Champions Valletta moved four points clear on top the BOV Premier League table as they beat ten-man Tarxien Rainbows 4-1. Tarxien, on the other hand, remain second from bottom on five points.
Valletta managed to take the lead but Tarxien levelled matters a few minutes later. However the dismissal of Caio Garcia Suguino early in the second half paved the way for the Citizens’ win.
The Rainbows lacked Steve Sadowski and Brazilians Ricardo Costa, Rodrigo Galvao and Roberto Saraiva – the latter two after being released by the club. On the other hand, Jonathan Caruana was missing Valletta.
Valletta went close to taking the lead after just 45 seconds with a diagonal shot by Michael Mifsud from the right, when served by Denni, ending just wide. The Rainbows replied with a shot by Daniel Mariano Bueno which was partially saved by Hogg on the 10th minute. Six minutes later, off a cross by Denni from the right, Edmond Agius’ close range effort was deflected into a corner by Garcia Suguino.
The Citizens forged ahead on 18 minutes when off a cross from the right by Ousseni Zongo from which Denni Rocha dos Santos placed the ball at the back of the net.
Tarxien equalised on 26 minutes when Adrian Carabott concluded a good move by rounding a defender before hitting past Andrew Hogg.
Five minutes later, Valletta missed a good opportunity through Gilbert Agius who hit wide from close range when served by Mifsud.
Eight minutes in the second half, the Rainbows were reduced to ten men after Caio Garcia Suguino received a second yellow card for simulation. A rather harsh decision on the Brazilian midfielder who was earlier cautioned for time-wasting.
Denni tried his luck with a good shot on the run from the right on 61 minutes but David Cassar turned the ball into a corner.
But two minutes later, Dyson Falzon served Ousseni Zongo whose low shot from the left beat the Tarxien custodian to make it 2-1.
Valletta scored the third goal on 65 minutes with a rising shot by Denni Rocha dos Santos when served by Dyson Falzon.
Gilbert Agius went close for Valletta with a powerful shot which scraped past the post on 78 minutes.
Denni added another goal three minutes from time as he beat Cassar from close range following a good move between Gilbert Agius and Alfred Effiong.
Denni Rocha dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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TARXIEN David Cassar, Carl Sammut, Everton Antonio Pereira, Adrian Carabott, Karl Pulo, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Julian Vella, Orosco Anonam (80‘ Lee Galea), Ryan Mintoff, Caio Garcia Suguino, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Manuel Caruana, Warren Zerafa, Clive Fenech, Luke Vella Critien, Nigel Vella.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Steve Borg, Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa, Edmond Agius (68‘ Alfred Effiong), Gilbert Agius, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Ousseni Zongo (78‘ Jamie Pace), William Barbosa, Michael Mifsud (83‘ Ryan Fenech), Dyson Falzon.
Subs not used: Matthew Towns, Ramon dos Santos, Llywelyn Cremona, Samir Arab.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Asst. Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Suguino, Azzopardi, Falzon
Red Cards: 53’ Caio Garcia Suguino
Scorers: 18’ Denni Rocha dos Santos; 26’ Adrian Carabott; 63’ Ousseni Zongo; 65’ Denni Rocha dos Santos; 87′ Denni Rocha dos Santos