Floriana FC vs Qormi FC 1-1 (HT 0-0)
Floriana and Qormi earned their first points as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
Both sides had a number of players making their debut. New Floriana coach Roddy Collins included Bernard Paris, Clifton Ciantar, Christian Cassar and the retuning Roberto Brincat in the starting line-up. Kenneth Spiteri, Ryan Deguara, Sharlon Pace, Malcolm Buttigieg and Steve Meilaq made their first appearance for Qormi.
Floriana had the first attempt at goal on 9 minutes when off a Christian Cassar freekick from the right, Roberto Brincat headed high. Qormi replied with a Massimo Grima header, off a freekick by Stephen Wellman from the left, ending just wide on 23 minutes. On 34 minutes, Bernard Paris anticipated Ryan Deguara following a cross on the right and a minute later, Christian Caruana concluded a good move for Floriana with a shot from the edge of the area ending wide.
On 39 minutes, a fine freekick by Christian Cassar from the left was tipped into a corner by Matthew Farrugia and one minute from the end of the first half, Bernard Paris rushed out of the area to anticipate Alfred Effiong before he could conclude.
Ryan Darmanin was unlucky to hit the upright with a fine header following a Christian Cassar freekick eight minutes in the second half.
Qormi took the lead on 56 minutes when Alfred Effiong gained possession in midfield and advanced on the left, before serving Joseph Chetcuti who slotted past goalkeeper Bernard Paris.
Following a good run by Clifton Ciantar on the left flank on 71 minutes, Ryan Darmanin failed to connect to miss a good chance for the Greens.
Floriana were unlucky once again to hit the crossbar on 81 minutes with a Joseph Borg header following a freekick from the right by Christian Cassar. Six minutes later, a fine effort by Christian Cassar was turned into a corner by Farrugia.
Two minutes from time, Floriana notched the equaliser when off a pass by Christian Cassar, Orosco Anonam beat Matthew Farrugia with a powerful shot from inside the area.
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Julian Briffa, Clifton Ciantar, Sunday Eboh, Orosco Anonam, Christian Cassar, Pablo Doffo (46′ Joseph Borg), Marlon Briffa, Roberto Brincat (61′ Jermain Brincat), Christian Caruana (52′ Duncan Pisani), Ryan Darmanin.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Owen Bugeja, Luke Agius.
Coach: Roddy Collins
Asst Coach: Tony Alamango
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Ramon Dos Santos, Massimo Grima, Keith Fenech, Alfred Effiong, Joseph Chetcuti, Joseph Farrugia, Kenneth Spiteri (84′ Steve Meilak), Stephen Wellman (55′ Roderick Sammut), Ryan Deguara (76′ Malcolm Buttigieg), Sharlon Pace.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Jurgen Gerada, Ryan Cauchi, Jonathan Bondin.
Coach: Vince Carbonaro
Team Manager: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Joe Camilleri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: S. Eboh, J. Chetcuti, S. Wellman, K. Fenech, O. Anonam
BOV Player of the Match: Joseph Farrugia
Scorers: 56′ Joseph Chetcuti (Q)
88′ Orosco Anonam (F)
Hibernians FC vs Marsaxlokk FC 3-1 (HT 2-1)
Etienne Barbara notched a hat-trick on his debut for Hibernians as the Paolites defeated Marsaxlokk 3-1.
Besides Barbara, also making his league debut for the Paolites was Ryan Camilleri. Marsaxlokk had five new players, namely Glenn Zammit, Roderick Bajada, Martin Deanov, Emil Yantchev and Florent Raimy.
Hibernians took the lead after just three minutes when Andrew Cohen sent Etienne Barbara through and the latter slotted past goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
Marsaxlokk levelled matters on the 14th when Roderick Bajada served Martin Deanov whose fine shot from the left beat goalkeeper Mario Muscat.
On 21 minutes, a shot by Peter Pullicino from outside the area was deflected into a corner and two minutes later, a fine effort by Andrew Cohen ended high.
Hibernians regained the lead on 35 minutes with Etienne Barbara once again beating Muscat from close range when served by Ben Camilleri.
On 42 minutes, a long-distance freekick by Roderick Bajada ended high. One minute from the end of the first half, Glenn Zammit managed to turn into a corner a well-taken freekick by Christian Callejas.
Eighteen minutes in the second half, Glenn Zammit anticipated Ben Camilleri before he could head home off a cross by Etienne Barbara. The Marsaxlokk goalkeeper then managed to save a cross shot by substitute Elkien Cauchi. On 69 minutes, following a cross by Galabov from the left, Andrew Cohen controlled before serving Triston Caruana whose low shot was neutralised by Zammit.
On 79 minutes, Hibernians scored the third goal with Etienne Barbara beating Zammit with a shot from inside the area after the Marsaxlokk defence failed to clear a pass from the right by Triston Caruana.
Marsaxlokk went close to reducing the gap ten minutes from time with a fierce shot by substitute Chris Camilleri which ended just wide.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Caruana, Edward Herrera, Adrian Pulis, Ryan Camilleri (46′ Elkien Cauchi), Jonathan Pearson, Christian Callejas, Etienne Barbara, Andrew Cohen, Rumen Galabov, Ben Camilleri (64′ Triston Caruana).
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Leighton Grech, Yan Cauchi, Matthew Tabone, Dylan Sammut.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst Coach: Edmond Lufi
M’XLOKK Glenn Zammit William Camenzuli, Clive Brincat, Martin Deanov, Carlo Mamo, Peter Pullicino, Gareth Sciberras (75′ Chris Camilleri), Roderick Bajada (67′ Trevor Templeman), Emil Yantchev, Florent Raimy, Malcolm Licari (59′ Dylan Kokavessis).
Subs not used: Reuben Debono, Jean Claude Vella, Gary Caruana.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst Coach: Clive Mizzi
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Philip Agius, Gordon Barbara
Fourth Official: Saviour Tanti
Yellow Cards: Cohen, Camenzuli, Brincat
BOV Player of the Match: Etienne Barbara
Scorers: 3′ Etienne Barbara (H)
14′ Martin Deanov (M)
35′ Etienne Barbara (H)
79′ Etienne Barbara (H)