Floriana FC vs Tarxien Rainbows 1-1 (HT 1-0)
Floriana and Tarxien Rainbows shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
The Rainbows had goalkeeper David Cassar making his debut as he replaced the injured Anthony Curmi. Anderson Ribeiro returned for Tarxien after serving a one-match ban. Floriana, on the other hand, lacked injured duo Sunday Eboh and Christian Cassar.
Tarxien held the initiative early in the game with Floriana goalkeeper Bernard Paris anticipating Gianluca Calabretta before he could conclude from inside the area after just two minutes. Two minutes later, a powerful long-distance shot by Everton Pereira ended just wide. Calabretta hit wide off a Mark Tanti cross from the left. A freekick from the left by Denni Rocha Dos Santos on the half-hour ended high.
Floriana took the lead on 36 minutes when Joseph Borg released Sunday Wasiu on the right flank and the latter entered the penalty area anticipating David Cassar with a low shot. The goal was scored while Tarxien’s Denni Rocha Dos Santos was lying on the ground injured.
In added time, Tarxien went close with an Anderson Ribeiro effort ending just wide.
The Rainbows restored equilibrium ten minutes in the second half when Manuel Caruana served Gianluca Calabretta on the left and the latter managed to beat Bernard Paris with an angled shot.
On 76 minutes, a shot from the right by Denni was deflected by Paris. Warren Chircop took the rebound serving David Camilleri whose conclusion was deflected by Julian Briffa into a corner. Five minutes later, a freekick by Everton Pereira hit the crossbar and ended in a corner following a slight deflection.
Two minutes from time, Floriana went close to regaining the lead but Sunday Wasiu’s effort, off a cross by Luke Agius, was neutralised by David Cassar.
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Duncan Pisani, Julian Briffa, Orosco Anonam, Clifton Ciantar, Pablo Doffo, Joseph Borg (61′ Christian Caruana), Roberto Brincat, Donovan Simmonds (68′ Luke Agius), Sunday Wasiu, Jermain Brincat (73′ Owen Bugeja).
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Marlon Briffa, Ryan Darmanin, Mark Spiteri.
Coach: Roddy Collins
TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, David Camilleri, Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (86′ Kurt Magro), Mark Tanti (51′ Warren Chircop), Andrew Decesare, Gianluca Calabretta (80′ Luke Vella Critien), Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Ryan Mintoff.
Subs not used: Andrei Grech, James Shead, Melvin Pisani, Lee Galea.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Glenn Tonna
Fourth Official: Anton Zammit
Yellow Cards: P. Doffo, J. Brincat, B. Paris, W. Chircop, C. Caruana, K. Magro, S. Wasiu
BOV Player of the Match: Gianluca Calabretta
Scorers: 36′ Sunday Wasiu (F)
55′ Gianluca Calabretta (T)
Hibernians FC vs Dingli Swallows 2-1 (HT 1-1)
Champions Hibernians collected their first three points as they came from behind to beat Dingli Swallows 2-1.
The Swallows could consider themselves unlucky to leave Ta’ Qali empty-handed, considering that they gave their opponents a hard time and it was only an unfortunate own goal which handed the Paolites the three points.
Latvian striker Olegs Malasenoks was making his debut for the Paolites who lacked Adrian Pulis and Ben Camilleri. Dingli coach Jesmond Zammit, on the other hand, could not count on Dino Cachia and Haruna Doda.
The Paolites held the initiative early in the game, going close on 8 minutes cross from the left, Etienne Barbara had a shot from close range which was blocked by Jeffrey Farrugia. Four minutes later, Barbara took advantage of a short clearance by the Dingli goalkeeper but after advancing into the area, his conclusion was deflected into a corner by a defender.
The Swallows replied with an Andre Rocha Da Silva freekick which was deflected into a corner on 23 minutes. On the other side of the pitch, following a cross by Barbara, Malasenoks’ close-range effort was blocked by Jeffrey Farrugia into a corner.
Dingli managed to take the lead on the 35th minute when Joseph Okonkwo received a good pass, rounded a defender and entered the penalty area before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.
However one minute from the end of the first half, Hibs levelled matters when off an Andrew Cohen freekick from the right, Jonathan Caruana hit low past Jeffrey Farrugia.
Seven minutes in the second half, Barbara tested Farrugia with a header following a cross from the right by Edward Herrera. Dingli replied with a shot by Etienne Farrugia which was neutralised by Mario Muscat on 62 minutes. Off another cross by Herrera from the right on 69 minutes, Etienne Barbara hit high with a rising shot from a close angle. Olegs Malasenoks went close with a header off a cross by Cohen from the right on 81 minutes.
Hibernians forged ahead on 83 minutes when off a cross by Edward Herrera, Dingli defender Renato Conceicao, in an attempt to anticipate Malasenoks, deflected the ball past Farrugia, ending at the back of the net.
Etienne Barbara was unlucky not to increase the lead on the 90th when his powerful drive from the edge of the area hit the crossbar while in added time, Renato Conceicao tried his luck with a long-distance shot which ended wide.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Caruana, Edward Herrera (92′ Kevin Cassar), Ryan Camilleri (76′ Leighton Grech), Elkien Cauchi, Jonathan Pearson, Rumen Galabov, Christian Callejas, Etienne Barbara, Andrew Cohen, Olegs Malasenoks.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Aaron Xuereb, Matthew Tabone, Yan Cauchi, Dylan Sammut.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Mick Wilde
DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Clint Caruana, Renato Garcia Conceicao, Shawn Tellus, Kurt Formosa, Victor Fiteni, Christian Muscat, Kevin Borg (57′ Etienne Farrugia), Andre Rocha Da Silva (81′ Justin Muscat), Joseph Okonkwo, Dylan Zarb (62′ Roderick Spiteri).
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Jeremy Agius, Matthew Borg, Christopher Azzopardi.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Joe Camilleri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Fiteni, Da Silva, Barbara, Herrera, Galabov
BOV Player of the Match: Jeffrey Farrugia
Scorers: 35′ Joseph Okonkwo (D)
44′ Jonathan Caruana (H)
83′ own goal Renato Conceicao (H)