Dingli Swallows were condemned to playing in Division 1 next season after losing heavily to Hamrun Spartans with Floriana beating Msida St. Joseph 2-1 in two clashes from the Relegation Pool. With four matches to go for all teams, Hamrun lead the way with 17 points, followed by Msida on 9 and Dingli 2.
In the first match, Marcelo Pereira scored four as Hamrun Spartans had no mercy of Dingli Swallows, beating them 6-0.
The Spartans dominated from start to finish to register the second win in two matches in the Relegation Pool, thanks to which they moved a step closer to securing their Premier League status. For Dingli, this was the sixteenth consecutive defeat.
Hamrun took the lead on the 7th minute when off a Mark Anthony Bonnici cross from the right, Obinna Obiefule placed the ball at the back of the net with a fine header from close range.
Four minutes later, the same player hit just wide from close range and on 17 minutes, a Clyde Camoin ended just over the bar. A minute later, Lee James Agius hit just wide after a shot from outside the area was blocked by the Dingli goalkeeper. On the other side of the pitch, a Joseph Okonkwo shot, deflected by a defender, was parried by Ivan Casha.
The Spartans doubled the score five minutes from the end of the first half when Lee James Agius released Marcelo Pereira on the right and the latter managed to beat goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia with a shot from inside the area.
Two minutes in the second half, Hamrun increased the lead when a header by Gaetan Spiteri was partially saved by Farrugia aided by the upright and off the rebound, Marcelo Pereira hit low past Farrugia.
Dingli replied with a cross from the right by Roderick Spiteri from which Joseph Okonkwo tested Casha with a fine header with the Hamrun goalkeeper saving, aided by the bar.
On 72 minutes, the Spartans were awarded a penalty after Roderick Briffa brought Mead Mifsud down inside the area. Referee Esther Azzopardi ordered a penalty and from the penalty spot, Marcelo Pereira converted.
Six minutes later, Obinna Obiefule entered the penalty area and rounded a defender, the ball reached Marcelo Pereira on the right who hit low past the Dingli custodian.
Joseph Okonkwo had a good opportunity to reduce the gap when he advanced all along inside the area but his attempt was blocked by Ivan Casha on 82 minutes.
A minute later, Hamrun made it 6-0 with Mead Mifsud heading home past goalkeeper Farrugia following a freekick from the right by Clyde Camoin.
Marcelo Pereira was voted BOV Player of the Match.
DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Roderick Briffa, Charlon Sammut (83’ David Camilleri), Renato Conceicao, Shawn Tellus, Roderick Spiteri, Dino Cachia (14’ Victor Fiteni) (77’ Kevin Borg), Kurt Formosa, Matthew Borg, Joseph Okonkwo, Christopher Azzopardi.
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Haruna Doda, Andre Rocha Da Silva, Dylan Zarb.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit Team Manager: Mark Chetcuti
HAMRUN Ivan Casha, Mark Anthony Bonnici (39’ Aaron Attard), Rupert Mangion, Roderick Fenech (71’ Jonathan Holland), Lee James Agius, Marcelo Pereira, Gaetan Spiteri, Martin Hrubsa, Obinne Obiefule, Clyde Camoin, Ian Zammit (66’ Mead Mifsud).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Mark Barbara, Neville Galea, Mauro Busuttil.
Coach: Steve D’Amato Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Mariano Debono
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: M. Borg
Scorers: 7′ Obinne Obiefule, 40′ Marcelo Pereira, 47′ Marcelo Pereira, 73′ Marcelo Pereira (pen), 78′ Marcelo Pereira, 83′ Mead Mifsud
In the second match, Floriana beat Msida St. Joseph 2-1 to move six points ahead of the Saints.
Floriana welcomed back a number of players who had missed the last game against Hamrun including Julian Briffa, Orosco Anonam, Christian Caruana, Joseph Borg, Owen Bugeja and Clifton Ciantar although the latter two started the game on the bench. Msida lacked Tyrone Farrugia and Emiliano Lattes but goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo and Zoran Levnaic returned for the Saints after serving a one-match ban.
Following a quiet start for the two teams, Miguel Ciantar sent an inviting cross from the left on 25 minutes but there was no one to conclude. On the other side of the pitch, Orosco Anonam had a shot blocked by a defender and then Manuel Bartolo performed a good save on Christian Caruana.
Five minutes from the end of the first half, following a freekick from the right by Pablo Doffo, a header by Orosco Anonam was parried by Bartolo.
The Greens managed to take the lead nine minutes in the second half when off a cross from the right, Ryan Darmanin slammed the ball past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
Msida levelled matters on 59 minutes when a shot from outside the area was not held by Bernard Paris and Cedric Sciberras tapped the ball home from close range.
Two minutes later, Floriana appealed for a penalty after Zoran Levnaic seemed to handle the ball following a freekick by Pablo Doffo but referee Chris Lautier waved play on.
However Floriana regained the lead on 76 minutes when off a Pablo Doffo freekick, Christian Caruana headed the ball home in style.
In added time, Christian Caruana served Ryan Darmanin on the right but the latter’s effort was blocked by Bartolo.
Orosco Anonam was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Sacha Borg, Orosco Anonam, Julian Briffa, Stefan Lijeksic (73’ Clifton Ciantar), Joseph Borg, Ryan Darmanin, Brian Said (16’ Owen Bugeja), Christian Caruana, Michael Ghebru (89′ Clyde Borg), Pablo Doffo.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Mark Spiteri, Stefano Grima, Roberto Brincat.
Coach: Zoran Popovic Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Lydon Micallef, Adrian Farrugia, Cedric Sciberras, Roderick Baldacchino, Iro Curmi (54’ Adam Spiteri), Zoran Levnaic, Kevin Mifsud, Andrew Formosa, Miguel Ciantar, Kalenga Ndayi (83’ Charlie Black).
Subs not used: Gallen Mifsud, Matthew Borda, Baldassare Borg, Joseph Damato, Vincenzo Brincat.
Coach: Keith Gouder Team Manager: Robert Farrugia
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: O. Anonam, A. Formosa, K. Mifsud, J. Briffa, M. Ciantar, A. Farrugia, C. Sciberras, M. Ghebru, Z. Levnaic
Scorers: 54’ Ryan Darmanin (F); 59’ Cedric Sciberras (M), 76’ Christian Caruana (F)
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