The Malta Independent 20 January 2020, Monday

BOV Div. I: Pembroke burst Qrendi’s bubble, League leaders Lija suffer third defeat

Chris Cassar Saturday, 14 December 2019, 20:43 Last update: about 2 months ago

Qrendi-Pembroke A       1-4

Qrendi: D. Zarb (R. Marmara 46'), S. Schembri, G. Muscat, J. Silveira Da Silva, A. Agius, D. Azzopardi (A. Curmi 35'), E. Vella, L. Martinelli, A. Nilsson, L.J. Schembri, C. Camilleri (D. Santos Da Hora 46')

Pembroke A: P. Schranz, A. Vujovic, M. Zarb, J.P. Mifsud Triganza, G. Azzopardi, T. Fenech, L. Mijic (D. Isakovic 61'), A. Sultana, N. Frendo, J.P. Oliveira Santos, Y. Tonna (M. Brincat 78').

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Referee: Aleksander Jovanovic

Qrendi could have gone to the top of the standings with a win yesterday, but their hopes were dashed to the ground as an inspired Pembroke side easily had the better of them, winning convincingly 4-1.

Qrendi had a better start and went in search for an early goal, but Pembroke stood their ground, and after this difficult start grew in composure to take control of the game.

Pembroke were rather lucky in their opening goal on 27 minutes when Oliveira Santos' deflected shot completely deceived goalkeeper Zarb. After the break Qrendi made two changes, introducing goalkeeper Marmara and striker Da Hora in attack.

But Pembroke doubled the score on 55 minutes with a Mifsud Triganza great goal. Qrendi pulled one back on 66 minutes through a Nilsson penalty, but their joy was short-lived as sixty seconds later Mifsud Triganza re-established the two-goal cushion.

On 77 minutes Pembroke sealed off the issue with a fourth goal, another well taken goal this time by Mattia Zarb who lobbed in beautifully over goalkeeper Marmara.

 

Lija A-St.Andrew's    0-1

Lija A: L. Bonnici, C. Cassar, L. Muscat, D. Scerri, E. Beu, K. Seakanyeng, C. Giordemaina, A. Galea (G. Borg 60'), C. Gauci, J. Wells (H. Woods 60'), A. White

St.Andrew's: N. Grima, I. Azzopardi, M. D'Alessandro, M. Veselji (L.A. Borg 84'), N. Bradshaw, K. Reid, J. Farrugia, M. Bartolo, A. Borg Olivier, K. Jackson, W. Camilleri

Referee: Ezekiel Barbara

League leaders Lija suffered their third defeat of the season against St. Andrew's who thus returned to winning ways after their surprising defeat at the hands of Mqabba.

After a brilliant start to the season in which they convincingly won their opening six matches, league leaders Lija are now struggling and for the first time this season they can lose the first spot in the standings if Zejtun grab the points this afternoon.

Yesterday's match was a balanced affair, played in adverse weather conditions with the flight of the ball practically impossible to track.

The match was characterised by two penalty incidents inside the open twenty minutes. But league top scorer Erjon Beu, surely not at his best yesterday, shot weakly from the spot for Grima to easily block, and on the other end seven minutes later, Lija goalkeeper made a brilliant save to block Joseph Farrugia' s penalty.The winning goal came on 33 minutes when Veselji beat the offside trap and squared to Alan Borg Olivier who easily slotted home.

In the second half Lija pushed desperately forward in search of the equaliser, but the Saints were more dangerous with their breaks with Jackson and Reid hard to control.

In stoppage time St. Andrew's were reduced to ten men when defender Ian Azzopardi received a second booking.  

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