The Malta Independent 18 January 2020, Saturday

BOV Div. I: Ten-man Fgura prove a point; Lija consolidate second spot; Superior Mqabba claim derby

Chris Cassar Sunday, 12 January 2020, 20:11 Last update: about 5 days ago

Fgura U-Naxxar L    1-1

FGURA U: L. Moore, P. Chircop, J. Stenson, G. Martin (S. Abela 64'), D. Quintero (D. Cartella 72'), K. Gandini, J.R. Vella, S. Hili (J. Barbara 55'), S. Borg, A. Toncheff, G. Galea.

Naxxar L: O. Borg, J. Sciberras, M. Fenech, M. Mifsud (A. Azzopardi 70'), F. Edson Cerqueira, R.G. Cassar, J. Debono, J. Ellul (D. Falzon 61'), B. Essel, S. Meilak (J. Camilleri 90'), G. Martins Leite.


Referee: Slawomir Olucha

Scorers: Giovanni Galea 43' (F), Mead Mifsud 57' (N)

Bottom of the table side Fgura United earned a precious and deserved point in a 1-1 draw againt Naxxar. Fgura were rewarded for their determination even though playing for much of the second half with a men less.

For Naxxar this can be considered as a negative result as they lost precious points, with front runners Zejtun and Lija emerging victorious.

The game was balanced and rather quite in the first half with Fgura taking the lead on 43 minutes when Giovanni Galea finished from close range a Gilbert Martin pass

On the resumption Naxxar were more aggressive and on 52 minutes Fgura were down to ten when Philip Chircop received a second booking.

Naxxar did not take much to take advantage obtaining the equaliser three minutes later with a well taken goal by Mead Mifsud from the edge of the area. Ten minutes from time Fgura almost snatched the winner but Toncheff's shot was deflected by Borg against the crossbar.


Lija A-Qormi      4-2 

Lija Athletic: L.Bonnici, A.White, C.Giordimaina, L.Muscat, M.Clinch, C.Gauci, A.Galea (L.Pisani 72), J.Wells (H.Wood 79), R.Fenech, K.Seakanyeng, F.Temile (E.Beu 88).

Qormi: J.Azzopardi, A.Abela, A.Cassar, N.Ghio, I.Mizzi (D.D.Camilleri 46), M.Borg (G.Sammut 76), A.Bustos, C.Farrugia (L.Farrugia 46), N.Borg, T.Gusman, R.Silva Santos.

Referee: Philip Farrugia.

Lija Athletic consolidated their second spot in the rankings by shaking of the resistance of Qormi in an entertaining six-goal clash. The team of coach Joseph Galea took an early ninth minute lead. New recruit Frank Temile, on loan for the rest of the season of Sliema Wanderers, was fast to knock the ball past Jamie Azzopardi from close-in after a cross by Kabelo Seakanyeng. Barely two minutes later, Qormi drew level thanks to a penalty by Angel Bustos, their new signing from Sirens, who sent Luke Bonnici the wrong way.

On 26 minutes Temile was brought down in the box with the referee in charge awarding a penalty for Lija. Botswana international Seakanyeng made no mistake from the spot to put his team 2-1 up. On the half hour mark, it was already 3-1 with Seakanyeng rounding off another fluent Lija attack. Six minutes later, Qormi had a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit after being given another penalty, but this time Bonnici blocked Bustos' weak attempt from 11 meters distance. 

Just after the hour, Qormi made it 3-2 thanks to an opportunistic goal of Nick Ghio, who hit past Bonnici from close range after a Nick Borg free-kick. However, in the attack that followed, Temile profited from an error in the Qormi defence, restoring the deficit to two goals in favour of Lija.


Mqabba-Qrendi       2-1

Mqabba: F.Tabone, M.Caruana, J.Micallef. N.Micallef, K.Xuereb (G.Micallef 61), D.Micallef, B.Grech, Y.Omuro (N.Dia 87), A.Ferreira (C.Zahra 93), P.Chimezie, F.Zammit.

Qrendi: D.Zarb, S.Radovanovic (Jonathan Silva 54), D.Micallef, G.Muscat, S.Schembri, E.Vella, A.Agius, C.Camilleri, L.Schembri (D.Sammut 54), Dhonatan da Hora, A.Nilsson.

Referee: Ezekiel Barbara

Scorers: Alexsandro Ferreira 30’ (M), Paul Chimezie 35’ (M), Dylan Micallef 77’ (Q)

The derby between Mqabba and Qrendi was won by the former, a very welcome three points in their survival bid. However, the match never lived up to expectation, with most Qrendi players having an off day.

Alexsandro Ferreira opened the score for Mqabba on the half hour mark with a header which beat Dunstan Zarb in the Qrendi goal. Five minutes later, Mqabba added a second when after the Qrendi defence failed to clear the ball and Paul Chimezie beautifully lobbed the ball over Zarb, a wonderful finish.

The second half belonged to Qrendi, who pushed Mqabba into their defenceIn the 77th minute, Dylan Micallef reduced the deficit for Qrendi, beating Tabone from close range and on 89 minutes Qrendi’s Steve Schembri was involved in an off the ball incident and was sent-off by the referee. Deep into injury time, substitute Dasser Sammut could have saved a point for Qrendi but failed to find the net with only the goalkeeper to beat.

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