Obinna Obiefule scored four as Mosta returned to winning ways, defeating Marsaxlokk 5-1. A win which puts Mosta on level points with Mqabba, one point ahead of Tarxien Rainbows and seven ahead of Marsaxlokk.
The team led by Steve D’Amato took a four-goal lead inside the first half hour and then controlled the proceedings without particular difficulty. With these four goals, Obiefule leads the list of scorers with 23 goals.
Mosta had a number of changes in the starting line-up as welcomed back Gilbert Martin with Florent Raimy starting on the bench. Clive Brincat and Trevor Templeman returned for Marsaxlokk after missing the last game but Nemanja Stoskovic was unavailable.
The Blues took the lead on the 6th minute when Obinna Obiefule served Jonathan Bajada on the right and the latter hit low past goalkeeper Christian Cassar.
Five minutes later, Mosta went close once again with a Gilbert Martin effort which just missed the target. Marsaxlokk replied with a Jean Paul Farrugia freekick ending just over the bar on 13 minutes.
Mosta were awarded a penalty on the 15th minute for a foul by Gabriel Buttigieg on Gilbert Martin. From the penalty spot, Obinna Obiefule converted to double the score for Steve D’Amato’s side.
Obinna Obiefule added another goal five minutes later with an angled shot from the left when served by Dyson Falzon.
Mosta scored the fourth goal on 28 minutes thanks to a Obinna Obiefule header off a corner by Falzon from the right.
Marsaxlokk reduced the gap on 27 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Federico Tisbi floored Jean Paul Farrugia inside the area. Trevor Templeman made no mistake from the penalty spot.
The Blues however went close to restoring a four-goal lead but Gilbert Martin’s close-range effort, when served by Alex Cini from the left, was blocked by the Marsaxlokk custodian.
One minute in the second half, Marsaxlokk were awarded a freekick just outside the area after Ossok brought Oladotun down. Trevor Templeman’s powerful freekick was partially saved by Debono with the ball cleared into a corner by a defender.
On the 55th minutes, consecutive shots by Obiefule and Martin were blocked by the Marsaxlokk goalkeeper. A fierce shot by Gilbert Martin from outside the area ended just wide on 64 minutes. Jean Paul Farrugia tried his luck for Marsaxlokk with a shot from the edge of the area ending high.
Six minutes from time, Mosta scored the fifth goal when off a cross from the left by Dyson Falzon, Alex Cini hit low with Obinna Obiefule tapping the ball home from close range.
Obinna Obiefule was voted BOV Player of the Match.
M’XLOKK Christian Cassar, Modesto Valeriani, Sacha Borg, Jermain Brincat, Clive Brincat, Gabriel Buttigieg (46′ Jonathan Xerri), Gary Caruana, Jean Paul Farrugia (84′ Darrell Grech), Peter Taiye Oladotun (62′ Sunday Eboh), Trevor Templeman, Alex Cesar Pedrozo.
Subs not used: Jurgen Muscat, Craig Debattista, Stefan Cutajar, Darren Attard.
Coach: Anton Cremona
Asst. Coach: Louis Cutajar
MOSTA Jonathan Debono, Adrian Borg, Federico Tisbi, Yannick Ossok, Alex Cini, Jonathan Bajada (78′ Firas Aboulezz), Kurt Magro (80′ Luca Martinelli), Predrag Mirceta (73′ Florent Raimy), Dyson Falzon, Gilbert Martin, Obinna Obiefule.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Kane Farrugia, Terence Vella, Sheldon Grech.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Buttigieg, Mirceta
Scorers: 6′ Jonathan Bajada (Mos); 15′ Obinna Obiefule (pen)(Mos); 20′ Obinna Obiefule (Mos); 28′ Obinna Obiefule (Mos); 37′ Trevor Templeman (pen); 84′ Obinna Obiefule (Mos)
Meanwhile Hibernians returned to winning ways as they defeated Balzan Youths 4-1 to move three points behind leaders Valletta.
Captain Mario Muscat and Aaron Xuereb were missing for Hibernians but Edison Luis dos Santos was back after serving a one-match ban. Balzan, on the other hand, lacked Clifton Ciantar, Jonathan Francica and Nikola Tasic with Miguel Ciantar and Dylan Grima returning to the Youths’ line-up after missing the last game.
The Paolites forged ahead on the 4th minute when off a cross by Clayton Failla, Jackson Lima Siqueira hit the ball past Matthew Camilleri.
Yessous Camilleri then came to the rescue for Balzan clearing off the goal line an Andrew Cohen header on 31 minutes following a cross from the right by Jason Vandelannoite.
Two minutes in added time, Balzan levelled matters when Pedro dos Santos Calcado, served by Miguel Ciantar, beat goalkeeper Nicholas Grima with a low shot from the edge of the area.
One minute in the second half, Pedro Calcado gained possession off a short clearance by Nicholas Grima, served Martin Deanov who however hit wide.
Hibs regained the lead on 54 minutes when off a freekick by Clayton Failla from the right, Rodolfo Soares headed the ball and Andrew Cohen slammed the ball past Camilleri.
A few seconds later, Roderick Farrugia was sent off for Balzan for a second rough tackle on an opponent.
Miguel Ciantar concluded a fine solo effort on the right flank on the 64 minutes with a shot ending just wide. Hibs went close with a shot by Andrew Cohen, served by Dias from the left, ending just wide on the 80th. An Edward Herrera header just missed the target a minute later. On the 83rd, the Paolites missed a good opportunity when Matthew Camilleri rushed out of the area but was anticipated by Marcelo Dias who pulled to the left before serving Steve Pisani who incredibly hit wide.
Hibernians scored a third goal on the 85th minute thanks to substitute Marcelo Dias who concluded a good move, after exchanging the ball with Cohen, with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.
Two minutes later, Marcelo Dias served another substitute Steve Pisani who hit hard past the Balzan goalkeeper.
Andrew Cohen was voted BOV Player of the Match.
BALZAN Matthew Camilleri, Roderick Farrugia, Yessous Camilleri, Bledjon Guga (38′ Bjorn Bondin), Rennie Forace, Lydon Micallef (57′ Glenn Bonello), Jamie Pace, Dylan Grima (80′ Michael Borg), Miguel Ciantar, Martin Deyanov, Pedro dos Santos Calcado.
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Donovan Micallef, David Muscat Fenech Adami, Nicholas Zammit.
Coach: Joe Borg
HIBS Nicholas Grima, Jonathan Pearson, Rodolfo Soares, Adrian Pulis (70′ Steve Pisani), Jason Vandelannoite, Bjorn Kristensen, Edward Herrera, Jackson Lima Siqueira, Andrew Cohen (90′ Ayrton Azzopardi), Clayton Failla, Edison Luis dos Santos (75′ Marcelo Dias).
Subs not used: Luke Bonnici, Ryan Camilleri, Johann Bezzina, Peter Anizoba.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Richard Mercieca
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Joseph Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Glenn Tonna
Yellow Cards: Calcado, Cohen, Ciantar, Farrugia, Bondin
Red Cards: 55′ Roderick Farrugia
Scorers: 4′ Jackson Lima Siqueira (H); 45+2′ Pedro dos Santos Calcado (B); 54′ Andrew Cohen (H); 85′ Marcelo Dias (H); 87′ Steve Pisani (H)