Amateur League title up for grabs ahead of Luqa-Melita clash

Published: 01-03-2021 17:40
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BOV AMATEUR LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFFS Mġarr United 1 Melita 1 The first match from the BOV Amateur League Championship Play-Offs, played last weekend, was between the winners of Group A, Mġarr United, and Melita, who won Group C unbeaten. As the score indicates, the game was a balanced affair which could have gone either way. Just before the half-hour mark, Mġarr United opened the scoring thanks to a spectacular free-kick taken by Gordon Saliba. Melita equalised close to the hour when substitute Tobias Terpougoff, left unmarked, headed past Mġarr goalkeeper Tyrone Gauci. Luqa St Andrews 3 Mġarr United 1In the second match of the BOV Amateur League Championship Play-Offs, played on Tuesday, Group B winners Luqa St Andrew’s came from behind to defeat Group A winners Mġarr United. This result means that Mġarr United are out of contention for the title but this has nevertheless been a successful season for them as they managed to win promotion to Malta’s second level for the first time since their foundation in 1967. It all started well for the Greens when Serbian powerhouse Lazar Doric broke the deadlock on 11 minutes after some good work by Jamie-Lee Micallef. However, Luqa then took control of the game and equalised on 65 minutes thanks to a penalty converted by Keith Vella. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Luqa were awarded another penalty and it was the same Vella who sent Gauci the wrong way. Young substitute Lucky Nwaogu added Luqa’s third two minutes into added time to give his team a two-point advantage on Melita ahead of the final play-off this Saturday with Luqa needing a draw to claim the championship while Melita require a win with the title issue still wide open. BOV AMATEUR LEAGUE PROMOTION PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINALS Rabat Ajax 2 Marsaskala 1 After beating Msida St Joseph in the quarter-finals, Rabat Ajax also managed to shake off the resistance of Marsaskala yesterday evening at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. The Magpies fought back from a goal down after an early opener by Marsaskala playmaker Joseph Chetcuti who beat Rabat goalkeeper Jean Matthias Vella after only three minutes. Just after the hour, Aidan Azzopardi managed to grab the equaliser for Rabat and just when it seemed that the match was headed for extra-time, veteran Adam Smeir scored the winner on 86 minutes which was coincidentally his 100th goal for Rabat Ajax. Rabat will now meet Kirkop United in the play-off final at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday with promotion to the BOV Challenge League at stake. Despite the defeat, Marsaskala, who had been unbeaten since mid-November, can be complemented on a very positive season. Attard 1 Kirkop United 2 AET Lincoln Micallef’s opportunistic left-footer in the second half of extra-time sent Kirkop United to the Play-Off final against Rabat Ajax, upsetting favourites Attard by the odd goal in three. Despite playing with 10 men for almost an hour, Jeffrey Mifsud’s side defied the odds and qualified for the final in what will be a historic occasion for the club. Matthew Borg, only 19, needs to be singled out in midfield as his work-rate was second to none, and at the back, Dylan Tanti had a great match. The first 30 minutes of the match clearly belonged to Kirkop United who had two clearcut scoring opportunities with a Kenneth Ekezie header after five minutes, and a Danny Claridge thunderbolt on 19 minutes. Five minutes later, Kirkop were awarded a penalty when Jamie Delia fouled Ekezie in the box and Tanti calmly converted from the spot. Attard saw more of the ball in the second half and on 63 minutes, Kirkop flank defender Lydin Camilleri was sent off after receiving his second yellow card. Six minutes later, Attard took advantage of their numerical superiority as it was Bledi Alla who scored a deserved equaliser from close range. Alla never stopped running and kept the Kirkop rearguard busy, creating chances on 79 and 85 minutes, while deep into added time, Nicholas Schembri missed a great chance for Attard which could have handed them victory. The winner arrived in the 111th minute thanks to Micallef as Kirkop sealed the win with practically their only shot at goal during the 30 minutes of extra time. QUARTER-FINAL RESULTSŻurrieq 1 Kirkop United 2Attard 1 Xgħajra Tornados 1 AET(Attard win 3-2 on penalties)Msida St Joseph 0 Rabat Ajax 1Marsaskala 2 Siġġiewi 1