Tarxien Rainbows extended their positive run to a third win in four matches as they defeated Rabat Ajax 3-1. Tarxien move temporarily in fourth place on seventeen points.
Rabat, on the other hand, remain anchored at the bottom of the table with three points.
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
Rabat coach Silvio Vella once again could not field his best formation due to the absence of Chris Schembri, Adam Smeir and Ryan Micallef – all injured apart from the fact that they lost another three players injured during the game. Tarxien, on the other hand, lacked Carlo Mamo and Evaldo Silva dos Santos but Manuel Caruana, Justin Grioli, Andrezinho and Daniel Mariano Bueno were back after serving a one-match ban.
The Rainbows managed to take the lead on the 9th minute when off corner by Andrezinho from the left, Steve Bonnici’s header hit the crossbar with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Rabat equalised on the 13th when Wayne Borg, who replaced the Nerijus Astrauskas received a cross from the right, rounded a defender and his curved shot from outside the area was not held by Nicky Vella.
Tarxien regained the lead on 27 minutes when off another corner by Andrezinho, Danilo Meira Santos hit home from close range.
On the hour, Tarxien scored the third goal when Daniel Mariano Bueno exchanged the ball with Danilo Meira Santos and the former flicked the ball past goalkeeper Sean Mintoff.
Danilo Meira Santos was voted BOV Player of the Match.
RABAT Sean Mintoff, Ivan Carapic, Joseph Caruana, Heiner Backhaus, Nerijus Astrauskas (7’ Wayne Borg), Manuel Moral Fuster, Dylan Falzon, Clive Brincat (38’ Gaetano Gesualdi), Yan Cauchi (63’ Justin Felice), David Azzopardi, Clifford Gauci.
Subs not used: Jonathan Azzopardi, Neil Farrugia, Chris Vella, Zachary Tanti.
Coach: Silvio Vella
Asst. Coach: Joe Galea
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Manuel Caruana, Justin Grioli (83’ Steve Sadowski), Roderick Bajada (46’ Luis Romulo de Castro), Danilo Meira Santos, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, Karl Pulo (54’ Mark Tanti), Daniel Mariano Bueno, David Fenech, Orosco Anonam, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Andrew Agius, Ryan Sammut, Clive Fenech.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Konrad Borg, Duncan Sultana
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Grioli, Mintoff, Backhaus
Scorers: 9’ Steve Bonnici (T); 13’ Wayne Borg (R); 27’ Danilo Meira Santos (T); 60’ Daniel Mariano Bueno (T)
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
Meanwhile Hibernians returned to winning ways as they registered a narrow win over Floriana. A win which puts the Paolites in second place together with Birkirkara and Mosta but the Stripes have a game in hand.
For Floriana, this was yet another disappointing result as this was the fourth defeat in five matches, therefore staying ninth on nine points.
Owen Bugeja and Trevor Cilia were missing for Floriana apart from the departure of Aaron Brown, Sunday Wasiu and Francis Jeffers. On the other hand, Mario Muscat and Adrian Pulis were back in the starting line-up for Hibernians with Jean Paul Farrugia and Zoran Levnajic included as substitutes.
The Paolites had the first attempt at goal on 4 minutes with a rising shot by Jackson Lima from the right ending just wide. Mario Muscat then performed a good save on Valdo Alhinho on the 20th with the ball ending into a corner. A powerful shot by Thomas Paris from outside the area was turned into a corner by Mario Muscat with particular difficulty on 34 minutes.
A beautiful freekick by Jackson Lima was turned into a corner by Tony Warner into a corner on 39 minutes. Just before half-time the Brazilian midfielder went close with another low shot which was neutralised by the Floriana goalkeeper.
Ten minutes in the second half, Hibernians managed to take the lead when off a cross by Marcelo Dias from the right, Jackson Lima’s header beat goalkeeper Tony Warner.
The Greens were reduced to ten men on 68 minutes when referee Glenn Tonna sent off Valdo Goncalves Alhinho. A decision which brought harsh protests by the Floriana players and technical staff.
Jackson Lima was voted BOV Player of the Match.
HIBS Mario Muscat, Brandon Muscat, Rodolfo Soares, Ryan Camilleri, Bjorn Kristensen, Marcelo Dias (74’ Zoran Levnajic), Andrew Cohen (90′ Steve Pisani), Clayton Failla, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (79’ Jean Paul Farrugia), Adrian Pulis, Jackson de Lima Siqueira.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Udo Nwoko, Johann Bezzina, Ayrton Azzopardi.
Coach: Michael Woods
Asst. Coach: Ndubisi Chukunyere
FLORIANA Tony Warner, Duncan Pisani, Tyrone Farrugia, Kane Farrugia, Carl Tremarco (11’ Sacha Borg), Thomas Paris, Brooke Farrugia (82’ Mark Spiteri), Clyde Borg, Valdo Goncalves Alhinho, Aman Verma, Ryan Darmanin.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Jurgen Borg, Francesco Guzman, Joseph Borg, Isaac Galea.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Dias, Darmanin, Alhinho, K. Farrugia, C. Borg, Failla, Paris
Red Cards: 68′ Valdo Alhinho
Scorers: 55’ Jackson de Lima Siqueira