Gudja United 2
Gudja coach Josef Mansueto has urged his players to handle the pressure as the southerners took another step towards promotion when they beat lowly Qrendi 2-0.
It was a deserved victory for Gudja who scored a goal in each half to wrap up the points in a match they held the upperhand throughout. The result enabled Gudja to strengthen their grip on second place as they have now surged seven points clear of third-placed Sta Luċija who suffered a surprising defeat to Mqabba.
“This was a very important victory for us,” Mansueto told the Times of Malta.
“We have a very good advantage on the teams behind us but it’s important that we keep control of our nerves in the final weeks of the season to ensure we can finish the job.
“The team is in a good position but we need to show a positive frame of mind by winning our remaining matches.”
Gudja were in control from the outset and they deservedly took the lead after 27 minutes when Dhonatan Santos Da Hora put them ahead after a fine run.
The southerners created several scoring chances but failed to put the ball into the net.
Their pressure was finally rewarded in stoppage time when Raphael Kooh Sohna made it 2-0 to seal the points.
Mansueto said that the club’s excellent transfer business in January proved crucial behind his team’s excellent run.
Still, he feels winning the championship was not on his agenda at the moment despite trailing Sirens by four points.
“If someone would have told me before the season that we will be second in the table, seven points ahead of the team in third place, I would have taken it immediately,” Manuseto said.
“Talking about being promoted as champions is not an issue today. We only want to continue this way, our way. Sirens are a good side and have the squad to finish top as champions.”
On his part, Renzo Kerr Cumbo, the Qrendi coach, said the situation is quiet clear for his team after their latest defeat.
“It looks like we will be battling with San Ġwann not to join Marsa in the Second Division next season,” Kerr Cumbo said after the match.
“We need to be honest and admit that Gudja were too good for us today. At the moment, things are difficult for us as we are without five players who are injured.
“It wasn’t a good season for us, and I will settle for a play-out spot to try and keep our status in Division One.
“It is not going to be easy. Remember what happened last season when Swieqi surprisingly defeated St Patrick 3-0.
“There are some good sides in Division Two, so we have to prepare ourselves well.”
Qrendi: J. Farrugia, D. Micallef, M. Farrugia, L. Brincat (51 K. Abela), D. Sammut, M. Barbara, Z. Bowman, D. Zarb, D. Martini, J. Spiteri (76 B. Bondin), C. Quaranta.
Gudja: J. Debono, J. Bondin, M. Attard, A. Mizzi, F. Aboulezz, L.J. Schembri (90 S. Diacono), J. Farrugia, L. Cremona, D. Santos da Hora, A. Nagbe, R. Kooh Sohna.
Referee: Darryl Agius
Best Player: Dhonathan Santos Da Hora (Gudja).
Sta Luċija 2
Sta Luċija: D. Carabott, J. Busuttil, M. Caruana, J. Usuga Mendoza, K. Vella, P. Teixeira Maia, K. Ante Rosero (62 A. Chetcuti), K. Pulo (46 J. Suda), N. Micallef (46 N. Borg), L. Galea, K. Camilleri.
Mqabba: F. Tabone, L. Farrugia (58 D. Briffa), R. Da Silva Gomes, D. Micallef, G. Micallef, A. Ferreira, B. Grech, W. Borg, D. Azzopardi, C. Cutajar, G. Micallef.
Referee: Mario Apap
Scorers: Anter Rosero (SL) 3; Ferreira (M) 63, 90; Micallef (M) 78; Teixeira Maia (SL) 85 pen.
Red card: Carabott (SL) 60.
Best Player: Alexsandro Ferreira (Mqabba).
Lija Athletic 1
Lija Athletic: L. Bonnici, J. Cassar, L. Muscat, D. Scerri (75 D. Mintoff), E. Beu, A. Borg, M. Clinch, A. Galea (59 A. Azzopardi), C. Gauci, K. Kuroki, O. Sidibe.
Vittoriosa: C. Cassar, I. Abela, D. Pisani (29 A. Galea) (75 M. Scicluna), K. Degiorgio, B. Panzo, J. Ogonuppe, A. Cilia Mumford, J. Briffa, J.C. Galea, D. Tabone, L. Gauci (82 C. Spiteri).
Referee: Alex Johnson
Scorers: Ogunuppe (V) 2; Cassar (L) 90.
Best Player: Carl Cassar (Lija Athletic).
Marsa: K. Brincat, S. Zampa, L. Camilleri, J. Bonello, J. Lovegrove, J. Theuma (63 S. Briffa), R. Gatt De Raffaele (78 K. Vella), O. Cristiani, H. Kawamura (78 I. Anyoso), A. Watanabe, R. Gafa.
Swieqi: J.C. Debattista, J.L. Cassar, K. Muscat (71 G. Bugeja), K. Sultana, K. Ekezie, I.A. Margarit (54 N. Schembri), L. Covic, K. Olowoyo (54 M. Laferla), S. Grech, S. Bugeja, L. Scicluna.
Referee: Andrea Sciriha
Scorers: Jackson Cassar 17, Covic 41, Ekezie 50, Sultana 62 pen, Schembri 86.
Best Player: Luka Covic (Swieqi)
Sirens: M. Montfort, D. Sant, P.K. Farrugia, R. Mandic, R. Grech, M. Del Negro (37 R. Fenech), C. Gauci, M.A. Bustos (64 L. Mijic), A. Filho Marquinho, I. Adesina, J. Nwoba (64 G. Gesualdi).
Żebbuġ: J. Borg, C. Brincat, D. Fava, S. Schembri, R. Vella, B. Muscat, S. Buhagiar, H. Vella, G. De Sousa Braga, I. Rocha de Souza (82 S. Darmanin), C. Ze Lucas.
Referee: Matthew Degabriele.
Scorers: Del Negro (Ż) 30 og; Nwoba (S) 39; Rocha de Souza (Ż) 54.
Red cards: Grech (S) 58; Filho Marquino (S) 62; Brincat (Ż) 69; Mijic (S) 90.
Best Player: Caetano Ze Lucas (Żebbuġ)
Naxxar Lions 2
San Ġwann 0
Naxxar: O. Borg (90 S. Micallef), A. Buhagiar (46 R. Mercieca), R. G. Cassar, B. Essel, M. Fenech, M. Mifsud, J. Ellul, J. Debono, S. Meilak, E. Farias, S. Nanapere.
San Ġwann: C. Formosa, J. Azzopardi, C. Gauci, A. Borg, R. Zammit, A. Cachia (76 P. Kanzurov), K. Gatt (70 S. Hili), N. Melo Ferriera, N. Abouaisha (76 J.P. Attard), J. Tanti, R. Oliviera.
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Scorers: Meilak 84, Mifsud 90.
Best Player: Mead Mifsud (Naxxar).
Żejtun: G. Zammit, C. Giordimaina, A. Farrugia, B. Farrugia, K. Buttigieg, N. Tabone, J. Mandjeck, R. De Fex Mariaga (89 J. Vitor Vitinho), A. Smeir (83 G. Sultana), R. Spiteri, J. Castano (60 D. Andelkovic).
Pembroke: P. Schranz, G. Azzopardi, M.A. Borg (46 K. Borg), Z. Grech, G. Claudio da Silva, B. Muscat, T. Fenech, Y. Tonna, E. Vallecillo (65 Wilmsen), S. Oliviera, J.P. Mifsud Triganza (46 A. Mizzi).
Referee: Paul Toledo
Scorer: Johan Castano 10, 12.
Best Player: Johan Castano (Żejtun).
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