The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

BOV Div. I: Last gasp goal saves leaders Zejtun; St.Andrew’s end first-round commitments with a bang

Chris Cassar Friday, 17 January 2020, 21:38 Last update: about 29 days ago

Naxxar L-Zejtun C 2-2

Naxxar L: O. Borg, J. Sciberras, A. Azzopardi, M. Fenech (J. Camilleri 90'), M. Mifsud, E. Farias Cerqueira, R. Cassar, J. Debono, J. Ellul, B. Essiel, G. Martins Leite.

Żejtun C: C. Cassar, J. Busuttil, K. Farrugia, D. Agius, J. Ogunnupe (A. Carabott 68'), J. Suda (R. Spiteri, 77'), R. Nascimento Santos, M. Perreira, C. Grech, A. Mizzi (B. Farrugia 66'), N. Tabone


Referee :- Alex Johnson

League leaders Zejtun saved a point in dramatic fashion yesterday thanks to a Christian Grech goal in stoppage. Naxxar were heading for glory yesterday after twice taking the lead.A win would have put the Lions just three points Zejtun at the end of the first round, but Zejtun's equaliser assured the leaders of finishing on top at the end of the first round, even if they can still joined by Lija who have a game in hand.Naxxar were the first to settle down and took the lead on eleven minutes in their first real attack when Jurgen Debono scored direct form a freekick.Zejtun went close on 26 minutes with an Ogunnupe header missing the upright by a whisker, and eventually obtained the equaliser four minutes from the break through Do Nascimento Santos.The game was very balanced in the second half with Naxxar taking the lead seven minutes from time in what appeared to be the winning goal when Edson Farias Cerqueira pounced on a Zejtun defensive blunder to put at the back of the net.When all seemed lost for Zejtun, recent signing Christian Grech, in his second appearance for the side, beat Omar Borg with a grounder.

St.Andrews-St.Georges 6-1

St Andrews: N.Grima, I.Azzopardi, M.D'Alessandro (M.Muscat 74), M.Bartolo, A.Chibueze, N.Bradshaw (J.Sixsmith 74), L.A.Borg, J.Farrugia, K.Jackson, A.Borg Olivier, K.Reid (M.Veselji 74).

St George's: J.Azzopardi (D.Buttigieg 51), A.Gili, A.Marshall (G.Carabott 69), R.Villada, J.Grech, M.Mentosa, C.Cassar, M.Uritani, G.D'Amato, D.Caruana, L.Bonett

Referee: Massimo Axisa

After an early setback, St Andrew's ran circles around St George's at the Luxol Stadium on Friday night, booking an emphatic 6-1 win. The match marked the 400th senior career game for St George's captain Christian Cassar, who is mostly known for his twelve-year Floriana period at the start of the century.St Andrews did the early running but St George's took the lead with their very first serious attack. Dylan Caruana beat the offside trap and beat Nicholas Grima with a low shot. Five minutes later a similar situation with Caruana again shaking off his marker but this time Grima saved. On the half hour mark, St Andrews were awarded a penalty after St George's centre-back Adolphus Marshall handled the ball in the box. Veteran captain Joseph Farrugia made no mistake from the spot, sending Julian Azzopardi the wrong way. Three minutes later, Azzopardi somehow slipped outside of his box while trying to clear the ball, with Luke-Anthony Borg picking up the leather and kicking it into the empty net. A minute before the break, the fast Kemar Reid added a third goal after an impressive solo action, placing the ball behind a hapless Azzopardi. The encounter turned out to be a no contest after the break. Early in the second half, the unlucky St George's custodian Azzopardi needed to be replaced injured by Daniel Buttigieg. On the hour mark, Reid added a fourth goal for St Andrews, his second of the match, after rounding off a fluent counter-attack, much to the delight of the home crowd. Two minutes later, on the other side, a scorcher by Caruana from 20 meters distance just missed target. On 64 minutes it was 5-1 thanks to a wonderful direct free-kick from just outside the box by Nicholas Bradshaw. Reid could have added his third goal of the evening after a great solo effort through the St George's defence on 69 minutes but his shot sailed high. On 82 minutes, Buttigieg blocked an attempt by Degran Jackson from close-range, but one minute later, substitute Mattia Veselji added goal number six for the home side after Buttigieg failed to control the ball. Veselji could have added goal number seven on the stroke of full-time but his attempt from a good angle just missed target.

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