Balzan, Mosta share spoils in draw — Narrow win for Hamrun over rivals Qormi

Mosta missed the opportunity to move alone in third place as they were held in a goalless draw by Balzan.

The Blues join Sliema Wanderers and Hibernians on the sixteen-point mark. Balzan, on the other hand, extend their positive run to four matches without defeats.

Balzan lacked no less than five players, namely the injured Matthew Camilleri and Jonathan Francica and the suspended Matthew Mendy, Jamie Pace and Dylan Grima. The Blues, on the other hand, lacked Ousseni Zongo.

Mosta went close to taking the lead on 26 minutes with an attempt by Obinna Obiefule but goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone tipped the ball into a corner. From the resulting corner by Bogdanovic, the Nigerian striker headed just wide. Carlos Campagnoli then released Obiefule on the right on 35 minutes but the latter’s effort was blocked by Tabone.

Six minutes in the second half, a header by Renato Conceicao was turned into a corner following a freekick by Pedro Calcado. On the other side of the pitch, a shot from the edge of the area by Obiefule was neutralised by Tabone.

Balzan were reduced to ten men on 75 minutes when Rennie Forace received a second yellow card and was therefore given marching orders by referee Chris Lautier.

Mosta went close once again to taking the lead six minutes from time but Fredrick Tabone managed to turn into a corner a freekick by Danail Mitev.

One minute in added time, Luke Dimech was sent off for Mosta after receiving two yellow cards in less than a minute.

Fredrick Tabone was voted BOV Player of the Match.

BALZAN Fredrick Tabone, Clint Micallef, Aaron Agius (71’ Jacob Dominico Borg), Yessous Camilleri, Stefan Giglio, Renato Garcia Conceicao, Bjorn Bondin, Rennie Forace, Christian Caruana (77’ Martin Deyanov), Pedro Calcado (89’ Malcolm Licari), Elton da Silva.
Subs not used: Mikhail Sciberras, Michael Borg, Kevin Camilleri, Cruyff Grixti.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit

MOSTA Justin Haber, Mano Micallef, Bryan Agius (26’ Steve Onyii Chiemeka), Steve Bezzina, Luke Dimech, Carlos Campagnoli (84’ David Maia dos Santos), Ryan Grech, Firas Aboulezz, Daniel Bogdanovic (55’ Jonathan Bajada), Danail Mitev, Obinna Obiefule.
Subs not used: Kurt Rizzo, Ferdinando Apap, Alex Cini, Kurt Zammit.
Coach: Steve D’Amato

Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Mariano Debono, Albert Borg Cardona
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: R. Forace, C. Micallef, J. Bajada, Elton, Bondin, Dimech
Red Cards: 75’ Rennie Forace, 90+2’ Luke Dimech

Meanwhile Hamrun Spartans moved seventh as they registered a second consecutive win, beating rivals Qormi 1-0.

Hamrun now lie just one point behind Tarxien Rainbows. Qormi, on the other hand, remain third from bottom as they suffered the fourth defeat in five matches.

The Spartans lacked Massimo Grima and Daniel Zerafa while Qormi were in full strength apart from Triston Caruana who is yet to make his first appearance after re-joining the club from Hibernians.

Qormi missed an excellent opportunity to take the lead when Leighton Grech served the unmarked Abubakar Bello-Osagie from the right but the Nigerian midfielder’s effort hit the foot of the post on 24 minutes.

In added time, a direct freekick by Kris Thackray was partially saved by Andrea Cassar.

Hamrun replied with a cross by Adrian Ivanov from which Terence Vella had a close-range effort deflected into a corner ten minutes in the second half. From the resulting corner, Roderick Fenech hit wide. Four minutes later, off a cross by Zarate from the left, Leighton Grech rounded a defender but his diagonal shot scraped past the post.

The Spartans finally managed to break the deadlock on 76 minutes when off a cross by Luke Grech from the left, the ball reached Ryan Spiteri who controlled the ball before beating Farrugia with a fine shot.

Ryan Spiteri was voted BOV Player of the Match.

HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Glenn Azzopardi, Ryan Spiteri, Terence Vella, Gianluca Calabretta (59’ Luke Grech), Adrian Ivanov, Roderick Fenech, Lyubomir Vitanov, Angel Yoshev, Anton Vergilov, David Camilleri.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Ayrton Micallef, Adrian Borg, Nikolay Bozhov, Gianluca Debattista, Christian Cassar.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Atanas Marinov

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Kris Thackray, Roderick Sammut, Matthew Bartolo, Vincenzo Pisani (87’ Sebastian Aurelio Siritto), Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Luke Sciberras, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Gaetan Spiteri, Jonathan Bondin (85’ Matthew Gauci), Leighton Grech (67’ Joseph Chetcuti).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Carmelo Farrugia, Alessio Cassar, Gabriel Buttigieg.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Asst. Coach: Joe Brincat

Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Pisani, Vella, Chetcuti, Cassar
Scorers: 76’ Ryan Spiteri
Attendance: 965