Defeats for newly-promoted sides

Dingli Swallows vs Tarxien Rainbows 1-4 (HT 1-1)

Tarxien Rainbows came from behind to beat newly-promoted Dingli Swallows 4-1 despite having a player sent off.

Both teams featured a number of new players in their squads. Making their debut for Dingli were foreigners Renato Conceicao and Joseph Okonkwo together with Shawn Tellus, Dino Cachia, Kevin Borg, Matthew Borg and substitute Dylan Zarb. On the other hand, Gianluca Calabretta, Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Ryan Mintoff and substitute Kurt Magro were making their debut for Tarxien. However the Rainbows lacked Andrew Decesare, Stacey Vella, Ryan Grech and Mark Tanti.

Dingli took the lead on 12 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Etienne Farrugia was brought down inside the area by goalkeeper Anthony Curmi. Nigerian striker Joseph Okonkwo made no mistake from the penalty spot.

Tarxien levelled matters two minutes later when off a cross from the left by Warren Chircop, Denni Rocha Dos Santos headed home from close range.

Six minutes from the end of the first half, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro headed the ball down for Denni Rocha Dos Santos whose powerful drive hit the upright with Jeffrey Farrugia beaten. Four minutes later, a freekick by David Camilleri from the right ended high and a good move by Anderson ended with a fine shot from the left tipped into a corner by Farrugia in added time.

Following a swift counter-attack for the Rainbows on 53 minutes, Warren Chircop went close with a diagonal shot from the left.

The Rainbows forged ahead on 57 minutes when off a freekick from the left by David Camilleri, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro headed home past Farrugia.

On 61 minutes, following another swift counter-attack for Tarxien, Denni Dos Santos released Anderson Mendes Ribeiro who scored with a fine rising shot from the right.

A long-distance freekick by Everton Antonio Pereira for Tarxien ended wide on 64 minutes. Dingli replied with a cross shot by Kevin Borg which was turned into a corner by Curmi and from the resulting corner, Joseph Okonkwo’s header was neutralised by the Tarxien goalkeeper. A freekick by Renato Conceicao finished just wide on 83 minutes. A minute later, Tarxien were unlucky not to increase the lead with Anderson Mendes Ribeiro’s fine effort hitting the upright.

Three minutes from time, James Shead sealed the issue with a fourth goal for the Rainbows when he anticipated Jeffrey Farrugia with a good shot from the left when served by Denni Dos Santos.

A few seconds later, Tarxien were reduced to ten men after Anderson Mendes Ribeiro was given marching orders by referee Marco Borg.

DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Renato Conceicao, Shawn Tellus, Roderick Spiteri, Christian Muscat (78′ Chris Azzopardi), Jeremy Agius (70′ Dylan Zarb), Dino Cachia, Etienne Farrugia (61′ Kurt Formosa), Kevin Borg, Matthew Borg, Joseph Okonkwo.
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Roderick Briffa, Clint Caruana, Justin Muscat.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Team Manager: Bruce Genovese

TARXIEN Anthony Curmi, Steven Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, David Camilleri (83′ James Shead), Gianluca Calabretta (61′ Luke Vella Critien), Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Warren Chircop (68′ Kurt Magro), Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Ryan Mintoff, Lee Galea.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Edmund Vassallo, Marco Calleja, Melvin Pisani.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Asst Coach: Michael Church

Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Alan Camilleri
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: A. Curmi, Anderson, R. Spiteri, L. Galea, C. Muscat, J. Shead
Red Cards: 88′ Ribeiro
BOV Player of the Match: Denni Rocha Dos Santos
Scorers: 12′ Joseph Okonkwo (D)
14′ Denni Rocha Dos Santos (T)
57′ Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (T)
61′ Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (T)
87′ James Shead (T)

Sliema Wanderers vs Vittoriosa Stars 3-0 (HT 1-0)

Sliema Wanderers collected their first three points as they beat newly-promoted Vittoriosa Stars 2-0.

Vittoriosa had no less than ten new players in their starting line-up with the only player from last season’s squad being Pierre Aquilina. On the other hand, had Josef Mifsud, Ryan Fenech, Clayton Failla and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza making their first league appearance for the Wanderers.

The Stars had the first attempt at goal on the 13th minute as Kurt Formosa headed just wide following a corner from the left. Sliema replied with a good move between Bartolo, Woods and Failla with the former Hibs midfielder hitting wide from the edge of the area. A well taken freekick by Ian Ciantar from the left ended just over the bar on 19 minutes.

Sliema managed to take the lead in added time at the end of the first half when Ryan Fenech concluded a good move with a fine diagonal shot from the right which beat goalkeeper Henry Bonello.

The Wanderers doubled the score six minutes in the second half with Ivan Woods anticipating Bonello with a beautiful shot following a Ryan Fenech freekick.

On 61 minutes, Josef Mifsud came to the rescue for Sliema as he cleared off the goal-line a good attempt by substitute Johann Spiteri. Sliema replied with a long-distance shot by Clayton Failla which was deflected into a corner.

Simon Agius performed a great save on a close-range header by Isaac Henry following a corner from the left by Mauro Brincat on 79 minutes. Three minutes later, Henry headed just wide off another cross by Brincat from the left. On the other side of the pitch, a diagonal shot by Clayton Failla from the left ended just wide.

Two minutes from time, Miguel Ciantar scored the third goal as he slotted the ball past Henry Bonello when served by John Mintoff from the right.

SLIEMA Simon Agius, Alex Muscat, Ian Azzopardi, Josef Mifsud, Ryan Fenech, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (76′ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino), Matthew Bartolo (61′ John Mintoff), Ivan Woods (65′ Miguel Ciantar), Lucian Dronca, Ian Ciantar, Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Jeremy Alden, Michael Gustavo Siscoutto Lima, Luca Martinelli, Noel Turner.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Team Manager: Rupert Perry

VITTORIOSA Henry Bonello, Clayton Micallef (78′ Justin Camilleri), Pierre Aquilina, Nikolai Vukanac, Martin Hrubsa, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Kurt Formosa (57′ Johann Spiteri), Mauro Brincat, Beppe Muscat, Elton Vella (63′ Lucian Scerri), Isaac Henry.
Subs not used: Alex Camilleri, Jonathan Xerri, Sammy Piscopo, Charles Cachia.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Asst Coach: Saviour Darmanin

Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: R. Fenech, E. Vella, J. Chetcuti, M. Hrubsa
BOV Player of the Match: Ryan Fenech
Scorers: 45+1′ Ryan Fenech
51′ Ivan Woods
88′ Miguel Ciantar