Hibs join Valletta, Qormi on top

Msida St. Joseph vs Hibernians FC 0-1 (HT 0-0)

Hibernians joined Valletta and Qormi on top the BOV Premier League table as they beat bottom-placed Msida St. Joseph 1-0 despite playing or over an hour in ten men.

The Paolites were a depleted side as they lacked a number of players including Rumen Galabov, Andrew Cohen, Jonathan Pearson, Jonathan Caruana, Ben Camilleri and Jean Paul Farrugia. Msida welcomed back Tyrone Farrugia but lacked Zoran Levnaic.

Msida had a good start, going close after three minutes when off a cross from the left by Adam Spiteri, Adrian Pulis managed to clear the ball, anticipating Adrian Farrugia and off the rebound, Emiliano Lattes hit just wide with a shot from inside the area. On 11 minutes, following a good run by Emiliano Lattes on the left flank, his shot was blocked into a corner by Mario Muscat. From the resulting corner by Adrian Farrugia, a first-time effort by Lattes was turned into another corner.

Hibernians had a good opportunity on 15 minutes with a first-timer by Olegs Malasenoks ending just wide off a freekick from the right by Christian Callejas. On 24 minutes, Etienne Barbara received a through pass on the left flank, advanced into the area but his conclusion was blocked by Bartolo. Two minutes later, the Paolites were reduced to ten men as Leighton Grech was given marching orders by referee Alan Mario Sant for hitting an opponent.

Eight minutes from the end of the first half, following a cross from the right by Edward Herrera, Olegs Malasenoks’ close range effort saved superbly by Bartolo.

On 64 minutes, Msida were unlucky not to take the lead when Emiliano Lattes served Olushola Aganun with a back-heel pass and the Nigerian striker’s powerful drive hit the crossbar.

Hibernians scored the all-important goal on 77 minutes when Olegs Malasenoks, served by Etienne Barbara, managed to beat Manuel Bartolo with a diagonal shot from the right.

Msida replied with a powerful freekick by Aganun which ended just wide on 85 minutes. Then, in stoppage time, Mario Muscat came to the rescue with a brilliant save on a shot from the edge of the area by Tyrone Farrugia. Off the rebound, a shot by Andrew Formosa was parried by the Hibs custodian.

MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Stefano Grima (81′ Karl Ebejer), Roderick Baldacchino, Cedric Sciberras, Tyrone Farrugia, Adam Spiteri, Olushola Aganun, Kevin Mifsud, Adrian Farrugia (88′ Iro Curmi), Emiliano Lattes, Lydon Micallef (68′ Andrew Formosa).
Subs not used: Gallen Mifsud, Kirsten Brincat, Matthew Borda, Darren Caruana.
Coach: Mark Marlow
Asst. Coach: Keith Gouder

HIBS Mario Muscat, Kevin Cassar (46′ Matthew Hammett), Ryan Camilleri, Aaron Xuereb (70′ Matthew Tabone), Adrian Pulis, Christian Callejas, Olegs Malasenoks, Triston Caruana, Edward Herrera, Leighton Grech, Etienne Barbara.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Yan Cauchi, Matthew Tabone, Dylan Sammut, Ian Scerri, John Micallef.
Asst. Coach: Edmond Lufi

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Konrad Borg
Fourth Official: Adrian Casha
Yellow Cards: K. Mifsud, S. Grima, M. Muscat, M. Bartolo, A. Formosa, C. Sciberras
Red Cards: 26′ Leighton Grech
BOV Player of the Match: Olegs Malasenoks
Scorers: 77′ Olegs Malasenoks

Hamrun Spartans vs Dingli Swallows 3-0 (HT 1-0)

Hamrun Spartans registered their second successive win as they defeated Dingli Swallows 3-0.
Hamrun, who had Angolan striker Joao Batista Mawete making his league debut, were the better side right from the start. Dingli lacked Nigerian striker Joseph Okonkwo and to make matter worse they had a player sent off early in the game.

The Spartans took the lead on 16 minutes when off a Rupert Mangion corner from the right, Joao Mawete slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia.

Two minutes later, Dingli had Victor Fiteni sent off as he received a second yellow card, in a space of a few minutes, for a foul on Pereira.

Hamrun went close to increasing the lead on 35 minutes but Gaetan Spiteri’s close-range effort was blocked into a corner by Farrugia. Eight minutes later, Marcelo Pereira had two attempts from close, neutralised by the Dingli custodian after receiving a through pass on the left. In added time, a freekick by Andre Rocha Da Silva was blocked and off the rebound, Clint Caruana’s effort was neutralised by Ivan Casha.

Seven minutes in the second half, the crossbar denied Gaetan Spiteri the joy of scoring but Hamrun were not to be denied on 58 minutes when off a through pass by Rupert Mangion, Marcelo Pereira placed the ball at the back of the net with a perfect lob.

Joao Mawete sent Pereira through three minutes later but this time, Jeffrey Farrugia rushed to the edge of the area to clear the ball into safety. A powerful drive by Jonathan Holland scraped past the post on 64 minutes. Mawete then headed high off a cross by Neville Galea from the left.

On 77 minutes, Gaetan Spiteri released Manolito Micallef on the right. The latter anticipated Farrugia but his conclusion was cleared into safety by Conceicao. Dingli replied with a good shot by substitute Christopher Azzopardi which was turned into a corner by Ivan Casha.

Gaetan Spiteri sealed the issue with a third goal nine minutes from time when he received a cross from the right by Pereira and slotted past goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia.

HAMRUN Ivan Casha, Mark Anthony Bonnici (44′ Aaron Attard), Rupert Mangion, Roderick Fenech, Manolito Micallef (84′ Mark Barbara), Neville Galea, Marcelo Pereira (89′ Mead Mifsud), Gaetan Spiteri, Martin Hrubsa, Joao Batista Mawete, Jonathan Holland.
Subs not used: Luca Grech, Diego Armando Cucciardi, Timothy Fleri Soler, Clyde Camoin.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Marco Grech

DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Clint Caruana (71′ Christopher Azzopardi), Renato Garcia Conceicao, Shawn Tellus, Haruna Doda, Kurt Formosa, Victor Fiteni, Christian Muscat (89′ Justin Muscat), Dino Cachia, Kevin Borg, Andre Rocha Da Silva (83′ Roderick Spiteri).
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Jeremy Agius, Matthew Borg, Dylan Zarb.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit

Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Philip Agius, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Fiteni, Conceicao, MA Bonnici, R. Fenech, S. Tellus, H. Doda
Red Cards: 18′ Fiteni
BOV Player of the Match: Marcelo Pereira
Scorers: 16′ Joao Mawete
58′ Marcelo Pereira
81′ Gaetan Spiteri