First half penalty puts Naxxar in sec­ond place

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Naxxar L 1 Qormi 0

A penalty scored by Mes­sias after only 18 min­utes play was enough for Naxxar to notch the thrid suc­ces­sive vic­tory and move to sec­ond place in the stand­ings.

But against high fly­ing Qormi, Naxxar found the go­ing hard espe­cially in the sec­ond half, when Qormi dom­i­nated and could have at least gained the equaliser.

After barely four min­utes play Naxxar went close with a Jur­gen De­bono free­kick that fin­ished against the side net­ting. Six min­utes later Qormi had a good move on the right flank with the ball fin­ish­ing in Darko Men­dic’s path, but his shot went well over the bar.

On 18 min­utes Naxxar took the lead when Yuri Mes­sias was tripped in­side the area by De­jan Vukovic and from the penalty spot the same Mes­sias scored with a pre­cise drive.

Naxxar con­trolled Qormi’s fee­ble re­ac­tion and went close on 33 min­utes when goal­keeper Balzan dived to save a De­bono an­gled drive, and from the re­sul­tant cor­ner Duane Bon­nici’sclose range ef­fort was again blocked by Balzan.

Just be­fore the break Qormi went close to an equaliser when Michael Camil­leri’s free­kick des­tined for the top cor­ner was bril­liantly saved by Omar Borg.

Three min­utes into the sec­ond half Naxxar went close with a Munoz lob that beat Balzan but Alan Abela was on hand to clear the dan­ger. With the in­clu­sion of Chiedozie Qormi started to play bet­ter in at­tack and Ojoula went close with a header on 64 min­utes.

Two min­utes later Naxxar had a lucky es­cape when ef­forts from Chiedozie and Guz­man were cleared off the goal line.

On 77 min­utes Ojoula passed to­wards Guz­man who hes­i­tated in front of goal and then blasted over the bar.

Qormi dom­i­nated the last moments of the game and had and Alessio Cas­sar dip­per well saved by Omar Borg.

On 89 min­utes Qormi missed their best chance when Chiedozie headed down to­wards Sidibe who failed to score with only Borg to beat.

Naxxar L: O. Borg, A. Buha­giar, N. Spi­teri, D. Bon­nici, R. Cas­sar, J. De­bono (R. Mer­cieca), M. Fenech (D. No­cera Garcia), S. Gue­vara Munoz (J. El­lul), J. De­bono, A. Lu­bos, Y. Mes­sias

Qormi: D. Balzan, Y. Yankam (C. Far­ru­gia), O. Sidibe, D. Vukovic, M. Camil­leri, B. Grech, A. Abela, T. Guz­man (D. Pirotta), D. Medic (L. Chiedozie), A. Cas­sar, N. Ojuola

Ref­eree: Eti­enne Man­gion

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