Mqabba claimed their first three points as they beat Marsaxlokk 2-0 despite playing for fifty minutes in ten men.
The Reds showed the better ideas right from the start and although Thiago Mazzitelli was sent off after putting them ahead, they managed to double the score before the end of the first half.
Marsaxlokk coach Winston Muscat could not field his best formation as they lacked the suspended Clive Brincat and Trevor Templeman.
Mqabba managed to take the lead on 29 minutes as a Thiago Dos Santos Mazzitelli effort was not held by goalkeeper Reuben Gauci with the ball ending at the back of the net.
However three minutes from the end of the first half, Mqabba were reduced to ten men after Thiago Mazzitelli was given marching orders by referee Alan Mario Sant for retaliation.
Two minutes in stoppage time, Clive Mizzi’s side doubled the score as David Azzopardi concluded a good move on the left flank with an angled shot which beat Reuben Gauci.
Substitute Jean Paul Farrugia went close on the hour with a cross which was parried by Kris Calleja and hardly a minute later, Farrugia tested the Mqabba goalkeeper once again with a fine try from the edge of the area. Then off a cross by Obiefule from the right, Jean Paul Farrugia failed to connect on 65 minutes.
Ten minutes from time, Marsaxlokk missed an incredible chance as following a good move between Deanov and Obiefule, Jean Paul Farrugia’s close-range shot, with almost an open goal at his mercy, was cleared off the goal line by Pierre Grima.
Bojan Mamic was voted BOV Player of the Match.
M’XLOKK Reuben Gauci, Malcolm Licari, Jonathan Xerri (46’ Jean Paul Farrugia)(84′ Sacha Borg), Patrick Borg, Carlo Mamo, Sunday Eboh, Florent Raimy, Carlos Campagnoli, Martin Deanov, Emiliano Lattes (72’ Dylan Kokavessis), Obinna Obiefule.
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Jean Claude Vella, Modesto Valeriani, Stefan Cutajar.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Assistant Coach: Darren Abdilla
MQABBA Kris Calleja, Clayton Micallef, Mauro Bonnici, Claudio Calleja (88′ Rene Duca), Branislav Timotic, Marko Potezica, David Azzopardi (92′ James Paris), Andrew Scicluna, Bojan Mamic (80′ John Paul Muscat), Pierre Grima, Thiago Dos Santos Mazzitelli.
Subs not used: Franklin Azzopardi, Mark Anthony Psaila, Ryan Sammut, Marlon Briffa.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Assistant Coach: Renzo Kerr Cumbo
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant referees: Konrad Borg, Chris Francalanza
Fourth official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Mamo, Micallef, Potezica, Campagnoli
Red Cards: 42’ Thiago Mazzitelli
Scorers: 29’ Thiago Dos Santos Mazzitelli; 45+2’ David Azzopardi
Meanwhile a goal two minutes from time enabled Balzan Youths to earn a point as they held Mosta in a 1-1 draw.
Therefore Mosta, who held the initiative for long stretches, had to settle for a draw to claim their first point this season. For Balzan, this was the fourth point after being awarded a win by the MFA Protests Board after the game against Hamrun.
Both sides had a new foreigner making his debut – Cameroonian defender Yannick Ossok for Mosta and Brazilian striker Fagner Lins Bernardes for Balzan. Bledjon Guga and Pedro Dos Santos Calcado were ruled out for Ivan Zammit’s side.
Balzan had the first attempt at goal with a Nikola Tasic effort when served by Fagner Lins Bernandes. Mosta replied with a fine freekick by Rivelino Petriaggi which hit the crossbar on 12 minutes.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, Mosta took the lead. It was a great long-distance freekick by Ian Zammit from the right which caught goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone slightly out of place.
In added time, Rivelino Petriaggi served Luca Martinelli on the left but the latter was unlucky to hit the upright.
Mosta continued to create the better chances and Ian Zammit had a powerful shot just missing the target with Bertrand Maki Mvonda failing to connect early in the second half.
A close range effort by Rivelino Petriaggi was neutralised by the Balzan custodian following a cross by Mvondo fro the left on 65 minutes. On the other side of the pitch, a Miguel Ciantar effort was deflected into a corner. Substitute Michael Borg then tested Glenn Zammit with a powerful shot which was turned into a corner on 84 minutes.
Balzan levelled matters two minutes from time when off a cross from the left, Miguel Ciantar rounded a defender before hitting home from close range.
Ian Zammit was voted BOV Player of the Match.
BALZAN Fredrick Tabone, Jonathan Francica, Clifton Ciantar (65’ Roderick Farrugia), Rennie Forace, Yessous Camilleri, Bjorn Bondin (58’ Aaron Agius), Nikola Bogdanovic, Dylan Grima, Lydon Micallef, Miguel Ciantar, Fagner Lins Bernandes (80’ Michael Borg).
Subs not used: Matthew Camilleri, Silvan Ciscaldi, Donovan Micallef, Lee Borg.
Coach: Joe Borg
Assistant Coach: Robert Agius
MOSTA Glenn Zammit, Kane Farrugia, Luca Martinelli, Yannick Ossok, Kurt Magro, Nikola Bogdanovic, Alex Cini, Roberto Rivelino Petriaggi (72’ Firas Aboulezz), Gilbert Martin (33’ Jonathan Bajada), Ian Zammit, Bertrand Maki Mvondo (87’ Federico Tisbi).
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Adrian Borg, Quincy Bregman, Bryan Agius.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Assistant Coach: Ramon Zammit
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant referees: Mariano Debono, Thomas Debono
Fourth official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Bogdanovic, B. Bondin, Mvondo, Tisbi
Scorers: 41’ Ian Zammit; 88’ Miguel Ciantar