Tarxien Rainbows defeated Mosta 2-1 to claim three important points in the battle against relegation. With two games to go, Tarxien now lie on the 24-point mark, three ahead of Mosta and six ahead of Mqabba, who however have a game in hand.
The team led by Patrick Curmi played better football throughout the ninety minutes and all in all deserved to take home the three points. Mosta, on the other hand, disappointed after dropping four points in draws with Hamrun and Mqabba in the previous two matches.
The Rainbows lacked Everton Antonio Pereira and Justin Grioli. Kurt Magro was missing for Mosta.
Tarxien managed to take the lead on the 6th minute when off an inviting pass from the right by Adrian Carabott, Luiz Romulo de Castro hit low past goalkeeper Jonathan Debono.
Mosta replied with a powerful shot from the right by Florent Raimy which ended just wide on the 8th minute. On the other side of the pitch, Bueno just failed to connect off another inviting pass by Carabott with the ball being cleared into safety by a defender.
The Blues were awarded a penalty on the half-hour after Ricardo Costa handled the ball inside the area. From the penalty spot, Obinna Obiefule sent goalkeeper Nicky Vella the wrong way to equalise for Mosta.
Tarxien went close once again on 72 minutes thanks to Luiz Romulo de Castro when he received a perfect pass by Bueno but his powerful rising shot from the right was neutralised by Debono.
Four minutes from time, the Rainbows notched the winner when following a good run, Daniel Mariano Bueno served Mark Tanti whose diagonal shot beat the Mosta goalkeeper.
Luiz Romulo de Castro was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Steve Sadowski, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana (82’ Julian Vella), Adrian Carabott (77’ Karl Pulo), Ricardo Costa (43’ Jimmy Nzinga Mayasi), Mark Tanti, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Luiz Romulo de Castro, Orosco Anonam, Clive Fenech.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Stefan Giglio, Ryan Mintoff, Lee Galea.
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
MOSTA Jonathan Debono, Adrian Borg, Alex Cini, Federico Tisbi, Yannick Ossok, Florent Raimy, Jonathan Bajada, Dyson Falzon (68’ Firas Aboulezz), Gilbert Martin, Obinna Obiefule, Ian Zammit.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Luca Martinelli, Kane Farrugia, Sheldon Grech, Predrag Mirceta, Bryan Agius.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Alex Grech
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Bueno, Falzon, de Castro, Mayasi, Mamo, Martin
Scorers: 6’ Luiz Romulo de Castro (T); 31’ Obinna Obiefule pen (M); 86’ Mark Tanti (T)
Floriana scored three goals in the second half to move closer to securing the third place, beating Balzan Youths 3-0.
Balzan lacked Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Lydon Micallef, Clifton Ciantar and Dylan Grima but welcomed back Yessous Camilleri after recovering from an injury. Pablo Doffo returned for Floriana but coach Joe Brincat could not count on Joseph Borg, Clyde Borg and Malcolm Licari.
The Greens had the lion’s share in ball possession during the first half but goalkeeper Matthew Camilleri was never tested seriously.
The match came to life after the break and three minutes in the second half, captain Manolito Micallef went close to putting Floriana ahead but his powerful shot from the left ended just wide. Off a cross by Mintoff from the right, Onome Sodje headed the ball in the direction of Christian Caruana whose low diagonal shot scraped past the post on 55 minutes. Matthew Camilleri then saved partially a Pablo Doffo freekick from the left. A shot from outside the area by Nikola Tasic was neutralised by Patrick Jansen on 58 minutes.
Floriana took the lead on 64 minutes when a shot by Ivan Woods was blocked by a defender and off the rebound, Christian Caruana placed the ball at the back of the net with a rising shot.
Matthew Camilleri performed a great save on an Onome Sodje effort, served on the left by Ivan Woods, on 72 minutes, turning the ball into a corner. On the other side of the pitch, Patrick Jansen neutralised a fine Glenn Bonello effort on the 77th minute. Onome Sodje then concluded a good run on the left flank with a diagonal shot ending wide two minutes later.
The Greens secured the three points three minutes from time with Tyrone Farrugia beating Matthew Camilleri with a low shot from inside the area.
But the game was not over yet as two minutes later, Onome Sodje concluded a good run on the right flank with a pass for the unmarked Ryan Darmanin who hit home from close range.
Christian Caruana was voted BOV Player of the Match.
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BALZAN Matthew Camilleri, Jonathan Francica, Bledjon Guga, Yessous Camilleri, Rennie Forace, Nikola Tasic, Martin Deyanov, Glenn Bonello (81’ Nicholas Zammit), Jamie Pace (90′ Michael Borg), Bjorn Bondin, Roderick Farrugia (73’ Miguel Ciantar).
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Donovan Micallef, Jurgen Muscat, Kevin Camilleri.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
FLORIANA Patrick Jansen, Thomas Paris, Manolito Micallef, Eric Akoto, Owen Bugeja, Pablo Doffo, Tyrone Farrugia, Ivan Woods (83’ Ryan Darmanin), John Mintoff, Christian Caruana (90′ Brooke Farrugia), Onome Sodje.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Francesco Guzman, Duncan Pisani, Alandson da Silva, Andre Grabowski.
Asst. Coach: Joe Brincat
Team Manager: Adrian Mifsud
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Mintoff
Scorers: 64’ Christian Caruana, 87’ Tyrone Farrugia, 89’ Ryan Darmanin