Alfred Effiong hits four past Floriana — B’Kara move second

Alfred Effiong was the four-goal hero for Marsaxlokk as the Southseasiders maintained their positive run with a fine 4-0 win over Floriana.

For the Greens, this was yet another disappointing result as this was the fourth consecutive defeat and now lie one point behind Marsaxlokk.

Egyptian striker Mohamed El Yamani was making his debut for Floriana but they lacked Duncan Pisani, Kiril Dzhorov, Daniel Nwoke and Christian Caruana. Marsaxlokk had Rumen Galabov, Gareth Sciberras and Martin Deanov back in the starting line-up but Malcolm Licari and Clive Brincat were both missing.

The Greens held the initiative in the early stages with the Southseasiders operating on counter-attacks.

On the 14th minute, Marsaxlokk took the lead when Ryan Darmanin released Alfred Effiong on the right and the latter placed the ball at the back of the net.

Ryan Darmanin went close with a shot from outside the area ending just wide on the half hour.

Five minutes from the end of the first half, Gareth Sciberras released Alfred Effiong on the right but Lotfi Saidi blocked his attempt and off the rebound, a cute lob by Sciberras was cleared off the goal line Owen Bugeja. A minute later, a shot by Darmanin ended just wide.

On the other side of the pitch, off a cross by Owen Bugeja from the right, Mohamed El Yamani headed wide. A close-range effort by Manolito Micallef was blocked by Reuben Gauci on 44 minutes.

Eight minutes in the second half, Marsaxlokk doubled the score when off a Martin Deanov through pass, Alfred Effiong advanced into the area before slotting past goalkeeper Lotfi Saidi.

Ryan Darmanin headed wide off a cross by Martin Deanov from the right on 65 minutes. Nine minutes later, Alfred Effiong concluded a good run with a perfect pass for Ryan Darmanin whose goal-bound shot was deflected into a corner.

Ten minutes from time, the Southseasiders scored the third goal when a shot by Ryan Darmanin was partially saved by Saidi and off the rebound, Alfred Effiong placed the ball at the back of the net.

But it was not over yet for Marsaxlokk as six minutes later, Gareth Sciberras served Alfred Effiong whose rising shot from the left beat the Tunisian goalkeeper for the fourth time.

Alfred Effiong was voted BOV Player of the Match.

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M’XLOKK Reuben Gauci, Trevor Templeman, Emil Yantchev, Rumen Galabov, Carlo Mamo, Florent Raimy (87’ Luca Lodetti), Peter Pullicino, Gareth Sciberras, Martin Deanov (73’ Sunday Eboh), Alfred Effiong (87’ Julio Alcorse), Ryan Darmanin.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Ruben Guerreiro, Gary Caruana, Andrew Spiteri.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Assistant Coach: Louis Cutajar

FLORIANA Lotfi Saidi, Brian Said, Owen Bugeja, Manolito Micallef, Pablo Doffo, Ivan Woods (64’ Thomas Paris), Mohamed El Yamani (63’ Marcal Guerreiro Fernandes), Sacha Borg (56’ Christian Cassar), Tyrone Farrugia, Clyde Borg, Dragomir Draganov.
Subs not used: Matthew Towns, Joseph Borg, Mark Gauci, Brooke Farrugia.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Todor Raykov

Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Mitchell Scerri
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Deanov, C. Borg
Scorers: 14’ Alfred Effiong, 53’ Alfred Effiong, 80’ Alfred Effiong, 86’ Alfred Effiong

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Meanwhile Birkirkara moved second in the BOV Premier League table, five points behind leaders Valletta, as they returned to winning ways, beating Tarxien Rainbows 3-1.

The Rainbows have now gone three matches without a win and are now joint-third with Marsaxlokk, two points behind the Stripes.

Tarxien welcomed back Ricardo Costa in the starting line-up but lacked Mark Tanti and the suspended Ryan Mintoff, Gianluca Calabretta and Daniel Mariano Bueno. Birkirkara, on the other hand, could not count on Trevor Cilia and Terence Vella.

Birkirkara forged ahead on the 10th minute with a great rising shot by Michael Galea from outside the area which gave goalkeeper David Cassar no chance.

The Rainbows were awarded a penalty on 34 minutes after Patrick Borg brought Cristiano down inside the area. From the penalty spot, Sergio Pacheco De Oliveira made it 1-1.

The Stripes regained the lead two minutes in the second half when Emiliano Lattes received a Paul Fenech through pass and advanced into the area before hitting past the Tarxien goalkeeper.

On 53 minutes, a header by Shaun Bajada was turned into a corner by Cassar and from the resulting corner by Lattes from the right, Andrei Agius’ first time effort hit the upright. Hardly a minute later, a powerful drive by Bajada was turned into a corner by the Tarxien custodian.

David Cassar was prominent once again on 72 minutes with a good save into a corner on an Ibrahim Babatunde effort.

Birkirkara made it 3-1 on 77 minutes when Shaun Bajada served Paul Fenech on the left and the latter’s powerful shot from the left beat Cassar following a deflection by Lee Galea.

In a swift counter-attack for the Stripes six minutes later, Bajada released Lattes on the right but the latter’s shot ended wide.

Emiliano Lattes was voted BOV Player of the Match.

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TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski (54’ Julian Vella), Manuel Caruana, Everton Antonio Pereira, Ricardo Costa (79’ Sergio Hili), Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues, Sergio Pacheco De Oliveira (88’ Andre Farrugia), Luke Vella Critien, Orosco Anonam, Lee Galea, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Michael Agius, Jean Luca Caruana.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Assistant Coach: Michael Church

B’KARA Michael Fraser, Emiliano Lattes, Joseph Zerafa, Nikola Vukanac, Paul Fenech, Rowen Muscat, Ibrahim Babatunde (83’ Andrew Decesare), Shaun Bajada (89’ Ryan Scicluna), Patrick Borg, Michael Galea (91′ Rodolfo Kumbrevicius), Andrei Agius.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Ryan Camenzuli, Karl Pulo, Simon Zahra.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Assistant Coach: Branko Nisevic

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Philip Agius, Joe Camilleri
Fourth Official: Paul Caruana
Yellow Cards: Cristiano, Zerafa, Borg, Caruana, Bajada
Scorers: 10’ Michael Galea (B); 35’ Sergio Pacheco De Oliviera (pen) (T); 47’ Emiliano Lattes (B); 77’ Paul Fenech (B)
Attendance: 971

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