Sliema Wanderers vs Qormi FC 1-2 (HT 0-1)
Despite lacking top scorer Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo, leaders Qormi made sure of retaining the top spot as they beat Sliema Wanderers 2-1.
For the Blues, this was the second defeat and the sixth defeat in eleven matches.
Both sides were unable to field their best formation. Qormi lacked BOV Premier League top scorer Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo and Joseph Chetcuti. Mark Scerri and Ryan Fenech were missing for Sliema but Clifford Gatt Baldacchino was back after serving a two-match ban.
Following a quiet start by the two teams, Qormi managed to take the lead on 38 minutes when off a Joseph Farrugia freekick from the left, Stephen Wellman rose high to head home past goalkeeper Simon Agius.
Two minutes later, the Yellows almost doubled the score when Alfred Effiong rounded Agius but his goal-bound shot was cleared off the goal-line by a defender. The Sliema goalkeeper then turned into a corner a good attempt by Ryan Deguara from inside the area.
Ten minutes in the second half, Clayton Failla tested Matthew Farrugia with a freekick from the left. Alex Muscat then hit just over the bar off a Noel Turner corner from the right on 68 minutes. A powerful drive by John Mintoff was turned into a corner by the Qormi custodian on 70 minutes.
The Wanderers levelled matters on 71 minutes when off a corner from the right, John Mintoff headed the ball into the direction of Ivan Woods who beat Farrugia. The ball hit the upright before ending at the back of the net.
On 77 minutes, Qormi went close once again with successive attempts by Steve Meilak and Alfred Effiong which were somehow blocked the Sliema rear-guard.
The Yellows regained the lead on 84 minutes when a shot by Steve Meilak from outside the area, beat goalkeeper Simon Agius, probably deceived by the presence of Joseph Farrugia who tried to deflect the ball.
On th 90th, Qormi had the opportunity of another goal following a good solo run by Alfred Effiong but after his first attempt was blocked by Josef Mifsud, he hit just wide.
SLIEMA Simon Agius, Alex Muscat, Ian Azzopardi (65′ Noel Turner), Josef Mifsud, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods, Lucian Dronca, Ian Ciantar, John Mintoff, Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Jeremy Alden, Luca Martinelli, Raymond Attard, Andrew Agius, Andrew Caligari, Klinsmann Grech.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Team Manager: Rupert Perry
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Roderick Sammut, Lucas Ramon Dos Santos, Stephen Wellman, Jonathan Bondin, Massimo Grima (93′ Gabriel Buttigieg), Keith Fenech, Steve Meilak (87′ Kenneth Spiteri), Joseph Farrugia, Ryan Deguara, Alfred Effiong.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Malcolm Buttigieg, Ryan Cauchi, George Chircop, Jurgen Stanyer.
Coach: Vince Carbonaro
Team Manager: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Failla
BOV Player of the Match: Ryan Deguara
Scorers: 38′ Stephen Wellman (Q)
71′ Ivan Woods (S)
84′ Joseph Farrugia (Q)
Floriana FC vs Valletta FC 0-4 (HT 0-4)
Valletta scored four in the first half as they registered another comfortable win over eternal rivals Floriana, beating them 4-0. The Citizens therefore stay one point behind leaders Qormi.
Floriana lacked no less than six players, namely the suspended Julian Briffa and Pablo Doffo together with the injured Bernard Paris, Owen Bugeja, Luke Agius, Roberto Brincat, Sunday Eboh and Christian Cassar. Jordi Cruijff was serving a one-match ban for the Citizens.
Valletta forged ahead on 12 minutes when Gilbert Agius released Njongo Priso on the left and off the latter’s cross, Roderick Briffa hit past goalkeeper Jurgen Micallef.
Four minutes later, Gilbert Agius doubled the score when he received a pass inside the area and pulled to the left before beating Micallef with an angled shot.
The Citizens could have increased the lead on 24 minutes when Roderick Briffa exchanged the ball with Terence Scerri and from the latter’s cross, Briffa’s acrobatic shot ended just wide.
Kevin Sammut made it 3-0 on 34 minutes with a great shot from outside the area which gave the Floriana goalie no chance.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, Valletta scored the fourth goal when a shot from the left was cleared off the goal-line by Clifton Ciantar but Terence Scerri slammed the ball home off the rebound.
The upright denied Gilbert Agius from scoring another one on 57 minutes. Following a throw-in by Steve Borg, Kevin Sammut tried his luck with a shot from the right but in attempt to clear the ball into safety, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu risked committing an own goal as he hit the crossbar. A Steve Borg header was then cleared off the goal-line by Clifton Ciantar on 73 minutes.
In the final stages, Floriana tried their best to score a consolation goal but the Citizens’ rear-guard did a good job in keeping their opponents at bay.
FLORIANA Jurgen Micallef, Duncan Pisani, Clifton Ciantar, Orosco Anonam, Brian Said, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu, Ryan Darmanin, Mark Spiteri (46′ Christian Caruana), Marlon Briffa, Joseph Borg, Clyde Borg (46′ Jermain Brincat).
Subs not used: Kyle Gerada, Mauro Grioli, Sacha Borg, Alan Abela, Chris Grech.
Team Manager: Peter Agius
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Steve Borg, Steve Bezzina, Luke Dimech, Kenneth Scicluna, Edmond Agius, Kevin Sammut, Gilbert Agius (65′ Stefan Giglio), Terence Scerri, Njongo Priso (46′ Dyson Falzon), Roderick Briffa (84′ Cleavon Frendo).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Justin Grioli, Cleavon Frendo, Dylan Grima, Jamie Pace.
Coach: Ton Caanen
Team Manager: Nicky Saliba
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Joe Camilleri
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Priso, Wasiu, Caruana, Giglio, E. Agius
BOV Player of the Match: Kevin Sammut
Scorers: 12′ Roderick Briffa
16′ Gilbert Agius
34′ Kevin Sammut
41′ Terence Scerri