M'Xlokk, Vittoriosa share spoils in draw

Marsaxlokk and Vittoriosa Stars earned a point apiece as the two teams shared the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw.

The Southeseasiders therefore still need a point from their last game against Qormi to secure a place in the Championship Pool while the Stars still lie at the bottom of the table, one point behind Hibernians.

Gary Caruana and the returning Rumen Galabov replaced the suspended Peter Pullicino and Trevor Templeman for Marsaxlokk. Clive Brincat was missing once again. For Vittoriosa, Carlos Campagnoli and Kevin Mifsud were missing.

Vittoriosa managed to take the lead on 21 minutes when off a good run on the right flank, Leighton Grech served the unmarked Jorge Santos Silva who slammed the ball home past goalkeeper Reuben Gauci.

Seven minutes later, the Southseasiders appealed for a penalty after Alfred Effiong was stopped just outside the area when served by Carlo Mamo. However referee Kevin Azzopardi waved play on.

Two minutes in added time, substitute goalkeeper Jean Matthias Vella performed a good save on an Alfred Effiong effort.

Marsaxlokk levelled matters five minutes in the second half when Martin Deanov released Alfred Effiong through and the latter pulled to the left before hitting low past goalkeeper Jean Vella.

Four minutes later, Deanov served Effiong once again and the latter rounded a defender before trying his luck with a rising shot which was tipped into a corner by the Vittoriosa custodian. On the other side of the pitch, on 58 minutes, Leighton Grech hit just wide following an inviting pass by Carl Sammut.

Marsaxlokk were reduced to ten men on the hour after Rumen Galabov received a second yellow card for a foul outside the area. From the resulting direct freekick, Jorge Santos Silva beat Reuben Gauci to restore the lead for Vittoriosa.

However on 64 minutes, the score was draw once again as off a Martin Deanov freekick, Alfred Effiong headed the ball down for Florent Raimy to hit home from close range.

A powerful shot by Edison Luis Dos Santos from outside the area was turned into a corner by Reuben Gauci on 66 minutes and on 75 minutes, Murilo Maccari headed just over the bar following a freekick from the left.

Jorge Santos Silva was voted BOV Player of the Match.

M’XLOKK Reuben Gauci, Malcolm Licari (82′ Sunday Eboh), Andrew Spiteri, Rumen Galabov, Emil Yanchev, Florent Raimy, Gareth Sciberras, Gary Caruana (64′ Ruben Guerreiro Gravata), Carlo Mamo (87′ Ryan Darmanin), Martin Deanov, Alfred Effiong.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Luca Lodetti, Julio Alcorse, Paul Paris.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Assistant Coach: Louis Cutajar

VITTORIOSA Simon Agius (41′ Jean Matthias Vella), Clayton Micallef, Murilo Maccari, Carl Sammut, Jeffrey Chetcuti, Edison Luis Dos Santos, Ryan Grech, Jorge Santos Silva, Anthony Ewurum (76′ Alan Tabone), Stephen Wellman, Leighton Grech.
Subs not used: Pierre Aquilina, Justin Camilleri, Jonathan Xerri, Dino Cachia, Larry Lagana.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla

Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: A. Spiteri, R. Galabov, F. Raimy, Jorge Santos, M. Deanov, G. Sciberras, R. Guerreiro
Red Cards: 60′ Rumen Galabov
Scorers: 21′ Jorge Santos Silva (V); 50′ Alfred Effiong (M); 61′ Jorge Santos Silva (M); 64′ Florent Raimy (M)
Attendance: 249