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Xagħra frustrate leaders Nadur

Xewkija Tigers forward Thiago Dos Santos (left) sweeps past Għajnsielem’s Jairo Sandoval Guarin. Photo: Anthony CassarXewkija Tigers forward Thiago Dos Santos (left) sweeps past Għajnsielem’s Jairo Sandoval Guarin. Photo: Anthony Cassar

GFA Division One leaders Nadur Youngsters were surprisingly held to a one-all draw by bottom-placed Xagħra United who picked up their first point of the season as the second round got underway last weekend.

Nadur found it difficult to impose themselves on the game during the first hour of play as Xagħra looked well deployed in defence and also launched quick counter-attacks when the chance arose.

The Blues shocked Nadur on 48 minutes when Nikola Vitorovic’s strike flew past the keeper.

The Youngsters produced a determined reaction and saved the result when Milos Stojanovic pounced on a loose ball after the Xagħra keeper had failed to hold a Dewide Dos Santos shot.

In the most interesting match of the weekend, Xewkija Tigers beat Għajnsielem 2-0 to move up to the runners-up position.

The two sides had a couple of regular players missing with Xewkija also losing Daniel Bogdanovic after only 10 minutes due to an injury.

Early on, an effort by Xewkija’s Gennaro Hili came off the upright. But, on 14 minutes, Hili found his range to put the Tigers in front and he made sure of the points with a second soon after the restart.

The Blacks’ best patch arrived in the final stages of the encounter but Xewkija keeper Steve Sultana distinguished himself with a series of fine saves to deny his opponents.

Third-placed Kerċem Ajax are also in the title race after a 3-0 win over Oratory Youths trimmed their gap with Nadur to four points.

Kerċem scored two early goals, the first from a penalty converted by Philip Taylor, and the second through Trayo Grozev.

Oratory were never in the match and Ajax sealed victory with a third goal scored by substitute Joshua Buttigieg six minutes from time.

In another match, SK Victoria Wanderers and Victoria Hotspurs shared the spoils in a goalless derby draw.

The Hotspurs saw more of the ball but found Wanderers’ keeper Matthew Vella in their way.

On 59 minutes, the Wanderers were reduced to 10 players when Sam Frank Bajada was sent off for a second bookable offence but the Hotspurs failed to profit from the situation and also ended the match with 10 men when Henrique Maciel was sent off for pushing an official on the opponents’ bench.

Division Two

Għarb Rangers took sole leadership following a 3-1 win over bottom side Munxar Falcons as second-placed Sannat Lions lost their match against St Lawrence Spurs 1-0.

The Falcons opened the scoring through Elijah Xuereb (25) but Għarb levelled matters following a Paul Anthony Attard goal nine minutes before the break.

Rangers then turned the result in their favour with goals from Saviour Fidelis (58) and Paul Anthony Attard (84).

St Lawrence, in third place, are back in the promotion hunt thanks to their victory over the Lions.

Mohammed Senussi Telessi scored the goal that mattered on 62 minutes.

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