Valletta moved nine points clear on top the BOV Premier League table as goals by Andrade Antunes Anderson, Denni Rocha Dos Santos and Ian Zammit gave the Citizens a 3-0 win over eternal rivals Floriana.
An early goal paved the way for the Citizens who were clearly the better side throughout the ninety minutes, adding another two goals after the break. On the other hand, for Floriana, this defeat leaves them in third place, one point behind Birkirkara.
Jamie Pace and Roderick Briffa were missing for Valletta but Ryan Fenech was back after serving a one-match ban.
The Citizens took only six minutes to forge ahead with Andrade Antunes Anderson beating Lotfi Saidi with a fine shot from the right.
The Greens replied with a Thomas Paris effort from the edge of the area which was blocked by Andrew Hogg two minutes later. On 25 minutes, a Ryan Fenech freekick was turned into a corner by the Tunisian goalkeeper.
Valletta doubled the score two minutes in the second half when Gilbert Agius served Denni Rocha Dos Santos on the left and the latter’s fine rising shot beat Saidi.
The leaders were reduced to ten men on 66 minutes after referee Clayton Pisani gave marching orders to Denni after hitting an opponent.
Eleven minutes later, Floriana also had a player sent off as substitute Owen Bugeja received a second yellow card for a foul on Antunes Anderson.
Nine minutes from time, Ivan Woods was unlucky to hit the upright with a freekick from the left.
Valletta sealed the issue on the 86th minute when off an inviting pass by Omonigho Temile from the left, Ian Zammit slammed the ball home past goalkeeper Lotfi Saidi.
Gilbert Agius was voted BOV Player of the Match.
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Ramon Dos Santos, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Edmond Agius (70’ Ian Zammit), Gilbert Agius (61’ Kevin Sammut), Ryan Fenech, Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Terence Scerri (85’ Omonigho Temile), Andrade Antunes Anderson.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Dylan D’Agostino, Kenneth Scicluna, Kurt Magro.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Assistant Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
FLORIANA Lotfi Saidi, Brian Said (73’ Clyde Borg), Duncan Pisani (61’ Owen Bugeja), Manolito Micallef, Tyrone Farrugia, Pablo Doffo, Thomas Paris (46’ Dragomir Draganov), Christian Cassar, Ivan Woods, Daniel Nwoke, Christian Caruana.
Subs not used: Matthew Towns, Mauro Di Lello, Joseph Borg, Sacha Borg.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Jeffrey Farrugia
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Konrad Borg
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Doffo, Scerri, Bugeja
Red Cards: 66’ Denni, 77’ Owen Bugeja
Scorers: 6’ Andrade Antunes Anderson, 47’ Denni Rocha Dos Santos, 86’ Ian Zammit
Tarxien Rainbows returned to winning ways as they registered a comfortable 4-1 win over Hamrun Spartans to end their negative run in the Championship Pool.
The Rainbows are still fifth but now close in on the othe teams challenging for the runner-up position. Hamrun, on the other hand, remained anchored at the bottom of the Championship Pool.
Justin Grioli and Mark Tanti were missing for Noel Coleiro’s side. The Spartans welcomed back Jovan Vukanic after serving a one-match ban.
Tarxien managed to take the lead on the 9th when off a corner by Gianluca Calabretta, Daniel Mariano Bueno’s header seemed to be cleared off the goal line by Lee James Agius but assistant referee Malcolm Mercieca signalled the goal arguing that the ball had crossed the goal line.
On the 14th minutes, the Rainbows doubled the score thanks to a powerful rising shot by Sergio Pacheco De Oliveira which gave goalkeeper Omar Borg no chance.
A minute later, Hamrun reduced the gap with a goal by Dene Shields whose shot from the right beat goalkeeper David Cassar.
A Dyson Falzon freekick from the right on 17 minutes was parried by Omar Borg. Five minutes later, a Dene Shields effort was cleared off the goal line by Vella Critien.
Tarxien increased the lead on 27 minutes when off a cross by Calabretta from the right, Ricardo Costa headed the ball home.
Hamrun went close one minute from the end of the first half with a Gaetan Spiteri header which was saved by David Cassar aided by the upright.
Two minutes in the second half, Ricardo Costa made it 4-1 as he received a perfect pass by Daniel Mariano Bueno on the left and beat Omar Borg with a rising shot.
Ricardo Costa had a powerful freekick from the left neutralised by Omar Borg on 58 minutes. A minute later, a powerful shot by Dene Shields from the right was saved in two attempts by Cassar.
Costa concluded a good move with a shot from the edge of the area which was deflected into a corner on the 70th.
Ricardo Costa was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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HAMRUN Omar Borg, Dragan Milovic, Massimo Grima, Rupert Mangion, Dene Shields, Lee James Agius, Marcelo Pereira (60’ Dylan Kokavessis), Dyson Falzon, Gaetan Spiteri (70’ Mead Mifsud), Jovan Vukanic, David Camilleri (60’ Karl Magro).
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Roderick Fenech, Steve Bonnici.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Assistant Coach: Victor Cassar
TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, Everton Antonio Pereira, Gianluca Calabretta, Ricardo Costa, Sergio Pacheco De Oliveira (81’ Julian Vella), Daniel Mariano Bueno(69’ Cristiano Dos Santos Rodrigues), Luke Vella Critien, Orosco Anonam (62’ Ryan Mintoff), Lee Galea.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Jean Luca Caruana, Sergio Hili, Andre Farrugia.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Assistant Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Malcolm Mercieca
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: L. J. Agius, S. Sadowski, G. Spiteri, M. Grima
Scorers: 9’ Daniel Mariano Bueno (T); 14’ Sergio Pacheco De Oliveira (T); 15’ Dene Shields (H); 27’ Ricardo Costa (T); 47’ Ricardo Costa (T)