Sliema, Floriana share spoils in draw — Comfortable win for Valletta

Sliema Wanderers and Floriana earned a point each as they shared the spoils in a goalless draw.

The Greens therefore fail to keep the pace with the top two teams while Sliema join Birkirkara and Qormi on the 20-point mark.

The Wanderers welcomed back no less than five players, namely Steve Bezzina, Josef Mifsud, Cleavon Frendo, Danial Mitev and Rumen Galabov but Alex Muscat, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Mark Scerri and Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza were all ruled out injured. Floriana, on the other hand, lacked Christian Caruana.

The Greens had the first attempt at goal when Ryan Darmanin took advantage of an erratic clearance but hit just wide. On the other side of the pitch, Jorge Santos Silva tested Manuel Bartolo with a shot from inside the area after rounding two players on 17 minutes. Two minutes later, Beppe Muscat served Jorge Santos Silva who had another shot at goal.

A free kick by Christian Cassar ended just over the bar on 36 minutes. Four minutes later, Jorge Santos Silva missed the target by a whisker with a diagonal shot from the right.

In the second half, the two teams continued to share the exchanges with the two goalkeepers, however, hardly being tested.

Manuel Bartolo was voted BOV Player of the Match.

SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Josef Mifsud, Ryan Grech, Danial Mitev (76‘ Jeremiah Ani), Steve Bezzina, Jackson Lima Sequeira, Rumen Galabov (80‘ Julian Briffa), Roderick Bajada, Jorge Santos Silva, Cleavon Frendo, Beppe Muscat.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Dejan Vukovic, Ryan Dalli, Andrew Caligari, David Spiteri.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Assistant Coach: Saviour Debono Grech

FLORIANA Manuel Bartolo, Thomas Paris (63‘ Ivan Woods), Duncan Pisani, Manolito Micallef, Pablo Doffo, Ryan Darmanin (46‘ Wilko Risser), John Mint off (80‘ Joseph Borg), Andre Grabowski, Owen Bugeja, Clyde Borg, Christian Cassar.
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Jermain Brincat, Brooke Farrugia, Cesco Guzman.
Coach: Michael Woods
Assistant Coach: Frank Schembri

Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Mifsud, Mitev, Cassar, Lima

Alfred Effiong notched a hat-trick as Valletta maintained their positive run with a most comfortable win over Qormi.

The Citizens scored four in the first half and then controlled the situation without particular effort. Qormi stay in fourth place together with Sliema and Birkirkara.

Qormi lacked Roderick Sammut and Abubakar Bello-Osagie. On the other hand, Michael Mifsud was missing once again for Valletta besides the suspended William Barbosa.

The Citizens took the lead on the 6th minute when off a Jamie Pace through pass, Denni Rocha dos Santos managed to beat Steve Sultana with a low shot from inside the area.

Four minutes later, Jonathan Caruana served Alfred Effiong whose diagonal shot beat the Qormi goalkeeper.

Qormi replied with a good move by Daniel Nwoke who advanced upfield and into the area but a defender cleared the ball into safety.

Valletta scored the third goal on 29 minutes when off a cross by Denni from the left, Alfred Effiong headed the ball past Sultana.

Jorge Pereira da Silva tested Hogg with a low shot from inside the area.

However Valletta increased the lead further on 33 minutes when Alfred Effiong took an erratic clearance by the Qormi defence and placed the ball at the back of the net.

Five minutes in the second half, Dyson Falzon had a freekick ending just wide. Six minutes later, Kenneth Scicluna released Daniel Nwoke who however hit high. A Jamie Pace cross shot ended over the bar on 73 minutes.

Qormi reduced the gap on 76 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after a defender handled the ball inside the area. From the penalty spot, Jorge Pereira da Silva converted.

Alfred Effiong was voted BOV Player of the Match.

QORMI Steve Sultana (46‘ Matthew Farrugia), Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Chetcuti, Luke Sciberras, Kenneth Scicluna, Federico Mirarchi, Jonathan Bondin, Jorge Pereira da Silva, Stuart Duff, Stephen Wellman (46’ Jeffrey Chetcuti), Daniel Nwoke (73‘ Gabriel Buttigieg).
Subs not used: Carmelo Farrugia, George Chircop, Charlon Sammut, Dino Cachia.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg (82‘ Matthew Towns), Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ian Azzopardi (85‘ Ramon dos Santos), Alfred Effiong, Roderick Briffa, Jamie Pace, Edmond Agius, Dyson Falzon, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Ousseni Zongo (79‘ Ryan Fenech).
Subs not used: Gilbert Agius, Glenn Cassar, Samir Arab, Isaac Zammit.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Assistant Coach: Jesmond Zerafa

Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Alan Camillieri, Thomas Debono
Fourth officials: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Zongo, Agius, Borg
Scorers: 6′ Denni Rocha dos Santos; 10′ Alfred Effiong, 29′ Alfred Effiong, 33′ Alfred Effiong, 77’ Jorge Pereira da Silva (pen)
Attendance: 1,862