Melita, Rabat on the rise

Melita, Rabat on the rise

Melita moved up the standings after a deserved 2-1 win over St Patrick, yesterday.

Melita moved up the standings after a deserved 2-1 win over St Patrick, yesterday.

Melita 2
St Patrick 1

Dominating from start to finish, Martin Gregory’s Melita should have won by a bigger margin but were careless in their finishing.

Melita took the lead after only four minutes. Tobias Terpougoff started the move before releasing Emilio Cornago San Pedro whose excellent pass split the Saints defence for Luke Micallef to hit home from just inside the box.

St Patrick tried to hit back but Melita continued to dictate matters. They should have doubled their advantage on 11 minutes when Luke Micallef beat the offside trap but drove the ball over the bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Melita were made to pay for that miss as the Saints equalised against the run of play.

On 15 minutes they were awarded a penalty after Manwel Ramon Sierra Camacho floored Blendi Gockaj in the box. Bertrand Engoudou sent the keeper the wrong way to level matters.

It was not long before Melita regained the initiative. On 29 minutes, Andrea Muscat missed a sitter from just inside the area and eight minutes later, Luke Micallef should have done better with only the keeper to beat.

In the closing stages of the first half, St Patrick keeper Joshua Galea made a fine save to push Kane Micallef’s close-range effort away for a corner.

The Amateurs moved 2-1 up early in the second half, Kane Micallef tapping the ball home after receiving from Terpougoff.

The Saints tried to fight back in the latter stages and, nine minutes from time, Gockaj fired high after a good pass from Engoudou.

In the last minute, Anthony Portelli’s cross reached Randall Cassar but his shot was saved by Abela.

Deep into stoppage time, Melita were unlucky not to score a third goal when Julian Galea hit the crossbar from just inside the area.

Melita: A. Abela, T. Terpougoff, M.R. Sierra Camacho, G. Gribbon, M. Borg, K. Micallef (A. Caruana Scicluna), J. Galea, E. Cornago San Pedro, L. Micallef, L. Sammut (N. Baldacchino), A. Muscat (M. Galea).

St Patrick: J. Galea, S. Dimech (R. Vella), D. Zammit, D. Micallef (A. Portelli), M. Xerri, M. Caruana (R. Cassar), A. Galea, J. Farrugia, B. Gockaj, B. Engoudou, E. Grech.

Referee: Karl Frendo Cumbo.

Rabat Ajax 3
Vittoriosa Stars 1

Two moments of magic from Albanian debutant Rustemi Arlindo and Ryan Micallef put Rabat on the way to victory over Vittoriosa. Thanks to the three points won, the Magpies have joined Żejtun and Birżebbuġa in second place.

The first scoring chance fell to Vittoriosa in the 20th minute.

Marcelo Pereira tried to get the ball to the unmarked Josef Dalli and Rabat defender Christopher Schembri nearly beat his own keeper as he deflected the ball just wide of the post to concede a corner.

Vittoriosa forged ahead in the 27th minute when Joe Cornforth was judged to have pushed Pereira inside the box. Tassio Lopes Fereira converted from the spot.

Rabat tried to attack down the flanks but their efforts were neutralised. Then, two goals in two minutes turned the tide in their favour.

Five minutes from half-time, Rustemi equalised with an excellent strike. Soon after, Micallef sprinted into the box and hit a shot that went in via the bar.

Thirteen minutes into the second half, Vittoriosa missed a great chance to equalise when Pereira dribbled past Neil Caruana on the left and crossed for Adam Spiteri who fired wide from close in.

Rabat profited from Vittoriosa’s miss as on the hour mark, Micallef collected a clearance from the back before shooting home despite being surrounded by several players.

Joe Brincat’s side wasted another good opportunity on 70 minutes when Mauro Grioli shot wide from just inside the box following a magnificent cross by Pereira.

Rabat: S. Mintoff, N. Caruana, C. Schembri, J. Cornforth, J. Caruana, A. Smeir, A. Rustemi (Y. Cauchi), C. Muscat, R. Micallef (W. Borg), D. Azzopardi (D. Falzon), C. Gauci.

Vittoriosa: J.M. Vella, J. Camilleri, B. Bonnici, S. Tellus, J. Spiteri, T. Lopes Ferreira, M. Pereira, L. Rocha dos Santos (E. Azopardi), A. Spiteri (R. Sell), J. Dalli, M. Buttigieg (M. Grioli).

Referee: Sandro Spiteri.

P W D L F A Pts
Pietà Hotspurs 4 3 1 0 6 0 10
Żejtun Cor. 4 3 0 1 7 3 9
Rabat Ajax 4 3 0 1 6 2 9
Birżebbuġa SP 4 3 0 1 8 6 9
Vittoriosa Stars 4 2 1 1 8 4 7
Melita 4 2 0 2 6 6 6
Dingli Swallows 4 1 2 1 4 5 5
Lija Athletic 4 1 1 2 6 9 4
St Andrew’s 4 1 0 3 3 7 3
Naxxar Lions 4 0 3 1 3 7 3
St Patrick 4 0 1 3 3 7 1
St George’s 4 0 1 3 2 6 1
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