Msida SJ vs Dingli Swallows 2-1 (HT 0-1)
Msida St. Joseph registered their first win as they came from behind to beat Dingli Swallows 2-1.
Dingli held the initiative during the first half and early after the break but then lost one of their best players – Andre Rocha Da Silva. However once the Saints equalised, they believed more in themselves and eventually won the three points.
Missing for Dingli were the suspended Shawn Tellus and Victor Fiteni. Msida, on the other hand, lacked Karl Ebejer, Zoran Levnaic and Olushola Aganun.
Dingli managed to take the lead on 11 minutes when off a corner by Andre Rocha Da Silva from the left, Joseph Okonkwo headed home past goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
Two minutes later, the Swallows went close to doubling the score when Da Silva released Okonkwo inside the area on the left but his diagonal shot scraped past the post.
On 38 minutes, Msida had an excellent opportunity thanks to which they could have restored equilibrium. Adrian Farrugia released Lydon Micallef on the right and off the latter’s cross, a good effort by Emiliano Lattes was blocked by goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia. Lattes took the rebound but Dino Cachia cleared the ball into a corner.
Seventeen minutes in the second half, Manuel Bartolo blocked a close-range effort by former Msida midfielder Dino Cachia.
Msida however levelled matters on 74 minutes when off a cross from the right by Emiliano Lattes from the right, Adam Spiteri beat Jeffrey Farrugia with a fine first-time effort.
On the 80th, Tyrone Farrugia took advantage of some lack of attention by the Dingli defence but his low effort just missed the target and the ball was cleared into safety.
Six minutes from time, Msida notched the winner when Tyrone Farrugia’s powerful drive from outside the area ended in the bottom left corner behind Farrugia.
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Stefano Grima, Roderick Baldacchino, Cedric Sciberras, Tyrone Farrugia, Adam Spiteri, Andrew Formosa (91′ Luke Saliba) Kevin Mifsud, Adrian Farrugia (71′ Joseph D’Amato), Emiliano Lattes, Lydon Micallef (59′ Iro Curmi).
Subs not used: Galen Mifsud, Kirsten Brincat, Matthew Borda, Darren Caruana
Coach: Mark Marlow
Asst. Coach: Keith Gouder
DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Renato Garcia Conceicao, Roderick Spiteri, Haruna Doda, Kurt Formosa, Christian Muscat, Dino Cachia (79′ Etienne Farrugia), Kevin Borg (88′ Christopher Azzopardi), Matthew Borg, Andre Rocha Da Silva (41′ Clint Caruana), Joseph Okonkwo.
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Roderick Briffa, Jeremy Agius, Dylan Zarb.
Coach: Jesmond Zammit
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Adrian Casha
Yellow Cards: K. Mifsud, R. Spiteri, C. Sciberras, K. Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Joseph Okonkwo
Scorers: 11′ Joseph Okonkwo (D)73′ Adam Spiteri (M)84′ Tyrone Farrugia (M)
Hibernians FC vs Floriana FC 2-3 (HT 1-3)
After beating Birkirkara in their last league outing, Floriana continued where they had left, beating Hibernians 3-1 despite playing for most of the second half in ten men.
Floriana therefore move into fourth place, just two points behind Hibs, Qormi and Valletta. The latter two however have a game in hand. The Paolites, on the other hand, missed the chance to take sole leadership.
Andrew Cohen returned for Hibernians but they still lacked Rumen Galabov, Jonathan Caruana, Leighton Grech and Ben Camilleri, among others.
Hibs had a better start going close on 7 minutes with Andrew Cohen failed to connect off an inviting Etienne Barbara cross from the right.
The Paolites had an excellent opportunity to take the lead on 8 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Andrew Cohen was brought down inside the area. However Etienne Barbara’s effort from the penalty spot ended wide.
Barbara missed another good chance on 18 minutes when as his close range effort was parried by Bernard Paris. Floriana replied with a fierce shot by Akanni-Sunday Wasiu ending high.
The Greens took the lead on 28 minutes thanks to Clifton Ciantar who concluded a solo effort on the left with a rising shot which beat Mario Muscat.
Floriana doubled the score on 36 minutes when off a pass by Marlon Briffa from the left, Ryan Darmanin hit home past goalkeeper Mario Muscat.
Two minutes later, Hibs pulled one back with a fine header by Olegs Malasenoks following cross from the right by Triston Caruana.
However on the 40th, Floriana restored a two-goal lead thanks to an own goal by Edward Herrera, who anticipated Muscat in attempt to clear the ball into safety, following a cross from the right by Wasiu.
One minute from the end of the first half, Etienne Barbara went close with a powerful shot from the right.
The Greens were reduced to ten men seven minutes in the second half as Julian Briffa was given marching orders by referee Paul Caruana.
Etienne Barbara headed just wide off a cross from the right by Edward Herrera on 66 minutes. On the other side of the pitch, substitute Mark Spiteri went close with a brilliant rising shot which scraped past the post on 75 minutes.
Hibs scored a second goal on the 90th thanks to Olegs Malasenoks who beat Bernard Paris from close range when served by Triston Caruana from the left.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Edward Herrera, Ryan Camilleri, Aaron Xuereb (44′ Matthew Tabone), Adrian Pulis, Christian Callejas, Triston Caruana, Olegs Malasenoks, Etienne Barbara, Andrew Cohen, Yan Cauchi (73′ Rene Duca).
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Dylan Sammut, Peter Sammut, Jonathan Pearson.
Asst. Coach: Edmond Lufi
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Duncan Pisani, Clifton Ciantar (83′ Sacha Borg), Julian Briffa, Brian Said, Marlon Briffa, Pablo Doffo, Joseph Borg (62′ Luke Agius), Ryan Darmanin (74′ Mark Spiteri), Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, Orosco Anonam.
Subs not used: Jurgen Micallef, Owen Bugeja, Jermain Brincat, Clyde Borg
Coach: Roddy Collins
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Anonam, Darmanin, Cauchi, Malasenoks
Red Cards: 52′ Julian Briffa
BOV Player of the Match: Orosco Anonam
Scorers: 28′ Clifton Ciantar (F)
36′ Ryan Darmanin (F)
38′ Olegs Malasenoks (H)
40′ own goal Edward Herrera (F)
90′ Olegs Malasenoks (H)