All square as Pietà score last-gasp penalty
Pietà Hotspurs 2
Żejtun Corinthians 2
A late penalty goal saved Pietà from defeat yesterday as they grabbed a 2-2 draw and moved on the seven-point mark at the top of the standings along with Lija Athletic and Marsaxlokk.
Żejtun were twice in the lead thanks to the impressive Adrian Carabott but Pietà’s own chief striker, Raphaele Alain Kooh Sohna, was also on song as he scored a brace although he was rather erratic in front of goal.
Pietà saw more of the ball and created a few openings but possession alone does not mean outright win and it was Żejtun who almost returned home with a victory.
The Hotspurs were unlucky not to open the score early on when from a Kooh Sohna cross, Żejtun defender Edward Azzopardi almost committed an own goal in an attempt to clear the danger.
From the corner Larson Mallia saw his first effort blocked by the Pietà defenders and from the rebound he fired badly from a good position.
Żejtun hit back with an Oldi Majtara shot that went wide and a few minutes later Joey Falzon’s Corinthians took the lead.
Carabott seized possession outside the box and placed the ball into the net with a half volley that had the better of goalkeeper Miguel Montfort.
Pietà surged forward in search of an equaliser.
Kooh Sohna nodded the ball down to Quilin Refalo but the latter’s dipper was tipped away to a corner by Ranier Farrugia.
But, four minutes before the break Pietà deservedly drew level when Kooh Sohna headed home a Terrence Agius cross.
The opening stages of the second half saw action at both ends of the pitch but no goals were scored.
However, 18 minutes from time Żejtun regained the lead thanks to Carabott who was left unmarked to head home from an Azzopardi free-kick.
Żejtun were unlucky not to score again soon after when a Wisam El Zaredi drive from 30 metres out skimmed the Pietà woodwork.
Pietà pushed more men forward and were rewarded for their efforts when Charlo Magro tripped Jonathan Zarate in the box and Kooh Sohna slotted the penalty home to make it 2-2.
Pietà: M. Montfort, Q. Refalo, T. Agius (K. Cesare), R. Sohna, L. Mallia, C. Cassar, J. Zarate, J. Pisani (D. Caruana), I. Grech, L. Mutasi (K. Cutajar), A. Spiteri.
Żejtun: R. Farrugia, C. Magro, K. Vassallo (K. Zahra), M. Borg, E. Azzopardi, A. Farrugia, Z. Vukovic, D. Zarb, A. Carabott (K. Abela), O. Majtara, W. El Zaredi.
Referee: Sammy Attard.
Man of the match: Adrian Carabott (Żejtun Corinthians).
Vittoriosa Stars 1
Mqabba and Vittoriosa shared the spoils in a match that saw both teams creating enough chances to clinch victory but in the end the two sets looked happy to have secured a point and avoided defeat.
Peter Anizoba and Emilano Lattes played their hearts out for Mqabba while Gary Muir and Lydon Micallef showed some neat touches for the Stars.
Mqabba ventured forward first.
William Abeeb saw his effort from an angle just missing the target and soon after Anizoba’s shot from just inside the box brushed against the upright.
Despite Mqabba’s early flurry it was Vittoriosa who forged ahead on 15 minutes with their first real threat at goal as Micallef let fly an unstoppable scorcher from 30 metres out.
Micallef almost added a second four minutes later but drove the ball high and wide from a good position.
On 24 minutes the scores were level again. Mqabba surged forward in attack and Anizoba headed home from a Clayton Micallef cross.
Just before half-time Muir just missed the target from the edge of the area after a clever Marcelo Perreira back-heel and on resumption an Emiliano Lattes free-kick for Mqabba finished just wide.
Mqabba keeper Kris Calleja produced a fine save to stop a Muir grounder, the Scot running into space after an inviting ball from Micallef.
Mqabba were unlucky not to regain the lead when Justin Camilleri cleared off the line an Andrew Caligari effort after keeper Sean Cini had partially saved Abeeb’s shot.
Three minutes from time Lattes should have done better when he shot straight at goalkeeper Cini following an Antoine Zahra cross from the right flank.
Mqabba: K. Calleja, A. Scicluna, J. Anegbe, A. Caligari (I. Curmi), D. Azzopardi, C. Calleja, M. Bonnici, W. Abeeb (A. Zahra), C. Micallef, P. Anizoba, E. Lattes.
Vittoriosa: S. Cini, L. Dos Santos, M. Buttigieg, J. Camilleri, L. Vella Critien, R. Brincat (M. Tabone), M. Barbara, M. Perreira, G. Muir, L. Micallef (L. Lagana), Silaj Arab (S. Grech).
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi.
Man of the match: Lydon Micallef (Vittoriosa Stars).