Birkirkara FC vs Tarxien Rainbows 5-1 (HT 1-0)
Sylvano Comvalius converted two penalties as Birkirkara returned to victory in a 5-1 win over Tarxien Rainbows to keep the pace with Qormi and Valletta.
Although the Stripes definitely deserved the three points, the score is quite harsh on the Rainbows. For them, this was the third defeat in fourth matches and now risk ending third from bottom should Hamrun beat Dingli on Monday.
Birkirkara held the initiative early in the game but the best attempt at goal occurred on 33 minutes with a cross-shot by Alan Tabone which was turned into a corner by goalkeeper David Cassar. From the resulting corner, the ball reached Sylvano Comvalius who served Trevor Cilia whose conclusion ended high. A cute lob by Trevor Cilia on 35 minutes was turned by the Tarxien custodian into another corner.
The Stripes managed to take the lead on 36 minutes when off a cross by Shaun Bajada from the right, Nikola Vukanac rose high to head past goalkeeper David Cassar.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, David Cassar was again prominent with a good save into a corner on a Sylvano Comvalius close-range header.
Tarxien replied with a diagonal shot from the right by Denni Rocha Dos Santos which scraped past the post in added-time.
Three minutes in the second half, Michael Galea failed to connect off an inviting cross by Shaun Bajada.
Birkirkara were awarded a penalty on the hour when Trevor Cilia was brought down inside the area by Steve Sadowski. From the penalty spot, Sylvano Comvalius made no mistake to double the score.
Tarxien pulled one back three minutes later when a David Camilleri freekick was blocked by Jorge Mora and off the rebound, Denni Rocha Dos Santos placed the ball at the back of the net from close range.
A minute later, a cross shot from the right by Luke Vella Critien ended just over the bar.
However the Stripes restored a two-goal lead on 75 minutes when off a Shaun Bajada cross from the left, Michael Galea headed home.
On 81 minutes, Birkirkara were awarded another penalty after Luke Vella Critien handled the ball inside the area. From the penalty spot, Sylvano Comvalius converted.
Six minutes from time, Angus Buhagiar floored Denni inside the area. Referee Silvio Tanti ordered another penalty but Denni’s effort was turned by Jorge Mora into a corner.
One minute in added time, substitute Karl Pulo sealed the issue with a fifth goal for Birkirkara when he beat Cassar with a diagonal shot from the right.
B’KARA Jorge Mora, Trevor Cilia (88′ Andreas Galea), Nikola Vukanac, Branko Nisevic, Paul Fenech, Alan Tabone (70′ Joseph Zerafa), Rowen Muscat, Angus Buhagiar, Shaun Bajada (85′ Karl Pulo), Michael Galea, Sylvano Comvalius.
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Thomas Paris, Andrew Scicluna.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Team Manager: Mario Gatt
TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, David Camilleri, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Mark Tanti (80′ Ryan Previ), James Shead (60′ Gianluca Calabretta), Luke Vella Critien, Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Lee Galea, Kurt Magro (78′ Warren Zerafa).
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Mario Bajada, Ryan Mintoff.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Silvio Tanti
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Shead
BOV Player of the Match: Sylvano Comvalius
Scorers: 36′ Nikola Vukanac (B)
60′ Sylvano Comvalius pen (B)
63′ Denni Rocha Dos Santos (T)
75′ Michael Galea (B)
81′ Sylvano Comvalius pen (B)
90′ Karl Pulo (B)
Hibernians FC vs Msida St. Joseph 3-0 (HT 0-0)
Hibernians scored three in the second half as they returned to winning ways, defeating Msida St. Joseph 3-0.
Msida had the first attempt at goal with a freekick from the left by Miguel Ciantar which was turned into a corner by Mario Muscat on 20 minutes. Five minutes later, following a good move by Emiliano Lattes, he served Adam Spiteri whose shot from the edge of the area was deflected into a corner. On 27 minutes, Adam Spiteri was unlucky not to put Msida ahead when his brilliant first-time effort, off a cross by Adrian Farrugia from the right, was neutralised by the Hibs custodian.
Ten minutes from the end of the first half, Rumen Galabov had a close-range effort deflected into a corner following a cross from the right.
Hibernians took the lead three minutes in the second half when off a cross by Etienne Barbara, Christian Callejas headed home past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
Ben Camilleri doubled the score on 68 minutes when off a cross by Barbara from the right, he flicked the ball past the Msida custodian.
Etienne Barbara went close on 74 minutes when he concluded a solo effort with a powerful drive which was deflected into a corner by a defender.
On 82 minutes, the Paolites scored the third goal thanks to a diagonal shot by Andrew Cohen from the edge of the area.
In the dying minutes, Triston Caruana and Olegs Malasenoks both went close to increasing the lead further.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Caruana (85′ Triston Caruana), Edward Herrera, Adrian Pulis, Aaron Xuereb, Jonathan Pearson (46′ Ben Camilleri), Christian Callejas (55′ Ryan Camilleri), Etienne Barbara, Andrew Cohen, Olegs Malasenoks, Rumen Galabov.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Triston Caruana, Yan Cauchi, Elkien Cauchi, Matthew Tabone.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Edmond Lufi
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Lydon Micallef (78′ Andrew Formosa), Roderick Baldacchino, Cedric Sciberras, Tyrone Farrugia, Adam Spiteri, Kevin Mifsud, Adrian Farrugia, Zoran Levnaic (61′ Iro Curmi), Emiliano Lattes, Miguel Ciantar.
Subs not used: Daniel Borda, Matthew Borda, Larson Agius, Damien Debono, Andrew Formosa, Joseph Damato.
Coach: Mark Marlow
Asst. Coach: Keith Gouder
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Trustin Farrugia Cann
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: A. Xuereb, E. Herrera, A. Spiteri, R. Galabov, C. Sciberras
BOV Player of the Match: Etienne Barbara
Scorers: 48′ Christian Callejas
68′ Ben Camilleri
82′ Andrew Cohen