Msida St. Joseph bid farewell to the Premier League with a 2-2 draw against rivals Hamrun Spartans thanks to two late penalties converted by captain Tyrone Farrugia after having goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo sent off.
Floriana therefore ended their commitments on top in the Relegation Pool on 25 points, one ahead of Hamrun. Dingli and Msida, on the other hand, will be playing in Division 1 next season after finishing ninth and tenth respectively.
The Spartans had the first attempt at goal on the 18th minute when Marcelo Pereira concluded a solo run on the right flank by entering the area and serving Obinna Obiefule whose close range effort was blocked by Manuel Bartolo in two attempts. Msida replied with a cross shot by Adam Spiteri from the right ending just wide on the half-hour.
On the 33rd minute, Pereira served Obiefule whose first shot was blocked was Bartolo. Off the rebound, the same player regained possession but this time, he hit high. A minute later, Obiefule entered the penalty area from the left, serving the unmarked Ian Zammit whose powerful shot was parried by the Msida custodian.
Hamrun forged ahead on 45 minutes when Mead Mifsud concluded a good run on the left flank with an angled shot which beat goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo.
In added time, Ian Zammit served Obiefule from the right but the latter’s shot was blocked by Baldassare Borg and Manuel Bartolo into a corner.
Hamrun Spartans doubled the score on 65 minutes when a shot by Marcelo Pereira was partially saved by Manuel Bartolo and off the rebound, Ian Zammit placed the ball at the back of the net from close range. The goal brought harsh protests by the Msida goalkeeper who was first cautioned and then sent off by referee Andre Arciola.
On the 80th minute, Msida reduced the gap after a defender handled the ball inside the area. From the penalty spot, Tyrone Farrugia converted.
But the game was not over yet as two minutes from time, the Saints levelled matters thanks to another penalty, converted by Tyrone Farrugia, after the same player was brought down inside the area by Fleri Soler.
Obinna Obiefule was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photo: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Karl Magro, Roderick Fenech (83’ Timothy Fleri Soler), Mead Mifsud (73’ Daniel Zerafa), Mark Barbara (61’ Mauro Busuttil), Neville Galea, Lee James Agius, Marcelo Pereira, Martin Hrubsa, Obinna Polycarp Obiefule, Ian Zammit.
Subs not used: Ivan Casha, Rupert Mangion, Manolito Micallef, Gaetan Spiteri.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Lydon Micallef, Matthew Borda, Tyrone Farrugia, Larson Agius, Zoran Levnaic, Joseph Damato (66’ Matthew Mulholland – gk), Adam Spiteri (66’ Phiram Sakchai), Baldassare Borg, Andrew Formosa (51’ Iro Curmi), Miguel Ciantar.
Subs not used: Miguel Grech, Adrian Farrugia, Vincenzo Brincat, Kurt Grech.
Coach: Keith Gouder
Team Manager: Robert Farrugia
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Bartolo, Micallef, Mifsud, Fenech, Galea
Red Cards: 65’ Manuel Bartolo
Scorers: 45’ Mead Mifsud (H); 65’ Ian Zammit (H); 80’ Tyrone Farrugia pen (M); 88’ Tyrone Farrugia pen (M)