Tarxien Rainbows returned to winning ways as they defeated Msida St. Joseph 3-1. A win which puts the Rainbows one point behind Sliema Wanderers and one ahead of Hamrun Spartans.
Missing for Tarxien was David Camilleri as he serves a two-match ban. Also ruled out through suspension were Msida defenders Tyrone Farrugia and Cedric Sciberras. However Zoran Levnaic was back following a trial in Tunisia.
After a quiet start for the two teams, Miguel Ciantar tried his luck with a freekick ending high and on the other side of the pitch, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro concluded a good move with a shot from outside the area which just missed the target.
Tarxien managed to take the lead on 32 minutes when off a cross from the left, Andrew Decesare hit low past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
Msida went close to equalising five minutes from the end of the first half when off a cross from the left, Miguel Ciantar had an attempt blocked by a defender and off the rebound, Matthew Borda’s acrobatic shot brought the best out of goalkeeper Anthony Curmi who turned the ball into a corner. Just before the break, Manuel Bartolo performed a good save on a rising shot from the right by Calabretta.
Just fifteen seconds in the second half, the Rainbows doubled the score when off a through pass by Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro slotted past the Msida custodian.
On 49 minutes, Gianluca Calabretta beat Manuel Bartolo on the run as the Msida goalkeeper rushed out of the area. The Tarxien midfielder advanced on the right and crossed with Anderson Mendes Ribeiro being unlucky to have a diving header hit the foot of the post.
Tarxien made it 3-0 on 66 minutes when off a Justin Grioli corner, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro headed the ball home from close range.
Msida pulled one back on 72 minutes when Emiliano Lattes controlled a good pass inside the area, avoided a challenge by Vella Critien and beat Anthony Curmi with an angled shot from the left.
Manuel Bartolo performed a fine save on a first-time effort by Denni Rocha Dos Santos, served by Anderson Mendes Ribeiro on 83 minutes.
Anderson Mendes Ribeiro was voted BOV Premier League.
TARXIEN Anthony Curmi, Steven Sadowski, Gianluca Calabretta (61′ Justin Grioli), Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Mark Tanti, Andrew Decesare (92′ James Shead), Luke Vella Critien, Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Ryan Mintoff, Lee Galea (71′ Kurt Magro).
Subs not used: David Cassar, Warren Zerafa, Ryan Previ.
Coach: Noel Coleiro Asst. Coach Michael Church
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Lydon Micallef, Matthew Borda, Kevin Mifsud, Roderick Baldacchino, Iro Curmi (78′ Joseph Damato), Karl Ebejer (46′ Adrian Farrugia), Zoran Levnaic, Emiliano Lattes, Miguel Ciantar, Windell Gabriels (53′ Andrew Formosa).
Subs not used: Gallen Mifsud, Larson Agius, Luke Saliba, Vincenzo Brincat.
Coach: Keith Gouder Team Manager: Robert Farrugia
Referee: Andre Arciola
Asst. Referees: Konrad Borg, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Curmi, Vella Critien, Calabretta, Lattes
Meanwhile in the second game, ten-man Floriana also returned to victory as they defeated wooden-spoonists Dingli Swallows 2-0.
Floriana lacked Julian Briffa and Marlon Briffa besides Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, who is on trial in England but Russian striker Victor Zlydarev was making his debut for Zoran Popovic’s side.
Dingli went close to taking the lead on 8 minutes with a direct freekick from the left by Andre Rocha Da Silva hit the crossbar with goalkeeper Bernard Paris beaten. Two minutes later, Sacha Borg released Ryan Darmanin on the right and off the latter’s cross, Christian Caruana’s conclusion was neutralised by Jeffrey Farrugia.
The Greens forged ahead on 18 minutes when Christian Caruana, served by Victor Zlydarev, managed to beat goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia with a back header.
The Greens went close once again on 31 minutes with a Ryan Darmanin header which was saved by Farrugia aided by the the foot of the post.
Three minutes in the second half, a fine shot by Andre Rocha Da Silva ended just wide.
Floriana were reduced to ten men on 56 minutes after Brian Said received a second yellow card for a foul just outside the area.
However the Greens still managed to increase the lead five minutes later when Ryan Darmanin, served by Christian Caruana, managed to beat Farrugia with a shot from the right.
Ryan Darmanin was voted BOV Player of the Match.
DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Roderick Briffa, Shawn Tellus, Roderick Spiteri (78′ Christopher Azzopardi), Kurt Formosa, Christian Muscat, Dino Cachia (57′ Etienne Farrugia), Kevin Borg, Andre Rocha Da Silva, Joseph Okonkwo, Dylan Zarb (67′ Haruna Doda).
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Charlon Sammut, Victor Fiteni, Matthew Borg.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit Team Manager: Mark Chetcuti
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Clifton Ciantar, Brian Said, Orosco Anonam, Ryan Darmanin, Victor Zlydarev (67′ Mark Spiteri), Pablo Doffo, Christian Caruana (93′ Jermain Brincat), Joseph Borg, Sacha Borg (58′ Clyde Borg), Owen Bugeja.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Mauro Grioli, Alan Abela, Mark Borg.
Coach: Zoran Popovic Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Marco Borg
Asst. Referees: Edward Spiteri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Said, Da Silva, K. Borg, Paris
Red Card: 56′ Said