Adrian Carabott scored two late goals as Tarxien Rainbows defeated Hamrun Spartans 3-0 to make sure of playing in the Premier League next season.
With Tarxien out of the battle against relegation, the final matches for Mosta and Mqabba next week will decide which team will be playing in Division 1 next season.
In fact, Qormi’s narrow win over Mqabba enabled Hamrun Spartans to retain their status among the elite of Maltese football and coach Stefan Sultana rested a number of regular players, fielding Andrea Cassar, Glen Azzopardi, Luke Grech and Daniel Zerafa in their starting line-up.
After a quiet start for the two teams, the Rainbows had the first attempt at goal with an Adrian Carabott effort being saved with particular difficulty by Andrea Cassar. A Jimmy Mayasi effort, served by Anonam, then ended just wide.
Three minutes in the second half, the Rainbows managed to break the deadlock when off a cross by Luiz Romulo de Castro, there was a short clearance and Daniel Mariano Bueno served Jimmy Nzinga Mayasi whose low shot beat goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
On 77 minutes, the Spartans went close through Massimo Grima whose shot was partially saved by Nicky Vella with Matthew Gauci hitting high off the rebound.
Two minutes from time, Tarxien secured victory with a second goal as Mark Tanti released Adrian Carabott on the right and the latter entered the penalty area before beating Cassar with a diagonal shot.
The Rainbows added another goal on the 90th thanks to Adrian Carabott who exchanged the ball with Jimmy Nzinga Mayasi and beat the Hamrun custodian with a diagonal shot from the right.
Jimmy Nzinga Mayasi was voted BOV Player of the Match.
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Glenn Azzopardi, Roderick Fenech, Steve Bonnici, Luke Grech, Massimo Grima, Daniel Zerafa (56’ Rupert Mangion), Kevin Sammut (59’ Ayrton Micallef), Gianluca Calabretta (66’ Ryan Spiteri), Matthew Gauci, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro.
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Lee James Agius, David Camilleri, Gaetan Spiteri.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Marco Grech
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Everton Antonio Pereira, Adrian Carabott, Jimmy Nzinga Mayasi, Karl Pulo (69’ Mark Tanti), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Luiz Romulo de Castro, Orosco Anonam, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Stefan Giglio, Julian Vella, Ryan Mintoff, Clive Fenech
Coach: Patrick Curmi
Asst. Coach: Michael Church
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Grioli
Scorers: 48’ Jimmy Nzinga Mayasi; 88’ Adrian Carabott; 90’ Adrian Carabott
Champions Valletta extended their positive run to twenty-six matches as they beat eternal rivals Floriana 1-0 thanks to a goal by Edmond Agius late in the first half.
The Greens were hoping for a positive result from this game as Birkirkara, one point behind them, could move third should they beat Sliema Wanderers on Sunday.
Floriana had a good start, going close with attempts by Christian Caruana and Onome Sodje.
However Valletta managed to take the lead seven minutes from the end of the first half. Gilbert Agius served Ousseni Zongo on the right and off the latter’s cross, Edmond Agius headed the ball home past goalkeeper Patrick Jansen.
After the break, the Citizens held the initiative, going close to doubling the score through a close-range shot by Michael Mifsud which was blocked by Patrick Jansen on 75 minutes. Another powerful shot by Mifsud, served by Zongo was parried by the Floriana goalkeeper on 83 minutes.
Ousseni Zongo was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Patrick Jansen, Manolito Micallef, Thomas Paris, Owen Bugeja, Eric Akoto (78’ Brooke Farrugia), Ivan Woods (80’ John Mintoff) Tyrone Farrugia, Pablo Doffo, Clyde Borg, Onome Sodje, Christian Caruana (73’ Duncan Pisani).
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Joseph Borg, Andre Grabowski, Ryan Darmanin.
Asst. Coach: Joe Brincat
VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Gilbert Agius (75’ Terence Scerri), Ian Azzopardi, Roderick Briffa, Edmond Agius, Ousseni Zongo (88’ Alfred Effiong), Denni Rocha dos Santos (83’ Saidou Mady Panadetiguiri), William Barbosa, Michael Mifsud.
Subs not used: Matthew Towns, Aleksandars Cekulajevs, Roderick Bajada, Siraj Arab.
Coach: Leonard Farrugia
Asst. Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Joe Camilleri, Alex Grech
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Paris
Scorers: 38’ Edmond Agius