First win for Dingli — Late goals give B'Kara a draw against Hibs

Floriana FC vs Dingli Swallows 1-2 (HT 1-1)

Dingli Swallows claimed their first three points in the BOV Premier League as they defeated Floriana 2-1.

It was a deserved win for the Swallows – a historical first win in the Premier League – as they were the team who believed most in the three points throughout the ninety minutes.

Both sides lacked players due to injuries – Sunday Eboh and Christian Cassar for Floriana, Kevin Borg for Dingli. The latter had Andre Rocha Da Silva starting on the bench as he has just recovered from an injury. Making his debut for Floriana was Malta international defender Brian Said.

Dingli had the first shot at goal with a powerful drive by Haruna Doda on 9 minutes ending high. Six minutes later, a lob by Sunday Akanni Wasiu off a cross by Joseph Borg from the right ended high. Floriana went close once again on 23 minutes with a shot by Pablo Doffo from close range following a corner by Clifton Ciantar.

Dingli took the lead on 29 minutes when off a corner from the right by Clint Caruana, Roderick Spiteri’s header was blocked on the goal-line by a defender and off the rebound, Joseph Okonkwo placed the ball at the back of the net.

Floriana equalised four minutes later when Jermain Brincat served Akanni-Sunday Wasiu who rounded goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia before hitting home.

The Greens went close once again with a Joseph Borg effort following a corner from the right by Pablo Doffo on 41 minutes. Three minutes later, following a cross by Anonam from the right, substitute Christian Caruana failed to control the ball to miss a good opportunity but then regained possession and had a close-range shot blocked by a defender.

Thirteen minutes in the second half, Donovan Simmonds tried his luck for Floriana with a powerful drive which ended just wide. Two minutes later, the Greens had another excellent opportunity when Caruana served Orosco Anonam whose low shot from inside the area was deflected into a corner by Farrugia. The Dingli custodian then turned into another corner a lob by Donovan Simmonds from the left on 74 minutes.

The Swallows regained the lead ten minutes from time when substitute Christopher Azzopardi released Joseph Okonkwo on the left and the latter beat Bernard Paris with a fine shot.

In the dying minutes, Floriana tried their best to notch the equalise but Luke Agius hit wide following a cross from the left and then a Christian Caruana long-distance shot was neutralised by Farrugia. In added time, a shot from outside the area by Simmonds was turned into a corner by the Dingli goalie. Then in a swift counter-attack for Dingli, Okonkwo had the opportunity to complete a hat-trick but his conclusion ended just wide.

FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Duncan Pisani, Jermain Brincat (37′ Christian Caruana), Julian Briffa, Brian Said, Donovan Simmonds, Pablo Doffo, Joseph Borg (46′ Luke Agius), Clifton Ciantar, Orosco Anonam (77′ Ryan Darmanin), Akanni-Sunday Wasiu.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Owen Bugeja, Marlon Briffa, Roberto Brincat.
Coach: Roddy Collins

DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Shawn Tellus, Clint Caruana (61′ Christopher Azzopardi), Renato Garcia Conceicao, Roderick Spiteri, Haruna Doda (84′ Roderick Briffa), Kurt Formosa, Victor Fiteni, Christian Muscat, Dino Cachia (81′ Etienne Farrugia), Joseph Okonkwo.
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Jeremy Agius, Andre Rocha Da Silva, Dylan Zarb.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Team Manager: Reggie Cini

Referee: Anton Zammit
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Mario Apap
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Briffa, Okonkwo, Agius
BOV Player of the Match: Joseph Okonkwo
Scorers: 29′ Joseph Okonkwo (D)
33′ Akanni-Sunday Wasiu (F)
80′ Joseph Okonkwo (D)

Hibernians FC vs Birkirkara FC 2-2 (HT 1-0)

Two late goals gave ten-man Birkirkara a point in a dramatic 2-2 draw against Hibernians.

The two teams shared the exchanges for most of the time but the Paolites took full advantage of the chances they created. However despite going two goals down, the Stripes never gave up and although they were playing in ten men, their determination saw them earn a draw.

Birkirkara once again lacked Spanish goalie Jorge Mora who was serving the second of a two-match ban. Ben Camilleri, Jean Paul Farrugia and Andrew Cohen were missing for the Paolites.

Birkirkara had an excellent opportunity thanks to which they could have taken the lead on 13 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after George Mallia was brought down inside the area by Kevin Cassar. However Sylvano Comvalius’ effort from the penalty spot was partially saved by Mario Muscat before the ball was cleared into safety.

Hibernians replied with a Christian Callejas freekick which was parried by Omar Borg on the 20th. A minute later, Muscat performed a good save on a George Mallia effort from close range following a cross from the left.

Ten minutes from the end of the first half, the Paolites forged ahead when a cross from the left by Olegs Malasenoks was not cleared and Rumen Galabov slammed the ball home from close range.

Birkirkara went close to equalising eight minutes in the second half when Paul Fenech released Trevor Cilia on the right but off the latter’s cross, Michael Galea arrived late.

The Stripes were reduced to ten men on 69 minutes when Thomas Paris received a second yellow card and was therefore given marching orders by referee Marco Borg.

Two minutes later, Hibernians doubled the score when off an Edward Herrera freekick from the right, Olegs Malasenoks chipped the ball over goalkeeper Omar Borg with the ball ending at the back of the net.

Six minutes from time, Birkirkara pulled one back with a diagonal shot by Trevor Cilia from the right which beat Mario Muscat.

Two minutes later, the Stripes notched the equaliser when Karl Pulo received a perfect through pass and advanced into the area before slotting the ball past the Hibs custodian.

In added time, Etienne Barbara had a good opportunity to put the Paolites ahead once again but he concluded wide following a good run on the right. On the other side of the pitch, a powerful drive by Paul Fenech ended just wide.

B’KARA Omar Borg, Thomas Paris, Branko Nisevic, Nikola Vukanac, Paul Fenech, Rowen Muscat (85′ Joseph Zerafa), Shaun Bajada, Trevor Cilia, George Mallia (78′ Karl Pulo), Sylvano Comvalius (74′ Angus Buhagiar), Michael Galea.
Subs not used: Christian Francica, Andrew Scicluna, Alan Tabone, Keith Fenech.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Team Manager: Mario Gatt

HIBS Mario Muscat, Jonathan Caruana, Edward Herrera, Jonathan Pearson (60′ Leighton Grech), Adrian Pulis, Christian Callejas, Rumen Galabov, Etienne Barbara, Olegs Malasenoks, Ryan Camilleri (50′ Aaron Xuereb), Kevin Cassar (71′ Elkien Cauchi).
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Matthew Tabone, Triston Caruana, Yan Cauchi.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst Coach: Edmond Lufi

Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Philip Agius, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: M. Muscat, T. Paris, R. Galabov, P. Fenech
Red Cards: 69′ T. Paris
BOV Player of the Match: Rumen Galabov
Scorers: 35′ Rumen Galabov (H)
71′ Olegs Malasenoks (H)
84′ Trevor Cilia (B)
86′ Karl Pulo (B)