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Mqabba notch first win to revive hopes

Marsaxlokk 0
Mqabba 4

Mqabba clinched their first win after 18 league matches in emphatic fashion to keep alive their slim chances of retaining their place in Division One next season.

The Reds dominated the game from start to finish as Marsaxlokk have now seen their chances of promotion almost coming to an end.

Mqabba started brightly and after five minutes Joseph Okonkwo’s effort from just inside the area was kept out by Omar Borg.

Marsaxlokk responded a minute later when a Dylan Micallef drive finished just over.

Mqabba continued to play the better football and forged ahead on 20 minutes. Andrew Scicluna headed home following a melee inside the area.

It was 2-0 seven minutes later as Okonkwo was too fast for the Marsaxlokk defence as he reached Claudio Calleja’s throughball and slid the ball past Borg.

Okonkwo could have struck again on 49 minutes when he was put through by David Azzopardi but was denied by Borg and from the rebound Andrew Caligari took too much time to conclude and the chance went abegging.

John Anegbe increased Mqabba’s lead on 59 minutes when he dribbled his way into the Marsaxlokk area before hitting past Borg.

Marsaxlokk threatened again on 65 minutes when Gary Caruana was denied by Mqabba goal-keeper Kris Calleja.

However, it was Mqabba who sealed the points on 85 minutes when Okonkwo rose well to head home from an Omar Farrugia cross.

Marsaxlokk: O. Borg; R. Mifsud, K. Scicluna, D. Tabone (M. Caruana), M. Brincat, D. Fava, G. Caruana, D. Micallef, R. Xuereb (M. Grech), D. Grech, D. Da Silva Silveira.

Mqabba: K. Calleja (B. Debono), A. Scicluna, D. Bonnici, J. Anegbe, R. Williams Akande (O. Farrugia), A. Caligari, C. Calleja, M. Bonnici, J. Okon-kwo, J. Achokwu (D. Azzopardi), C. Micallef.

Referee: Kevin Azzopardi.

Man of the match: John Anegbe (Mqabba).

Żejtun Corinthians 0
St Andrews 2

St Andrews remained in the hunt for a promotion spot after they registered their ninth win of the season at the expense of Żejtun.

The Saints could have won by a bigger margin but found Żejtun keeper Jurgen Borg in FINE form.

By virtue of this win, Wayne Attard’s team have now moved up to fifth in the standings, six points behind leaders Pietà Hotspurs.

St Andrew’s took control early on started and after five minutes Trayo Grozev hit a low shot that was blocked by Borg. Two minutes later the Żejtun keeper did well to keep out Kerekov’s drive.

Żejtun responded in the 18th minute when Adrian Carabott’s drive finished inches wide.

On 25 minutes a Grozev cross-shot finished inches wide while three minutes before the break a Joseph Farrugia free-kick looked destined to hit the top corner of the net but Borg palmed the ball away.

The Saints finally took the lead on 55 minutes when Michael Grima picked up a loose ball turned past Charlò Magro before hitting home .

On 72 minutes Żejtun had an Omar El Ghaouti free-kick that flew just over.

However, two minutes into stoppage time the Saints struck again when in a quick break Kerekov released Grozev who fired home.

Żejtun: J. Borg, A. Farrugia, E. Azzopardi, D. Zahra, C. Magro, J. Spiteri, I. Kurtusic (K. Zahra) , K. Abela (D. Cucciardi), A. Carabott, O. El Ghaouti, Z. Vukovic.

St Andrews: M. Towns, N. Chetcuti, B. Diacono, B. Said, M. Johnson, W. Camilleri, J. Farrugia, N. Vella Petroni, M. Grima (L. Cesareo), R. Kerekov, T. Grozev.

Referee: Phlip Farrugia.

Man of the match: Michael Grima (St Andrews).

Playing today
Centenary Stadium: 6pm Dingli vs Vittoriosa; 8pm Naxxar vs Birżebbuġa.

Standings

  P W D L F A Pts
Pietà Hotspurs 18 11 3 4 37 16 36
Lija Athletic 18 11 2 5 33 26 35
Naxxar Lions 17 10 4 3 35 16 34
Vittoriosa 17 10 4 3 28 21 34
St Andrew’s 18 9 3 6 34 27 30
Marsaxlokk 18 8 5 5 31 28 29
Gudja United 18 7 5 6 29 24 26
Żejtun Cor. 18 5 6 7 17 23 21
Gżira United 18 4 6 8 21 25 18
Dingli 17 3 3 11 13 37 12
Birżebbuġa 17 2 4 11 20 39 10
Mqabba 18 1 5 12 20 36 8
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