Marsaxlokk maintained the challenge for a place in the Championship Pool with a 2-0 win over Birkirkara. Patrick Curmi’s side therefore returned to victory after disappointing in recent outings.
The Southseasiders, who had defeated Birkirkara 5-2 in the first round, had an edge over their opponents and deserved to win the three points. Three points which put them just one point behind Hamrun and two behind Birkirkara, although they are still sixth.
Birkirkara lacked Ryan Harding, Angus Buhagiar, Paul Fenech, Simon Zahra and Trevor Cilia while Carlo Mamo was missing for Marsaxlokk.
Marsaxlokk went close to taking the lead on 15 minutes with a dangerous cross by Malcolm Licari from the right with the ball being deflected into a corner before Galabov and Effiong could connect.
Birkirkara replied with a low shot by Alan Tabone from outside the area which was deflected into a corner by a defender on 28 minutes.
Goalkeeper Reuben Gauci performed a good save on an Emiliano Lattes effort, off a cross by Decesare, three minutes in the second half. Then on 65 minutes, on the other side of the pitch, an Alfred Effiong effort was neutralised by Michael Fraser.
Marsaxlokk finally broke the deadlock on 67 minutes when Malcolm Licari concluded a good move by rounding two players before placing the ball at the back of the net.
Alfred Effiong went close to increasing the lead on the 70th with a header following a cross from the right by Templeman. Three minutes later, a fierce shot by Rumen Galabov ended wide.
The Southseasiders double the score on the 75th when off a cross from the left by Alfred Effiong, Gareth Sciberras headed home from close range.
Malcolm Licari was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos (below) and (1): Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
Photos (below) and (2): Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
M’XLOKK Reuben Gauci, Malcolm Licari (92′ Ryan Darmanin), Clive Brincat, Emil Yanchev, Andrew Spiteri, Florent Raimy, Gareth Sciberras (79’ Peter Pullicino), Rumen Galabov, Trevor Templeman, Alfred Effiong, Martin Deanov (83’ Gary Caruana).
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Ruben Guerreiro Gravata, Julio Alcorse, Dylan Kokavessis.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Assistant Coach: Louis Cutajar
B’KARA Michael Fraser, Thomas Paris, Rowen Muscat, Patrick Borg, Joseph Zerafa, Alan Tabone (73’ Terence Vella), Andrew Decesare (77’ Ryan Scicluna), Shaun Bajada, Karl Pulo, Michael Galea, Emiliano Lattes.
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Nikola Vukanac, Ian Schembri, David Spiteri, Michael Camilleri.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Assistant Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: A. Spiteri, J. Zerafa, A. Effiong, P. Pullicino
Scorers: 67’ Malcolm Licari, 75’ Gareth Sciberras
Photos: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
Qormi and Sliema Wanderers earned a point each as they shared the spoils in a goalless draw. A point which suited neither side as both were aiming for the three points in their bid to climb out of the danger zone.
The Yellow-Blacks lacked Roderick Sammut, Joseph Farrugia and Stefan Giglio while their latest signing Ibraima Sumaila Vaz Sani was retained on the bench. The Wanderers, on the other hand lacked Josef Mifsud, John Mintoff and goalkeeper Ini Etim Aktpan.
The first half lacked goal-mouth action with the best opportunity occurring on the 18th minute for Sliema when off a cross by Chakib Lachkhem from the right, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza’s fine shot on the turn was neutralised by Matthew Camilleri.
Three minutes in the second half, an angled shot by Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza from the right ended just wide. Three minutes later, Matthew Bartolo served Josue Souza Santos from the right but the latter concluded high after controlling the ball just inside the area.
Qormi replied with a Matthew Bartolo corner from which George Mallia’s header was parried by Szentpeteri on 67 minutes. Seven minutes later, they went close once again with an Abubakar Bello-Osagie effort which was neutralised by the Sliema custodian.
On 78 minutes, Szentpeteri came to the rescue once again as he blocked into a corner a Josue close-range effort following a through pass by Bello-Osagie. From the resulting corner by Bartolo, Bello-Osagie headed just wide.
Substitute Miguel Ciantar went close to putting Sliema ahead on 81 minutes with a good shot from outside the area ending just over the bar when served by Failla from the left. Seven minutes later, off a Matthew Bartolo corner, Bello-Osagie had a fine header cleared off the goal line by Beppe Muscat.
Finally two minutes in added time, substitute Obinna Obiefule missed an incredible chance as he advanced into the area but his diagonal shot from the right missed the target by a whisker.
Jason Vandelannoite was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
QORMI Matthew Camilleri, Jason Vandelannoite, Matthew Bartolo (90’ Gabriel Buttigieg), Keith Fenech, Joseph Chetcuti, Abubakar Bello-Osagie, George Mallia, Jonathan Bondin, Cleavon Frendo (62’ Luke Sciberras), Kang Hojung, Josue Souza Santos.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Gaetano Gesualdi, Ibraima Sumaila Vaz Sani, Ben Camilleri, Steve Agius.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Assistant Coach: Charles Scerri
SLIEMA Viktor Szentpeteri, Mark Scerri, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (76’ Obinna Polycarp Obiefule), Steve Bezzina, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Chakib Lachkhem, Adam Spiteri (75’ Miguel Ciantar), Roderick Bajada, Beppe Muscat, Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, Julian Briffa, Noel Turner, James Paris, Ryan Dalli.
Coach: Mark Marlow
Assistant Coach: Joseph Bajada
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: K. Fenech, B. Muscat, J. Bondin