A goal by Ricardo Costa mid-way through the first half enabled Tarxien Rainbows to register their first win as they beat Mosta 1-0, leaving them and Hamrun Spartans at the bottom of the table with just one point.
Tarxien once again failed to impress but they still managed to take home the three points against a Mosta side which was suffering the fourth defeat in five matches.
The Rainbows, with Noel Coleiro still in charge of the team despite handing his resignation earlier this week, had the full squad at their disposal. Mosta, on the other hand, lacked Gilbert Martin.
Mosta appealed for a penalty on the 20th after Everton Pereira stopped Bertrand Maki Mvondo from shooting at goal but referee Fyodor Zammit waved play on.
Tarxien Rainbows managed to take the lead on 21 minutes when Ricardo Costa controlled the ball on the edge of the area and beat beat goalkeeper Jonathan Debono with a low shot.
Luca Martinelli then cleared off the goal line a Luke Vella Critien header following a cross by Justin Grioli on 37 minutes.
Two minutes in the second half, off an Arilson corner from the left, Alex Cini’s header was blocked on the goal line by Vella Critien.
Mosta missed an excellent chance to restore equilibrium on 72 minutes when off a perfect pass by Firas Aboulezz, Arilson Mello da Silva had two close-range efforts blocked by the Tarxien custodian.
On the other side of the pitch, a Stefan Giglio freekick was blocked by Debono on 78 minutes and a minute later, a header by Orosco Anonam, off a cross by Grioli, ended high.
Giglio came to the rescue for Tarxien on 85 minutes clearing the ball into safety off a Maki Mvondo header.
Tarxien were reduced to ten men one minute from time as Orosco Anonam received a red card for a harsh tackle on an opponent.
In added time, Luca Martinelli tried his luck with a long-distance shot which was turned into a corner by David Cassar.
Ricardo Costa was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana (93’ Adrian Carabott), Everton Antonio Pereira, Ricardo Costa, Roberto Fagundes Saraiva (46’ Stefan Giglio), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Luke Vella Critien (67’ Rodrigo Andreis Galvao), Orosco Anonam, Lee Galea, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Karl Pulo, Julian Vella, Caio Garcia Suguino.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Assistant Coach: Michael Church
MOSTA Jonathan Debono, Luca Martinelli, Kane Farrugia, Arilson Mello Da Silva, Nikola Bogdanovic, Ian Zammit (73’ Firas Aboulezz), Kurt Magro, Alex Cini (85’ Sheldon Grech), Adrian Borg, Yannick Ossok, Bertrand Maki Mvondo.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Pio Vassallo, Federico Tisbi, Bryan Agius, Roberto Rivelino.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Assistant Coach: Ramon Zammit
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Borg, Galea, Bueno, Magro, Anonam, Galvao, Caruana
Red Cards: 89’ Anonam
Scorers: 21’ Ricardo Costa
Meanwhile in the second match, Sliema Wanderers registered their third win as they defeated Birkirkara 1-0. Three points which put Sliema in third place, one point behind Valetta and Floriana.
The Wanderers also maintain an unbeaten record after five matches. On the other hand, Birkirkara have now lost two of the last three games and remain sixth on seven points.
Making his debut for Birkirkara was Nigerian striker Shola Shodiya while Rowen Muscat was back after missing the last two games due to an injury. Danial Mitev was missing for Sliema as he served a one-match ban.
The Wanderers had the first attempt at goal on the 6th minute with Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza testing Mora with a freekick which was turned into a corner.
Birkirkara replied with a direct freekick by Rodrigo Pereira on 19 minutes ending just wide.
On 25 minutes, Jorge Santos Silva concluded a good run on the right flank with a low shot which was parried by Mora and hardly a minute later, in a swift counter-attack for the Stripes, Shola Shodiya managed to place the ball at the back of the net but the goal was disallowed for an offside, signalled by assistant referee Mariano Debono.
Sliema finally managed to break the deadlock on 56 minutes as Jeremiah Ani’s powerful drive gave goalkeeper Jorge Mora no chance.
The Stripes’ reaction consisted of a direct freekick by Rodrigo Pereira which hit the crossbar on 61 minutes. On the other side of the pitch, Mora performed a good save on Santos Silva, served on the left by Ani five minutes later.
A freekick by Roderick Bajada from the left was turned into a corner by the Spanish goalkeeper, aided by the bar on 68 minutes. A minute later, a cross shot by Jackson Lima from the left scraped past the post.
In the remaining minutes, Birkirkara pushed hard in search of the equaliser but the Sliema rear-guard managed to keep the Stripes at bay to take home the three points.
Jorge Santos Silva was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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B’KARA Jorge Mora, Rodrigo Pereira, Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Trevor Cilia (81’ Leighton Grech), Andrew Decesare (90′ Terence Vella), Moises Avila Perez, Joseph Zerafa, Angus Buhagiar, Shola Haruna Shodiya, Rowen Muscat (69’ Alan Tabone).
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Ryan Scicluna, Andrea Cassar, Ryan Camenzuli.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Assistant Coach: Peter Pullicino
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat (77’ Beppe Muscat), Josef Mifsud, Mark Scerri (45’ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (46’ Ryan Grech), Steve Bezzina, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Rumen Galabov, Jeremiah Ani, Roderick Bajada, Jorge Santos Silva.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Julian Briffa, Andrew Caligari, Cleavon Frendo.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Assistant Coach: Saviour Debono Grech
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant referees: Mariano Debono, Thomas Debono
Fourth official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Buhagiar, R. Grech, Mora, Fenech, Gatt Baldacchino, Jackson Lima, Decesare
Scorers: 56’ Jeremiah Ani