Floriana FC vs Sliema Wanderers 1-1 (HT 0-0)
Floriana and Sliema Wanderers earned a point each as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.
The Blues held the initiative and managed to take the lead but the Greens equalised after Sliema had a player sent off.
Sliema were in full strength except for the injured Miguel Ciantar. Brazilian goalie Michael Gustavo Siscoutto Lima made his debut for Stephen Azzopardi’s side when he was included as a substitute in the beginning of the second half. For Floriana, Julian Briffa and Orosco Anonam were ruled out through suspension besides the injured Christian Caruana, Christian Cassar and Sunday Eboh.
The Wanderers had the first shot at goal on 12 minutes when off a Ryan Fenech through pass, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza’s close range effort was turned into a corner by Paris.
On the half-hour, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu headed just over the bar off a Clifton Ciantar cross. Ten minutes later, Wasiu released Ciantar on the left and the latter’s attempt scraped past the post.
Six minutes in the second half, a cross shot by Ryan Fenech was partially saved by Paris, aided by the posts, with Duncan Pisani clearing the ball into safety. Seven minutes later, Woods served Mifsud Triganza whose powerful shot was neutralised by the Floriana custodian.
Sliema took the lead on 75 minutes, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza received a perfect through pass and advanced into the area before hitting low past Bernard Paris. Clifford Gatt Baldacchino was then sent off by referee Marco Borg for passing comments in the direction of the Floriana bench.
Floriana levelled matters on the 77th minute when Akanni-Sunday Wasiu received a pass inside the area and beat the Brazilian goalie with a low shot.
The Greens went close to forging ahead on 85 minutes with Wasiu concluding a solo effort with a fine shot which missed the target by a whisker. Finally Alex Muscat served Ryan Fenech who concluded high from the edge of the area.
FLORIANA Bernard Paris, Duncan Pisani, Clifton Ciantar, Owen Bugeja (70′ Clyde Borg), Brian Said, Pablo Doffo, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, Marlon Briffa, Ryan Darmanin (80′ Mark Spiteri), Luke Agius, Joseph Borg (54′ Roberto Brincat).
SLIEMA Simon Agius (46′ Michael Gustavo Siscotto Lima), Alex Muscat, Ian Azzopardi, Josef Mifsud, Ryan Fenech, Noel Turner (69′ Henry Isaac), Mark Scerri, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (84′ Ian Ciantar), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods, Clayton Failla.
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: R. Fenech, A. Muscat, J. Borg, M. Briffa, O. Bugeja, P. Doffo, D. Pisani
Red Cards: 76′ Gatt Baldacchino
BOV Player of the Match: Akanni-Sunday Wasiu
Scorers: 75′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (S)77′ Akanni Sunday Wasiu (F)
Birkirkara FC vs Msida St. Joseph 4-1 (HT 1-1)
Birkirkara kept the pace with the teams on top as they came from behind to beat Msida St. Joseph 4-1.
This game marked the debut of Esther Azzopardi as referee in the Premier League after she acted as assistant referee first and later as fourth official.
The Saints had an excellent start as they managed to take the lead after just four minutes when Emiliano Lattes took advantage of an erratic clearance by goalkeeper Jorge Mora and placed the ball at the back of the net from the edge of the area.
Birkirkara replied with a Sylvano Comvalius freekick which was saved in style by goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo on the 8th minute. Two minutes later, the Stripes levelled matters when Michael Galea served Trevor Cilia who entered the area before hitting past the Msida goalie.
Just before the break, George Mallia tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area which was neutralised by Bartolo and seconds later, a goal-bound shot by Shaun Bajada was cleared off the goal line by Tyrone Farrugia.
Birkirkara forged ahead ten minutes in the second half when in a swift counter-attack, George Mallia released Sylvano Comvalius on the left and the latter beat Bartolo with a powerful shot.
Msida replied with a Roderick Baldacchino freekick which scraped past the post on 71 minutes.
Shaun Bajada hit the upright on 76 minutes with a shot from outside the area. But two minutes later, Shaun Bajada was not to be denied as he hit home off a cross by Michael Galea from the right.
Two minutes in added time, Angus Buhagiar made it 4-1 with a first-time effort when served by Joseph Zerafa.
B’KARA Jorge Mora, Paul Fenech, Nikola Vukanac, Branko Nisevic, Shaun Bajada, Trevor Cilia (73′ Rowen Muscat), George Mallia (81′ Alan Tabone), Angus Buhagiar, Joseph Zerafa, Michael Galea, Sylvano Comvalius (90′ Andrew Scicluna).
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Stefano Grima, Roderick Baldacchino, Cedric Sciberras, Tyron Farrugia, Adam Spiteri, Iro Curmi (70′ Adrian Farrugia), Kevin Mifsud, Karl Ebejer (56′ Joseh Damato), Emiliano Lattes, Lydon Micallef (42′ Andrew Formosa).
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Mariano Debono
Fourth Official: Anton Zammit
Yellow Cards: P. Fenech, T. Cilia (B), A. Formosa (MSJ)
BOV Player of the Match: Sylvano Comvalius
Scorers: 4′ Emiliano Lattes (M)
10′ Trevor Cilia (B)
55′ Sylvano Comvalius (B)
78′ Shaun Bajada (B)
90+1′ Angus Buhagiar (B)