Birkirkara held by Mosta — Third successive win for Floriana

Birkirkara continued to disappoint as they were held in a goalless draw by wooden-sponists Mosta. To make matters worse, they also had two players sent off in added time who are therefore ruled out of the next game.

For Mosta, this was the second consecutive draw after the draw with Marsaxlokk but they still lie at the bottom table.

Birkirkara lacked Rodrigo Pereira, Rowen Muscat and Leighton Grech. Mosta, on the other hand, welcomed back defender Luca Martinelli after serving a one-match ban.

The Stripes had the first attempt at goal on the 5th minute with a shot by Shola Shodiya from outside the area. On the other side of the pitch, Bryan Agius tested Jorge Mora with a freekick from the right on the 7th minute. Another freekick by Agius was tipped into a corner by the Spanish goalkeeper six minutes later.

Paul Fenech was unlucky not to open the score when his powerful drive rattled the crossbar with Debono beaten on 17 minutes. Seven minutes later, a shot by Terence Vella was blocked by Jonathan Debono and off the rebound, Shola Shodiya’s effort was blocked by a defender.

Kurt Magro had a long-distance shot which was turned into a corner by Mora on 33 minutes.

Nine minutes in the second half, Shaun Bajada went close with a freekick from the right ending just over the bar. Two minutes later, another freekick by Bajada from the right also faced the same fate.

Luck was definitely not on Shola Shodiya’s side as he hit the upright with a fine header following a cross from the right by Shaun Bajada on 74 minutes.

On the 86th minute, Angus Buhagiar missed a good opportunity hitting incredibly high from inside the area following a corner by Trevor Cilia.

One minute in added time, Birkirkara were reduced to ten men as Moises Avila Perez was sent off for hitting an opponent. But the game was not over yet as substitute Shaun Bajada received a second yellow card two minutes later, leaving the Stripes in ten men.

Yannick Ossok was voted BOV Player of the Match.

B’KARA Jorge Mora, Ryan Scicluna, Dragan Perisic (41’ Shaun Bajada), Gareth Sciberras, Joseph Zerafa, Paul Fenech, Shola Shodiya, Moises Avila Perez, Angus Buhagiar, Ryan Camenzuli, Terence Vella (60’ Trevor Cilia).
Subs not used: Aleksandar Canovic, Andrew Decesare, David Spiteri, Alan Tabone, Michael Camilleri.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino

MOSTA Jonathan Debono, Adrian Borg, Bryan Agius (75’ Luca Martinelli), Federico Tisbi, Yannick Ossok, Nikola Bogdanovic, Ian Zammit, Sheldon Grech (64’ Firas Aboulezz), Kurt Magro, Gilbert Martin (82’ Alex Cini), Michel Bertrand Maki-Mvondo.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Kane Farrugia, Jonathan Bajada, Wayne Sciberras.
Coach: Steve D’Amato

Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant referees: Sammy Attard, Duncan Sultana
Fourth official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Mvondo, Fenech, Grech, Scicluna, Agius, Bajada, Zerafa, Debono
Red Cards: 91’ Moises Avila Perez, 93’ Shaun Bajada

A goal by Andre Grabowksi handed Floriana the three points as they registered a narrow 1-0 win over Tarxien Rainbows. Three points which put the Greens once again five points behind second-placed Hibernians and six ahead of Qormi and Birkirkara.

For the Rainbows, this was a third successive defeat, leaving them second from bottom on ten points, just three ahead of bottom-placed Mosta.

Floriana lacked the suspended Joseph Borg and the injured Tyrone Farrugia, Christian Caruana and Ivan Woods. Ricardo Costa and Caio Garcia Suguino were unavailable for Tarxien.

The Greens had a good opportunity to take the lead on 22 minutes when Andre Grabowksi provided a good pass from the right, John Mintoff failed to connect and Ryan Darmanin hit incredibly high. Darmanin then had a good header saved by David Cassar following a cross by Duncan Pisani four minutes later.

Early in the second half, Manuel Bartolo neutralised an Adrian Carabott effort off a cross by Karl Pulo from the left.

Floriana managed to break the deadlock six minutes in the second half when he received a cross from the left by John Mintoff, anticipating David Cassar and placing the ball at the back of the net.

Ryan Darmanin headed just wide off a cross by John Mintoff from the right on 54 minutes. Six minutes later, Andre Grabowski headed just over the bar off a cross by Christian Cassar. On the other side of the pitch, a Justin Grioli freekick from the left almost surprised Bartolo on 66 minutes.

Tarxien now increased pressure on the Greens’ defence and went close with a good move by Pulo who served Justin Grioli who however hit high. An Adrian Carabott header was saved by Bartolo following a cross by Anonam on 76 minutes.

In added time, Floriana could have added another goal through Ryan Darmanin but David Cassar rushed out of the area to clear the ball into safety. However substitute Brooke Farrugia took the rebound but was unlucky to have his fine lob ending just wide. A Christian Cassar freekick was then turned into a corner by David Cassar.

Andre Grabowski was voted BOV Player of the Match.

FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Thomas Paris, Manolito Micallef, Ryan Darmanin, Duncan Pisani, Owen Bugeja, Pablo Doffo, John Mintoff, Andre Grabowski, Christian Cassar, Clyde Borg (87’ Brooke Farrugia).
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Jermain Brincat, Carl Dalli, Karl Cutajar, Cesco Guzman, Luca Casha.
Coach: Michael Woods
Asst. Coach: Frank Schembri

TARXIEN David Cassar, Carl Sammut, Manuel Caruana, Everton Antonio Pereira, Stefan Giglio (26’ Steve Sadowski), Adrian Carabott (82’ Warren Zerafa), Karl Pulo, Daniel Mariano Bueno (9’ Lee Galea), Orosco Anonam, Ryan Mintoff, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Nigel Vella, Clive Fenech, Keith Camilleri.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Michael Church

Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant referees: William Debattista, Thomas Debono
Fourth official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Grioli, Borg, Sammut
Scorers: 51’ Andre Grabowski
Attendance: 876