The Malta Independent 20 January 2020, Monday

BOV Div. I: Swieqi claim points with last gasp goal; late equaliser gives Saints a precious point

Chris Cassar Friday, 13 December 2019, 19:06 Last update: about 2 months ago

Swieqi U-Fgura U          3-2

Swieqi U: C.Abdilla, K.Muscat, S.Bugeja, M.Ivanovic, K.Sultana, M.Farrugia, A.Schembri Wismayer, S.Gatt Baldacchino (D.Zampa 53), R.Taliana, F.Fernandes (B.de Albuquerque 85), I.Salis (T.Ayorinde 63)

Fgura U: L.Moore, P.Chircop, J.R.Vella, C.Gandini, J.Cassar, S.Abela (M.Vella 86), S.Borg, C.Toncheff, G.Martin (G.Galea 16), D.Cartella, S.Hili.

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Referee: Slobodan Petrovic

Swieqi United beat Fgura United by the odd goal in five on Friday afternoon during a match hampered by torrential rains, which influenced the game especially in the second half. The winning goal for Rodney Bugeja's side arrived in added time, a hard result to accept for Fgura, who indeed showed their best football during the second half.

Swieqi took the lead in the 16th minute. Ibrahim Salis profited from a Fgura hesitation in defence, crossing to Roderick Taliana, who scored from close range. In the 33rd minute, Swieqi doubled the score. The Fgura defence failed to clear the ball after a corner and it was Shaun Bugeja who was alert, placing the ball behind Moore with a hard shot. In the 42nd minute, Fgura were awarded a penalty when Swieqi goalkeeper Craig Abdilla fouled Galea in the box. Philip Chircop made no mistake from the spot.

Fgura did most of the running in the second half and got their deserved equaliser 73 minutes. It was a picture goal with Dennis Cartella was sent through on the right flank, passing to the unmarked Sergio Hili, who released a thunderbolt from the edge of the box. The ball hit the crossbar and passed the goal line on advice of the assistant referee

When the match seemed to end in a draw, Swieqi scored the winner in added time, thanks to a header by centre-back Marko Ivanovic, who nodded in a free-kick by Taliana behind Moore.

 

Naxxar L-St.Georges     1-1

Naxxar L: O.Borg, A.Azzopardi (J.Ellul 54), B.Essel, M.Fenech, R.G.Cassar, S.Meilak (R.Mercieca 80), J.Debono, M.Mifsud (J.Sciberras 73), D.Falzon, E.Farias, Gilberto Carrara.

St George's: J.Azzopardi, A.Gili, C.Park (T.Hiruma 85), A.Hili, R.Villada (M.Uritani 85), J.Grech, C.Cassar, G.D'Amato, L.Bonett, S.Perdomo, D.Caruana.

Referee: Daniel Casha (replaced during half time by Edward Spiteri)

Naxxar and St George's shared the spoils in a drab affair at the Victor Tedesco. St George's came to win a point and where, in the end, the most satisfied, with Naxxar doing most of the running in the second half. With Josef Dalli and Adolphus Marshall suspended and Lomar Cutajar injured, St Georges coaches Keith Darmanin and Sean Galea faced problems in defence. They gave 19-year-old left-back Andy Gili his senior debut in Maltese football.

Five minutes after the break, Benjamin Essel's angled shot from close range just missed the target. A Farias shot from the edge of the box sailed inches over the crossbar on 66 minutes. Four minutes later, Mark Fenech was close opening the score, but his long-distance shot sailed wide. Steven Meilak wasted another opportunity in the 76th minute, and his close-range shot also ended wide. Their attempts were finally rewarded in the 79th minute. St George's custodian Azzopardi could not manage to control a bombshell by Falzon, and it Farias was the fasted to kick Naxxar in front. Leeroy Bonett had a good chance for St George's with only the goalkeeper to beat but his attempt sailed over the crossbar from close range. With one minute left to play, St George's equalised. Japanese substitute Takumi Hiruma blasted an angled shot past Omar Borg after a corner action, a welcome point for the Saints.

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