Tarxien Rainbows registered the third win in four matches as they defeated Qormi 2-0. For Qormi, this was the second successive defeat after they lost to leaders Valletta last week.
It was a deserved win for Noel Coleiro’s side who were the better team throughout the ninety minutes. Both sides were unable to field their best formation as David Camilleri and Gianluca Calabretta were missing for Tarxien, Keith Fenech and Massimo Grima were missing for Qormi.
The Rainbows had the first attempt at goal on 4 minutes with a direct freekick by Everton Antonio Pereira from the left ending just wide. A shot by Anderson Mendes Ribeiro was turned into a corner on 28 minutes and from the resulting corner, the same Brazilian striker headed just wide.
Tarxien took the lead on 32 minutes. Referee Kevin Azzopardi awarded a penalty after Denni Rocha Dos Santos was brought down inside the area by Ramon Dos Santos. From the penalty spot, Denni Rocha Dos Santos made no mistake.
Twelve minutes in the second half, Tarxien goalie Anthony Curmi came to the rescue performing a good save on an Alfred Effiong close-range effort. Two minutes later, Joseph Farrugia had a fine shot from outside the area turned into a corner by Curmi.
The Rainbows continued to control their opponents although seven minutes from time, Qormi went close to equalising with an acrobatic shot by Alfred Effiong and two minutes later, Stephen Wellman concluded a good move with a low shot ending just wide.
Tarxien sealed the issue four minutes from time when off a cross from the left by Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Mark Tanti controlled before hitting low past goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.
Denni Rocha Dos Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jonathan Bondin, Stephen Wellman, Lucas Ramon Dos Santos, Roderick Sammut, Stefan Giglio, Joseph Farrugia, Matthew Bartolo, Ryan Deguara (82′ Kenneth Spiteri), Alfred Effiong, Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Malcolm Buttigieg, George Chircop, Ryan Cauchi, Gabriel Buttigieg, Jurgen Stanyer.
Coach: Vince Carbonaro Team Manager: Jesmond Zerafa
TARXIEN Anthony Curmi, Steve Sadowski (68′ Kurt Magro), Manuel Caruana, Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro, Mark Tanti (91′ Ryan Grech), Andrew Decesare, Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Ryan Mintoff, Lee Galea, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Mario Bajada, Ryan Previ, Warren Zerafa.
Coach: Noel Coleiro Asst. Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Asst. Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: R. Sammut, A. Effiong, S. Giglio
Meanwhile in the second match, Sliema Wanderers came from behind to beat ten-man Dingli Swallows 3-1.
Mark Marlow was making his debut as Sliema Wanderers coach. The Blues welcomed back Ryan Fenech but lacked Julio Alcorse with Pedro Calcado starting on the bench.
Ian Azzopardi went close for Sliema on 13 minutes thanks to a header by Ian Azzopardi following a cross from the right by Alex Muscat.
Dingli took the lead on 31 minutes when Joseph Okonkwo served Andre Rocha Da Silva whose diagonal shot from the right beat goalkeeper Simon Agius.
Three minutes later, Sliema had an excellent opportunity to equalise when they were awarded a penalty after Roderick Briffa floored Clayton Failla inside the area. However Lucian Dronca’s effort was neutralised by the Dingli custodian.
On 66 minutes, Dingli missed a good chance when Andre Rocha Da Silva concluded a good move with a pass for Joseph Okonkwo who however failed to conclude from an ideal position. Sliema replied with a Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza effort which was saved by Farrugia, aided by the foot of the post, into a corner on 69 minutes.
Sliema levelled matters on 71 minutes when off a cross from the left, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza controlled before beating Jeffrey Farrugia with a fine shot.
Alex Muscat then went close on 73 minutes with a rising shot which was turned into a corner by a defender.
The Wanderers turned the score in their favour on 74 minutes. Shawn Tellus handed the ball inside the area following a shot by Clayton Failla. Referee Glenn Tonna ordered a penalty and gave marching orders to the Dingli defender. From the penalty spot, Ivan Woods converted.
Two minutes later, Sliema made it 3-1 when off a cross from the right by Alex Muscat, Ian Azzopardi headed home.
Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza was voted BOV Player of the Match.
SLIEMA Simon Agius, Alex Muscat, Ian Azzopardi, Josef Mifsud, Ryan Fenech, Mark Scerri, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Ivan Woods (86′ Noel Turner), Lucian Dronca, John Mintoff (68′ Ian Ciantar), Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Jeremy Alden, Luca Martinelli, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Amadeo Mercieca, Pedro Dos Santos Calcado.
DINGLI Jeffrey Farrugia, Roderick Briffa, Shawn Tellus, Roderick Spiteri (89′ Charlon Sammut), Kurt Formosa, Christian Muscat, Dino Cachia (81′ Christopher Azzopardi), Kevin Borg, Matthew Borg, Andre Rocha Da Silva, Joseph Okonkwo.
Subs not used: Ivan Cassar, Haruna Doda, Victor Fiteni, Etienne Farrugia, Dylan Zarb.
Referee: Glenn Tonna
Asst. Referees: Konrad Borg, Alan Camilleri
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Failla, Cachia, I. Ciantar
Red Cards: 74′ Tellus