Valletta scored a goal in each half to beat Birkirkara 2-0 to move once again six points clear of second-placed Hibernians with three games to go for the end of the season.
This was the fifth successive win for Whites who have now extended their unbeaten run to twenty-four matches. For Birkirkara, this was the second consecutive defeat and therefore stay in fourth place, one point behind Floriana.
Andrew Hogg returned for Valletta after serving a one-match ban. Jorge Santos Silva was missing for Birkirkara as he recovers from an injury.
The Citizens had the first attempt at goal with a Roderick Briffa rising shot being deflected into a corner on the 11th minute.
Four minutes later, Valletta forged ahead when William Barbosa served Michael Mifsud on the left and the latter slotted the ball past goalkeeper Reuben Gauci.
On 22 minutes, Ryan Camenzuli concluded a good run on the left flank with a shot from a close angle ending just over the bar.
Five minutes in the second half, another good run by Joseph Zerafa on the left ended with a powerful shot which was neutralised by Hogg.
The Citizens doubled the score on 61 minutes when Michael Mifsud released Ousseni Zongo on the left and the latter hit low past the Birkirkara goalkeeper.
Reuben Gauci then had to rush to the edge of the area to anticipate Michael Mifsud before the latter could conclude on 66 minutes.
To make matters for Birkirkara, they were reduced to ten men on 69 minutes after referee Kevin Azzopardi sent Rodrigo Pereira off following a rough tackle on an opponent.
From then onwards, the Citizens controlled without particular difficulty to take home the three points which put them closer to the twenty-first title in the history of the club.
Michael Mifsud was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © James Galea
B’KARA Reuben Gauci, Ryan Scicluna, Nikola Vukanac, Joseph Zerafa, Ryan Camenzuli (46’ Harun Shola Shodiya), Rodrigo Pereira, Rowen Muscat, Gareth Sciberras, Shaun Bajada (87’ Michael Camilleri), Angus Buhagiar (67’ Paul Fenech), Moises Avila Perez.
Subs not used: Karl Magri, Alan Tabone, Fabian Zammit, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri, Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa (92’ Roderick Bajada), Edmond Agius, Ousseni Zongo (87’ Alfred Effiong), Denni Rocha dos Santos (85’ Gilbert Agius), William Barbosa, Michael Mifsud.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Aleksandars Cekulajevs, Terrence Scerri, Filippo Andrea Scozzese.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Asst. Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Thomas Debono, Christopher Francalanza
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: S. Bajada
Scorers: 15’ Michael Mifsud, 61’ Ousseni Zongo
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Qormi move to just one point from securing their Premier League status after defeating Tarxien Rainbows 2-1.
A defeat which leaves the Rainbows in danger as they stay on level points with Mosta, three ahead of Mqabba.
Qormi managed to take the lead on the 4th minute thanks to a powerful drive by Jorge da Silva Pereira which gave goalkeeper Nicky Vella no chance.
Jorge Pereira went close to doubling the score on the 17th minute but his attempt ended just wide. A diagonal shot from the right by the same player ten minutes later scraped past the post. Nicky Vella then performed a good save into a corner on an Abubakar Bello Osagie header when served from the right by Pereira.
After having an angled shot ending just wide, Daniel Mariano Bueno went close to equalising for Tarxien with a powerful shot which however hit the crossbar on 72 minutes.
One minute from time, Everton Pereira fouled Luke Sciberras inside the area and from the penalty spot, Triston Caruana made no mistake to double the score.
Three minutes in added time, Tarxien scored a consolation goal when off a cross by Grioli, Riacrdo Costa’ header was saved partially by Farrugia and substitute Karl Pulo tapped the ball home from close range.
Jorge Pereira da Silva was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © James Galea
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo (65’ Steve Sadowski), Manuel Caruana (82’ Karl Pulo), Everton Antonio Pereira, Adrian Carabott, Ricardo Costa, Mark Tanti, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Luiz Romulo de Castro, Ryan Mintoff (42’ Orosco Anonam), Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Stefan Giglio, Jimmy Nzinga Mayasi, Lee Galea.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Joseph Chetcuti, Joseph Farrugia, Kenneth Scicluna, Jorge da Silva Pereira (88’ Stephen Wellman), Kris Thackray, Triston Caruana, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (79’ Luke Sciberras), Vincent Kouadio Adioumani.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Carmelo Farrugia, George Chircop, Ranier Buhagiar, Christian Briffa.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: Everton
Scorers: 4’ Jorge da Silva Pereira (Q); 90’ Triston Caruana (Q); 90+3’ Karl Pulo (T)