled home from close range. Just before the break Debattista saved his side from further damage blocking a Javier Tenorio effort. In the second half, Swieqi had more of the ball as Naxxar elected to control the match, but Omar Borg in the Naxxar goal had a quiet afternoon. Naxxar who could have added another one on the hour when Farias was put through by Schembri, but again Debattista came to the rescue with another great save.


Qormi 0 Pieta’ Hotspurs 2

With Vittoriosa losing to San Ġwann, Pieta’ overtook the Birgu side in the ranking thanks to a hard-earned win over bottom side Qormi. The young team of experienced coach Borislav Gyorev did initially very well to keep the Hotspurs at bay, but two second half goals sealed the victory for Pieta. Qormi are forced to give their youngsters a chance this season and even introduced 15-year-old Jerome Bonnici in the second half, along with many other Qormi talents, some not even reaching 20 years of age. After a balanced first half, Diego Segura removed the deadlock on the hour, with Matthew Portelli doubling on 78 minutes, his first senior goal, to give the Blues a deserved victory. On the stroke of full-time, Qormi’s Rodney Caruana was sent-off with a straight red card for deliberately kicking an opponent. 


St Andrews 0 Qrendi 1

After three consecutive defeats, Qrendi obtained a most welcome win with the smallest of margins over fellow strugglers St Andrews, who need to start winning games quickly to avoid relegation to the Amateur League. The first shot on target resulted in a goal with Dasser Sammut scoring the all-important goal for his side on 14 minutes. Brian Said's team had a good reaction and missed the opportunity to equalize from a header by Ian Azzopardi just before the break. Qrendi received a setback when Alexander Nilsson was shown a second yellow card on 67 minutes, leaving his side with 10 men. In the remaining time left, St Andrews assaulted their opponents, but somehow could not put the ball in the net in, what would have been a much more deserved draw result. 


Żebbuġ Rangers 3 Fgura United 0

Żebbuġ Rangers grabbed three valuable points beating Fgura United in a direct relegation clash. Zebbug were worthy winners dominating the match from the start with Fgura never in the match. The game was decided by three headers for Zebbug with the second and third goal scored in the space of sixty seconds half way through the second half. The team of coach Fausto Craighero had a very good start going ahead on eight minutes when from an Ayrton Mizzi freekick from the right, the ball was headed home by central defender John Micallef, who was well positioned on the far post. On the resumption, with the strong wind behind their backs, Żebbuġ continued to dictate matters with Luka Mijic missing a sitter in front of goal. On seventy minutes from a well taken corner, Mizzi was first on the ball heading home, only his second senior goal in his career. Barely a minute later, the game was dead and buried when from a Chris Vella cross from the right, Mijic made amends when he headed home from close range.

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