Mqabba take sole leadership
Mqabba Rabat A 2 0
Mqabba had the better of tenman Rabat Ajax yesterday to go on top othmae standings. Mqabba were the better team in the first half, but left the initiative to the Magpies in the second half of the game.
Rabat who played for a whole hour with a man less, deserved something better from theis match, as they were rather unlucky in the final minutes of the game when they pushed everything forward.
Mqabba were in full command in the first half even though Rabat goalkeeper Mintoff wasa rarely called in action. Mintoff’s best save, a stunning one indeed, came on nine minutes when he saved a point blank effort from Paul Chimezie who was brilliantly served by Arilson Mello da Silva.
On the half hour Rabat were reduced to ten men when Ryan Micallef fouled the Mqabba goalkeeper and received a first booking. However the Rabat striker kept protesting with the
Football Bank of Valletta Premier League Tarxien R.-Hibernians 1-2; Hamrun S.-Valletta 0-3; St Andrews-Gzira U. 1-0; Mosta-Pembroke Ath. 0-3 Bank of Valletta first division Mqabba-Rabat Ajax 2-0; Zebbug R.-Senglea Ath. 0-0
Football Victor Tedesco Stadium: Bank of Valletta first division 2pm, Naxxar Lions-Qormi; 4.15pm MarsaVittoriosa S. Charles Abela Stadium: Bank of Valletta third division 2pm Marsaskala-Luqa SA; 4.15pm Mtarfa-Kalkara. Luxol Stadium: Bank of Valletta third division 2pm Dingli S.-Xghajra T.; 4.15pm St Lucia-Msida SJ. Sirens Stadium: Bank of Valletta third division 2pm Ta’ Xbiex-Mdina K.; 4.15pm Zurrieq-St Venera L. Kirkop Ground: Women’s U-17 league 9am Hibernians-Raiders (Luxol); 10.30am Kirkop-Gozo; 12.00 Mgarr U.-Birkirkara. St Lucia Ground: IASC Division I 8.30am Marsa T.-Gzira U.; 9.45am Burmarrad AFC-Floriana A.; 11am Hamrun L.-Msida RS. Basketball Ta’ Qali: Bank of Valletta League Div. II men 11.15am StarlitesMellieha referee who had no other option but to show him the second yellow card.
On 41 minutes Mqabba took advantage of their numerical Bank of Valletta second division Ghaxaq-Attard 1-2; Zejtun C.Birzebbuga SP. 2-1; Mellieha-Mgarr U. 2-0; Zabbar SPSiggiewi 3-1; San Gwann-Swieqi U. 4-2; St. George’s-Marsaxlokk 1-0. GFA - Div II Munxar F-Sannat L 1-3; St.Lawrence S-Zebbug R 4-1 Mr Green; 1pm, Marvels Power Plus-Gzira Athleta; St James Shield Women 2.45pm Gzira Athleta-Depiro; Shield Men Div. I 4.30pm Gzira Athleta-Floriana MCP Volleyball Cottonera Sports Complex: Women’s U-18 1.30pm Swieqi Phoenix-Balzan Flyers; Men’s League 1st rd 3.30pm MgarrAloysians; 5.30pm Fleur-de-Lys-Valletta Hockey Corradino: HAM Challenge Cup 9am 2nd Group B-3rd Group A Shooting Qormi: 10am Trap competition for the Qormi Clay Shooting Club trophy
Football Centenary Stadium: Bank of Valletta first division 7.30pm Lija Ath.-Fgura U. superiority when Arilson Mello da Silva scored a gem of a goal direct from a freekick. Just before the break Rabat went close with an angled shot from Wayne Borg going inches wide.
In the second half Mqabba elected to defend their slender lead and control the match. To be fair Rabat never really gave the impression they could save the matcheven though they held territorial superiority.
But in the final minutes Mqabba were rather lucky as Rabat increased their pressure. Six minutes from time Debono saved the day when he denied Ousman with a super save from close range, and in stoppage time Debono was saved by the woodwork when a Neil Caruana header finished against the crossbar.
From the same action Mqabba sealed the issue with the second goal when in a fast break leontiev Konda passed to the unmarked Karl Cutajar who slotted home from close range.
J. Debono, G. Gesualdi, A. Mello da Silva, C. Calleja (M. Bonnici), K. Cutajar, L. Vella Critien, M. Borg, P. Chimezie (L. Konda), Q. Bregman, G. Adamovic, L. Micallef (J.R. Vella)
S. Mintoff, N. Caruana, J. Caruana, S. Gauci, W. Borg (T. Ousman), B. Micallef, A. Smeir (C. Vella), D. Falzon, E. Goodman, R. Zammit, D. Azzopardi Sandro Spiteri
Arilson Mello da Silva of Mqabba (right) outpaces Dylan Falzon of Rabat Ajax (left). Photo: Domenic Aquilina