Sliema Wanderers registered a most comfortable 4-1 win over a depleted Qormi side.
A defeat which leaves Qormi in relegation trouble as they still lie five points ahead of Vittoriosa but the two teams face each other next week.
Qormi coach Stephen Azzopardi could not count on no less than ten players Jason Vandelannoite, Michael Mifsud, Jonathan Bondin, Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Cleavon Frendo, George Mallia, Luke Sciberras, Ben Camilleri, Roderick Sammut and Matthew Camilleri.
Roderick Bajada, Josef Mifsud, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Alex Muscat were missing for Sliema who had Etienne Barbara making his last appearance for the club before returning to Carolina RailHawks.
Sliema managed to take the lead on 18 minutes when Miguel Ciantar took advantage of an erratic clearance by a defender and beat Matthew Farrugia with a rising shot from inside the area.
Qormi levelled matters on 33 minutes when off a Joseph Farrugia freekick from the left, Christos Karamanolis headed home past goalkeeper Viktor Szentpeteri.
Six minutes from the end of the first half, Mifsud Triganza served Etienne Barbara on the left and the latter’s conclusion was blocked into a corner by Matthew Farrugia. Four minutes later, off a Jackson Lima freekick from the left, Chakib Lachkhem had a shot from inside the area blocked into a corner by a defender.
Two minutes in the second half, Joseph Chetcuti entered the penalty area from the left, serving Kang Hojung whose effort was turned into a corner by a defender.
Sliema replied with a Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza shot from the left on 54 minutes. Chakib Lachkhem hit the crossbar with a long-distance shot a minute later. Jackson Lima then missed a good opportunity on the hour with a cute lob which ended just over the bar.
On 62 minutes, a freekick by Failla created havoc inside the area, Noel Turner’s conclusion was cleared with the ball reaching Etienne Barbara whose first effort was blocked by Giglio and off the rebound, the Sliema striker hit high. Seven minutes later, Etienne Barbara was unluck to have a goal-bound shot blocked by Chakib Lachkhem.
Sliema regained the lead on 73 minutes when off a cross by Etienne Barbara from the right, Obinna Obiefule served Chakib Lachkhem whose low shot from the left beat Farrugia.
Five minutes later, the Wanderers increased the lead when Barbara sent Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza through and the latter rounded Matthew Farrugia before placing the ball at the back of the net.
Obinna Obiefule sealed the issue with a fourth goal as he concluded a solo effort with a low shot from the left which beat the Qormi custodian.
In stoppage time, Joseph Farrugia hit the foot of the upright with a shot from outside the area.
Etienne Barbara was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photo: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
SLIEMA Viktor Szentpeteri, Julian Briffa, Mark Scerri (58’ Noel Turner), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Miguel Ciantar (24’ Obinna Obiefule), Steve Bezzina, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Chakib Lachkhem (83’ John Mintoff), Beppe Muscat, Clayton Failla, Etienne Barbara.
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, James Paris, Ian Scerri, Adam Spiteri.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Joseph Bajada
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Stefan Giglio, Matthew Bartolo (29’ Ibraima Sumaila Vaz Sani), Keith Fenech (90’ Carmelo Farrugia), Joseph Chetcuti, Joseph Farrugia, Christos Karamanolis, Kang Hojung, Gabriel Buttigieg, Steve Agius (78’ Jurgen Gerada), Josue Souza Santos.
Subs not used: Gian Tonna, Gaetano Gesualdi, Ranier Buhagiar, Dean Zammit.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Asst. Coach: Charles Scerri
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Hojung, Barbara
Scorers: 18′ Miguel Ciantar (S); 33′ Christos Karamanolis (Q); 73′ Chakib Lachkhem (S); 78′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (S); 90’ Obinna Obiefule (S)
Marsaxlokk moved second as they came from behind to beat Hamrun Spartans 4-2.
Missing for the Spartans was Scottish striker Dene Shields while Julio Alcorse was unavailable for Marsaxlokk.
The first attempt at goal occurred on the 14th minute when off a Jovan Vukanic cross from the right, Gaetan Spiteri headed just over the bar. A diagonal shot by the same Hamrun striker a minute later, missed the target by a whisker. Marsaxlokk replied with a Rumen Galabov effort, served by Gareth Sciberras, which was parried by Andrea Cassar.
Hamrun took the lead on 21 minutes when off a Dyson Falzon corner from the right, Nikolai Chipev chipped the ball over goalkeeper Reuben Gauci with a fine header.
The Spartans went close once again on 24 minutes with a close-range effort by Gaetan Spiteri which was blocked by Gauci.
On 39 minutes, off a cross by Malcolm Licari, Ryan Darmanin’s first time effort ended just over the bar. On the other side of the pitch, Dyson Falzon had a low shot from outside the area saved by Gauci.
Marsaxlokk equalised three minutes from time when Martin Deanov served Ryan Darmanin inside the area and the latter anticipated Cassar with a cute lob.
One minute in added time, the Southseasiders forged ahead when Gareth Sciberras released Ryan Darmanin on the right and the latter slotted the ball past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
Ryan Darmanin completed a hat-trick on 56 minutes when he tapped the ball in the empty net from close range when served by Alfred Effiong from the right.
Four minutes later, Marsaxlokk added another goal through Alfred Effiong who received a through-pass by Malcolm Licari, advanced into the area and placed the ball at the back of the net.
On 63 minutes, Trevor Templeman was unlucky to hit the upright following a cross by Carlo Mamo. Three minutes later, Hamrun could have reduced the gap but Marcelo Pereira’s effort, when served by Grima, was blocked by Reuben Gauci.
One minute from time, the Spartans were awarded a penalty after Carlo Mamo floored Steve Bonnici inside the area. From the penalty spot, Lee James Agius’ effort was blocked by Gauci but the same player headed the ball home off the rebound.
Ryan Darmanin was voted BOV Player of the Match.
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Jovan Vukanic (84′ Steve Bonnici), Aaron Attard, Roderick Fenech, Massimo Grima, Rupert Mangion (73’ David Camilleri), Lee James Agius, Nikola Chipev, Gaetan Spiteri (70’ Dylan Kokavessis), Marcelo Pereira, Dyson Falzon.
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Mark Anthony Bonnici, Mead Mifsud, Dragan Milovic.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Victor Cassar
M’XLOKK Reuben Gauci, Malcolm Licari (70’ Clive Brincat), Carlo Mamo, Luca Lodetti, Emil Yantchev (58’ Florent Raimy), Trevor Templeman, Rumen Galabov, Gareth Sciberras, Martin Deanov, Ryan Darmanin (77’ Gary Caruana), Alfred Effiong.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Peter Pullicino, Andrew Spiteri, Sunday Eboh.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Louis Cutajar
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Joe Camilleri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Galabov, Grima, Falzon
Scorers: 21’ Nikolai Chipev (H); 42’ Ryan Darmanin (M); 45+1’ Ryan Darmanin (M); 56’ Ryan Darmanin (M); 60’ Alfred Effiong (M); 89′ Lee James Agius (H)