Qormi continued to disappoint as they suffered a fourth consecutive defeat, losing 1-3 to Mosta at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. They have now gone nine matches without a win, remaining in the lower part of the table.
Mosta, on the other hand, bounced back from three consecutive defeats and are now sixth on 23 points.
Both sides had considerable changes from their last outings. In fact, Mosta had six changes from the team which lost to Birkirkara as Jonas Rodriguez Ekani and new signings Ian Zammit, Yannick Ossok, Gary Roberts and Diorgo Pinheiro de Sousa replaced James Brincat, Aaron Sammut, Karl Pulo, Matteo Di Vita, Sasa Jovanovic and the suspended Nemanja Milovanovic.
Qormi had the first real scoring opportunity on 31 minutes when Alfred Effiong’s diagonal shot from right scraped past the post.
Three minutes later, Mosta took the lead when Ian Zammit, served by Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa anticipated the goalkeeper, placing the ball at the back of the net.
With a direct freekick from the right, Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos hit the crossbar for Mosta on 54 minutes. Four minutes later, Matthew Farrugia managed to block a Mateus Ribeiro powerful shot from the left.
The Blues doubled the score on 71 minutes when off a cross by Mateus Ribeiro from the right, Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa controlled the ball and pulled to the left before hitting low past Farrugia.
Qormi pulled one back on the 80th thanks to a direct freekick by Mauricio Mazzetti which gave goalkeeper Omar Borg no chance.
Two minutes later, Jonas Rodriguez Ekani beat the Qormi goalkeeper from close range to restore a two-goal lead for the Blues.
MOSTA Omar Borg, Jonas Rodrigues Ekani, Yannick Ossok, Mark Brincat, Dyson Falzon, Ryan Grech, Kurt Magro (90′ James Brincat), Gary Roberts, Ian Zammit, Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos (81′ Karl Pulo), Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa (88′ Zachary Brincat).
Subs not used: Kyle Gerada, Dexter Xuereb, Ishmael Grech, Aaron Sammut.
Coach: Peter Smith
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Bjorn Bondin (83′ Pietro Viggiani), Mauricio Matias Mazzetti Latini, Joseph Chetcuti (66′ Alessio Cassar), Alfred Effiong, Clifford Gauci, Frank Temile, Ryan Micallef, Emerson Vella, Zoran Levnajic, Jonathan Bondin.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Roderick Sammut, Carmelo Farrugia, Steve Agius, Joshua Barbara.
Coach: Josef Mansueto
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, David Castillo
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Chetcuti, Mateus Ribeiro, Falzon, Borg, Ossok, B. Bondin
Scorers: 34′ Ian Zammit, 71′ Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa, 80′ Mauricio Matias Mazzetti Latini, 82′ Jonas Rodriguez Ekani
BOV Player of the Match: Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 676
A brace by Hamza Barry towards the end of the first half paved the way for Valletta as they defeated Pietà Hotspurs 3-0 at the Hibernians Stadium.
Valletta had two changes from the team which defeated Qormi as the returning Jonathan Caruana and Roderick Briffa replaced Luke Montebello and Llywelyn Cremona. Leo Fortunato and Gabriel returned for Pietà replacing the injured Cain Attard and Jurgen Pisani.
Valletta held the initiative right from the start, going close with a Jonathan Caruana effort, served by Lateef Elford-Alliyu, which just missed the post on the 16th. Five minutes later, a Ryan Fenech first-time effort scraped past the post, off a freekick by Nafti. Another Ryan Fenech effort from outside the area just missed the target with a Lateef Elford-Alliyu shot hitting the foot of the post on 33 minutes.
Six minutes from the end of the first half, Valletta forged ahead when off a corner by Abdelkarim Nafti, Roderick Briffa’s header hit the upright and Hamza Barry placed the ball at the back of the net.
Just before the end of the first half, the Citizens doubled the score when off another corner by Nafti, another header by Hamza Barry beat the Pietà goalkeeper.
Roderick Briffa exchanged the ball with Elford-Alliyu before having a shot ending just wide five minutes in the second half. One minute later, David Cassar performed a good save at point blank on Elford-Alliyu. The Tarxien goalkeeper turned into a corner a powerful shot by Ryan Fenech on 58 minutes and three minutes later, Dylon Agius was unlucky to hit the upright for Pietà when served by Gabriel.
Substitute Luke Montebello sealed the issue with a third goal eight minutes from time when he received a cross by Barry and turned well to beat Cassar.
VALLETTA Nicholas George Vella, Johathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Hamza Barry (89’ Daniel Camilleri), Roderick Briffa, Lateef Elford-Alliyu (81’ Luke Montebello), Abdelkarim Nafti (79’ Llewelyn Cremona), Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Ryan Caruana, Hamid Ismael Alkamali, Jean Borg, Stefan Cassar.
Coach: Gilbert Agius
PIETÀ David Cassar, Karl Micallef, Leonardo Fortunato dos Santos, Christian Grech, Rafael Rodrigues da Silva, Dylan Agius, Orosco Ndubisi Anonam (70’ Neil Pace Cocks), Kyle Cesare, Joao Gabriel da Silva (83’ Mark Kecskes Zsolt), Claudio Frances, Luke Emanuel Micallef (88’ Christian Stewart).
Subs not used: Miguel Montfort, Ayrton Mizzi, Gary Sultana, Josuel Spiteri.
Coach: Alfred Attard
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow cards: Briffa, Azzopardi
Scorers: 39’ Hamza Barry, 45’ Hamza Barry, 82’ Luke Montebello
BOV Player of the Match: Hamza Barry
Attendence at the Hibernians Stadium: 708
Renato Vella reporting from the Hibernians Stadium