12/11/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/11/2019 06:51
Lija Athletic stayed top of the BOV First Division league after a convincing 4-2 win over Żebbuġ Rangers at the Centenary Stadium on Sunday.
The first half ended goalless with Lija goalkeeper Luke Bonnici saving a penalty from Randall Vella on 23 minutes. All goals were scored in the second half with Erjon Beu, the league's top scorer, grabbing a hat-trick, including a penalty, to take his tally this season to 17.
Aiden Galea scored the other goal for Lija while Ryan Cutajar and Saturday Nanapere replied with two late goals for Żebbuġ.
Orosco Anonam's Żejtun Corinthians maintained the pressure on Lija. They faced Fgura United at the same venue on Sunday, dominating proceedings from start to finish. Żejtun, who are only one point off the top, won 3-0 with first-half goals from Roberio do Nascimento, who scored a brace on 32 and 34 minutes, and an own goal by Joshua Barbara.
Qrendi obtained an important win over Pietà Hotspurs (3-1) on Saturday at the Victor Tedesco Stadium to stay third on 20 points, two behind leaders Lija.
Alexander Nilsson inspired Qrendi's win, scoring two second-half goals. The game had started well for Pietà who took an early 14th-minute lead by Ze Lucas but in the 38th minute, Ishaya Jalo scored an own goal in an attempt to clear the ball.
Just after the break, Nilsson put Qrendi 2-1 up and the Swedish striker secured the three points with another late goal.
In the first match at the Centenary on Sunday, Naxxar Lions overcame lowly Vittoriosa 2-0. Edson Farias scored the first goal for the Lions on 23 minutes with substitute Joel Ellul sealing the win on the stroke of full time.
WINS FOR PEMBROKE, SWIEQI AND MQABBA
Pembroke Athleta, Swieqi United and Mqabba gained valid wins in their bid to stay clear of the relegation zone.
On Saturday at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Qormi initially proved a hard nut to crack for Pembroke, taking a 2-1 half-time lead thanks to a brace from Tensior Gusman, with Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza replying for Pembroke. But after the break, Pembroke were clearly the better team, scoring four goals through Mifsud Triganza, Mattia Zarb, Luka Mijic and Joao Pedro.
On Friday night, Swieqi United beat St George's 4-0 with an Ibrahim Salis strike on 34 minutes, Felipe Fernandes on 66 minutes and another two late goals, one by substitute Roderick Taliana and the last by Fernandes deep into added time.
St George's had to play the last 30 minutes with 10 players as Liberian international Adolphus Marshall was sent off for denying a clear scoring opportunity in the 61st minute.
Mqabba upstaged St Andrews with 2-1 in the other Friday night game. Fabrizio Zammit opened the scoring after the hour mark for Mqabba, with young substitute Mattia Veselji levelling matters for the Saints in the 78th minute. Brazilian Alexsandro dos Santos then scored Mqabba's winner with seven minutes left on the clock, securing the Reds' third win of the season.
DIVISION ONE STANDINGS
Lija Athletic 22 points; Żejtun Corinthians 21; Qrendi 20; Naxxar Lions 19; Pietà Hotspurs, St Andrews 17; Żebbuġ Rangers 14; Pembroke Athleta 13; Swieqi United 11; Mqabba 10; Qormi, St George's 9; Fgura United, Vittoriosa Stars 7.