Hibernians failed to keep the pace with leaders Valletta as they were held in a 1-1 draw by ten-man Sliema Wanderers. The Paolites are now three points behind leaders Valletta.
The Wanderers had the first attempt at goal on the 7th minute with Danial Mitev trying his luck with a low shot from a distance of around thirty metres which was parried in two attempts by Mario Muscat. Hibs replied with a cross by Steve Pisani from which Edison Luis dos Santos’ effort was deflected into a corner by Henry Bonello. On 28 minutes, Roderick Bajada concluded a good move with a shot from outside the area ending just over the bar.
Following a corner by Andrew Cohen, a header by Tarabai ended just wide on 33 minutes and three minutes later, a low shot by Edward Herrera was blocked by Bonello. One minute from then end of the first half, Muscat blocked a Cleavon Frendo effort which was deflected by a defender.
Mario Muscat performed a good save on Mitev five minutes in the second half and on the hour, Cleaven Frendo released Jorge Santos Silva whose cross shot was not met by Jackson Lima. A minute later, Failla hit high from outside the area.
The Wanderers were reduced to ten men thirteen minutes from time as Josef Mifsud received marching orders by referee Adrian Azzopardi.
However on 84 minutes, Sliema managed to take the lead thanks to a goal by Roderick Bajada whose low shot from a central position outside the penalty area beat Muscat to end at the back of the net.
But on the 89th minute, Edison Luis dos Santos saved a point for Hibernians as he headed the ball past Bonello following a freekick by Andrew Cohen.
Jorge Santos Silva was voted BOV Player of the Match.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Diego Balbinot, Rodolfo Soares, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrew Cohen, Clayton Failla, Steve Pisani (75‘ Peter Anizoba), Marcelo Dias (81‘ Triston Caruana), Edward Herrera, Edison Luis dos Santos.
Subs not used: Luke Bonnici, Ayrton Azzopardi, Scott Chircop, Dylan Sammut, Keith Tanti.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Richard Mercieca
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat (46‘ Beppe Muscat), Josef Mifsud, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Danial Mitev, Steve Bezzina, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Rumen Galabov (57‘ Julian Briffa), Roderick Bajada, Jorge Santos Silva, Cleavon Frendo (71‘ Jeremiah Ani).
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Dejan Vukovic, Andrew Caligari.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Saviour Debono Grech
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Duncan Sultana
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Bezzina, Sequeira, Dias, Muscat, Mitev
Red Cards: 77′ Josef Mifsud
Scorers: 84′ Roderick Bajada, 89′ Edison Luis dos Santos
A goal by substitute Ryan Darmanin one minute from time handed Floriana three points as they defeated Mqabba 1-0.
The Reds have now gone five matches without a win and are still joint-seventh on eleven points.
Floriana lacked Clyde Borg and Tyrone Farrugia while Pierre Grima was missing for Mqabba.
The Greens held the initiative in the early stages. On the 7th minute, Ivan Woods served Christian Cassar whose low shot was neutralised by Kris Calleja. On 29 minutes, Pablo Doffo tested Calleja with a free kick from outside the area.
Mqabba replied with a shot from outside the area by Claudio Calleja which was neutralised by Manuel Bartolo on the 41st minute. A minute later, Manolito Micallef headed just wide off a Christian Cassar corner.
Four minutes in the second half, a free kick by Christian Cassar was turned into a corner by Calleja. Marlon Briffa then missed a good opportunity as he failed to connect off a cross from the right by Magro with the ball being slightly deflected by Mamic.
On 56 minutes, following a cross from the left by Bojan Mamic, Shawn Magro had a fine header saved by Bartolo. Three minutes later, Bartolo saved another header, this time by Thiago Mazzitelli, when served by Calleja.
Kris Calleja turned into a corner a Christian Cassar free kick on 68 minutes and on 75 minutes, Bartolo saved Marlon Briffa’s low effort. Four minutes later, Marko Potezica tried his luck with a shot from outside the area ending high. Mazzitelli then served Bojan Mamic whose diagonal shot was neutralised by Bartolo.
One minute from time, Floriana notched the winner when Ryan Darmanin received a cross by John Mintoff which created a melee inside the area and with a low shot, he beat Calleja.
Christian Cassar was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MQABBA Kris Calleja, Marko Potezica, Branislav Timotic, David Azzopardi (46‘ Shawn Magro), Marlon Briffa, Thiago dos Santos Mazzitelli, Claudio Calleja, Mauro Bonnici, Ryan Sammut, Clayton Micallef, Bojan Mamic.
Subs not used: Franklin Azzopardi, Mark Anthony Psaila, John Paul Muscat, Mark Fenech, Rene Duca.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Renzo Kerr Cumbo
FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Manolito Micallef, Duncan Pisani, Pablo Doffo, Owen Bugeja, Joseph Borg, Christian Cassar, Andre Grabowski (87′ Thomas Paris), Christian Caruana (35‘ John Mintoff), Ivan Woods, Lucas Pessanha (57′ Ryan Darmanin).
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Brooke Farrugia, Jermain Brincat, Luke Agius.
Coach: Michael Woods
Asst. Coach: Frank Schembri
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Sammut, Grabowski, Magro, J. Borg, Bartolo
Scorers: 89’ Ryan Darmanin