Tarxien Rainbows registered a second successive win, beating Birkirkara by the odd goal in five. A major surprise for the team lead by coach Patrick Curmi against the team he coached up to five weeks ago.
The Stripes took an early lead but the Rainbows, playing an excellent game and taking full advantage of a rather shaky Birkirkara rear-guard, turned the score in their favour, going on to take home the three points which put them on level points with Marsaxlokk, two ahead of Hamrun and five ahead of Mosta.
Birkirkara lacked the suspended Angus Buhagiar while Tarxien coach Patrick Curmi could not count on Steve Sadowski and Ricardo Costa.
Tarxien went close on the 2nd minute when an inviting pass by Rodrigo Galvao found no one to connect.
Two minutes later, Birkirkara took the lead when off a cross by Terence Vella from the left, Rowen Muscat slotted the ball past Tarxien goalkeeper David Cassar.
On the 8th minute, Paul Fenech served Trevor Cilia whose close range effort was blocked by Cassar.
The Rainbows levelled matters on 31 minutes with a great goal by Rodrigo Andreis Galvao when he received the ball off a cross from the right, controlled and with his back facing goal, he managed to beat Mora with an acrobatic shot.
Birkirkara replied with a Trevor Cilia effort from the right which was turned into a corner by Cassar on 33 minutes. A minute later, Galvao concluded a good run by pulling to the right and trying to beat Mora with a lob but the ball ended high.
Just before half-time, a Terence Vella volley from the right, served by Cilia, was turned into a corner by the Tarxien goalkeeper.
Ten minutes in the second half, the Rainbows went 2-1 ahead when off a Caio Garcia Suguino corner from the left, goalkeeper Jorge Mora missed and Rodrigo Pereira deflected the ball for an own goal.
Birkirkara equalised on 64 minutes when a shot by Paul Fenech was blocked by a defender and off the rebound, Moises Avila Perez’s diagonal shot beat Cassar.
A minute later, Birkirkara could have easily gone ahead when Trevor Cilia concluded a solo effort by rounding David Cassar but his attempt was blocked by Giglio. Off the rebound, Cilia hit high.
Tarxien regained the lead on 67 minutes. Rodrigo Galvao received a cross by Suguino from the right and his header hit the upright before ending at the back of the net.
Galvao just missed the opportunity to add another one on 72 minutes off a cross by Everton concluding just wide. Hardly a minute later, a shot from the edge of the area by Galvao hit the foot of the upright and Suguino’s conclusion off the rebound was deflected into a corner.
Six minutes from time, Rodrigo Galvao was brought down inside the area but Daniel Mariano Bueno’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by the Spanish goalkeeper.
Birkirkara almost notched the equaliser on 88 minutes when a shot by Avila Perez was partially saved by David Cassar and off the rebound, Shodiya’s effort was somehow neutralised by the Tarxien goalkeeper.
Rodrigo Andreis Galvao was voted BOV Player of the Match.
B’KARA Jorge Mora, Rowen Muscat, Dragan Perisic, Joseph Zerafa, Andrew Decesare (64’ Leighton Grech), Trevor Cilia, Rodrigo Pereira (80’ Shola Haruna Shodiya), Gareth Sciberras, Paul Fenech, Moises Avila Perez, Terence Vella.
Subs not used: Aleksandar Canovic, Ryan Camenzuli, Alan Tabone, Ryan Scicluna, Shaun Bajada.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino
TARXIEN David Cassar, Carl Sammut, Manuel Caruana, Everton Antonio Pereira, Stefan Giglio, Rodrigo Andreis Galvao (87′ Lee Galea), Karl Pulo (69’ Julian Vella), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Orosco Anonam, Caio Garcia Suguino (91′ Adrian Carabott), Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Roberto Fagundes Saraiva, Luke Vella Critien, Ryan Mintoff.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Suguino, Shodiya, Mora, T. Vella
Scorers: 4’ Rowen Muscat, 31’ Rodrigo Andreis Galvao, 55’ own goal Rodrigo Pereira, 64’ Moises Avila Perez, 67’ Rodrigo Andreis Galvao
Sliema Wanderers and Qormi shared the spoils in an entertaining 3-3 draw at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Sunday. Qormi join Floriana on the 17-point mark while Sliema, who have now gone five matches without a win, stay in sixth place.
Sliema lacked Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza and Ryan Grech with Henry Bonello making his return to the squad although he was retained on the bench. For Qormi, Jeffrey Chetcuti was ruled out through suspension.
The Wanderers had the first attempt at goal when Jackson Lima tried his luck with a diagonal shot from the left ending wide on the 10th minute.
Qormi were awarded a penalty on 13 minutes after Rumen Galabov handled the ball inside the area. From the penalty spot, Joseph Farrugia made no mistake.
Two minutes later, off a cross by Daniel Nwoke from the left, Jorge Pereira da Silva had his conclusion blocked by Galabov into a corner with the Qormi players appealing for a penalty as they judged the Bulgarian midfielder had handled the ball once again.
Matthew Bartolo concluded a solo run with a rising shot from outside the area ending high on 19 minutes.
The Wanderers leveled matters on 22 minutes thanks to a powerful shot by Danial Mitev from outside the area which gave the Qormi custodian no chance.
Qormi missed a good opportunity through Abubakar Bello-Osagie who received a perfect pass inside the area but hit high. The Blues threatened once again with a Jackson Lima diagonal shot which hit the foot of the upright when served by Jorge Santos Silva on the left on 34 minutes. Hardly a minute later, Bello-Osagie concluded a solo effort with a low shot from the edge of the area which was turned into a corner by Curmi.
Four minutes in the second half, Qormi regained the lead when a Joseph Farrugia freekick from the left hit the upright and the ball fell into the direction of Daniel Nwoke who placed the ball at the back of the net.
Jackson Lima Sequeira restored equilibrium on 57 minutes with a powerful shot from outside the area which beat goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.
Sliema forged ahead on 63 minutes when off a Danial Mitev corner from the right, Rumen Galabov headed the ball home from close range.
The Wanderers were now in command and on 66 minutes, Mitev served Jorge Santos Silva whose conclusion hit the upright.
Qormi made it 3-3 on 68 minutes thanks to a direct freekick by Joseph Farrugia which beat the Sliema custodian.
Daniel Nwoke missed a good opportunity hitting wide from close range off a Matthew Bartolo corner from the left on 83 minutes.
Joseph Farrugia was voted BOV Player of the Match.
SLIEMA Anthony Curmi, Alex Muscat (54’ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino), Josef Mifsud, Mark Scerri (90′ Timothy Thomas), Danial Mitev, Steven Bezzina, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Rumen Galabov, Roderick Bajada, Jorge Santos Silva, Cleavon Frendo (78’ Beppe Muscat).
Subs not used: Henry Bonello, David Spiteri, Andrew Caligari, Keane Cutajar.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Saviour Debono Grech
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Farrugia, Kenneth Scicluna, Federico Mirarchi (87’ Luke Sciberras), Jonathan Bondin, Jorge Pereira da Silva, Stephen Wellman (76’ Dino Cachia), Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Daniel Nwoke (89’ Joseph Chetcuti).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Carmelo Farrugia, Charlon Sammut, Gabriel Buttigieg.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Asst. Coach: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant referees: Mariano Debono, Sammy Attard
Fourth official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Mifsud, Galabov, Nwoke, Jorginho
Scorers: 14’ Joseph Farrugia (pen), 22’ Danial Mitev, 49’ Daniel Nwoke, 57’ Jackson Lima Sequeira, 53’ Rumen Galabov, 68’ Joseph Farrugia