B'Kara join Valletta on top — Mosta move closer to securing top-six finish

Birkirkara joined Valletta on top the BOV Premier League table as they found no difficulty in beating Tarxien Rainbows 5-0. A win which puts the Stripes on the 33-point mark, one ahead of Hibernians.

For Tarxien, this was the first defeat in six matches. They remain sixth, six points ahead of seventh-placed Balzan.

After releasing Danilo Meira Santos, Luiz Romulo de Castro and Evaldo Silva dos Santos, Tarxien had two new Brazilian players in squad, namely Marco Tulio Lopes Silva and former Valletta striker Leandro Almeida da Silva. Birkirkara welcomed back Shola Shodiya after a long absence but Gareth Sciberras, Joseph Zerafa, Jhonnattann and Joselito dos Reis were all unavailable.

The Stripes managed to take the lead on 34 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza was brought down inside the area by Orosco Anonam. Mifsud Triganza’s effort from the penalty spot was partially saved by David Cassar, Nikola Vukanac took the rebound but was fouled with the ball going into the direction of Paul Fenech who placed the ball at the back of the net.

Mifsud Triganza was unlucky to have a freekick from the right ending just wide on 53 minutes and two minutes later, Herrera’s cross shot from the right hit the upright.

Birkirkara however doubled the score on 56 minutes when Mifsud Triganza served Shola Shodiya whose powerful shot from outside the area beat Cassar.

Two minutes later, Nikola Vukanac made it 3-0 heading the ball home from close range following a freekick by Ryan Camenzuli from the left.

Birkirkara increased the lead further with a powerful drive from the right by Harun Shola Shodiya which gave the Tarxien custodian no chance on 65 minutes.

Edward Herrera beat David Cassar with a diagonal shot from the right on 79 minutes for Birkirkara’s fifth goal.

Harun Shola Shodiya was voted BOV Player of the Match.

B’KARA Reuben Gauci, Ryan Scicluna, Nikola Vukanac (81’ Bernard Borg), Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Ryan Camenzuli, Rowen Muscat, Paul Fenech, Rodrigo Pereira (65’ Zach Muscat), Edward Herrera, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Harun Shola Shodiya (76’ Yosimar Hernandez).
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, McAllister Clinch, Roderick Taliana, Brendon Attard.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Asst. Coach: Peter Pullicino

TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski (64’ David Fenech), Manuel Caruana, Marco Tulio Lopes Silva (64’ Mark Tanti), Justin Grioli, Roderick Bajada, Leandro da Silva Almeida, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito (73’ Andrew Agius), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Orosco Anonam, Steven Bonnici.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Clive Fenech, Carlo Mamo, Luke Zahra.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Sadowski, Anonam, Cassar, Bonnici, Camenzuli
Scorers: 34’ Paul Fenech, 56′ Harun Shola Shodiya, 58′ Nikola Vukanac, 65′ Harun Shola Shodiya, 79’ Edward Herrera
Attendance: 774

Mosta moved another important step towards securing a place in the Championship Pool as they defeated Floriana 2-1.

The Blues are now fourth on 31 points – two points behind joint-leaders Valletta and Birkirkara – while Floriana remain eighth on 21 points. This defeat almost ruled out any remaining chances for the Greens of making it to the top-six.

Floriana defender Tyrone Farrugia was left out of the squad as the Greens are currently discussing a possible transfer of the player to Mosta. Thomas Paris, Mark Spiteri and Ryan Darmanin were also missing while Valdo Alhino was also missing after leaving the club to move to Angola. On the other hand, Steve Bezzina, Jonathan Bajada and Firas Aboulezz were missing for Mosta.

The Blues had the first attempt at goal on the 10th minute with a solo effort by Obinna Obiefule who at one point seemed to lose possession, only to regain the ball and test Tony Warner with a low shot.

On the 33rd minute, Duncan Pisani served Clyde Borg whose fine rising shot was turned into a corner by Justin Haber. Two minutes from half-time, Trevor Cilia tried his luck with a shot from the right which was neutralised by the Mosta custodian. Another shot by Cilia from the right ended just wide just before half-time.

Clyde Borg was unlucky to hit the crossbar for Floriana one minute in the second half after a shot by Carl Tremarco was blocked by a defender.

Mosta managed to take the lead on 53 minutes when off a Danail Mitev freekick, Steve Onyii Chiemeka deflected the ball past goalkeeper Tony Warner.

Two minutes later, the Blues could have doubled the score but the ball was cleared into safety following a corner by Daniel Bogdanovic. On the other side of the pitch, the 71st minute, Joseph Borg’s acrobatic shot was blocked by Warner and off the rebound, Igor Coronado’s effort was blocked by a defender.

Coronado was however not to be denied a few minutes later when he managed to beat Justin Haber with a beautiful rising shot from the left on the 80th minute to level matters.

However six minutes later, Mosta regained the lead with substitute Daniel Bogdanovic beating Warner from close range following a cross from the right by Manolito Micallef.

Danail Mitev was voted BOV Player of the Match.

FLORIANA Tony Warner, Kane Farrugia, Carl Tremarco, Owen Bugeja, Trevor Cilia (76’ Luca Casha), Igor Coronado, Duncan Pisani, Joseph Borg, Brooke Farrugia (63’ Francesco Guzman), Clyde Borg, Sacha Borg.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Emanuel Briffa, Isaac Galea, Luke Scorfna.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Asst. Coach: Gary Howard

MOSTA Justin Haber, Alex Cini (46’ Daniel Bogdanovic), Mano Micallef, Steve Onyii Chiemeka, Carlos Campagnoli, Ryan Grech, Danial Mitev (74’ David Maia dos Santos), Obinna Obiefule, Ferdinando Apap, Bryan Agius, Giancarlo Sammut.
Subs not used: Noel Attard, Steve Schembri, Adrian Farrugia, John Paul Grima, Wayne Chetcuti.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Mark Vella

Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Albert Borg Cardona
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Apap, C. Borg, S. Borg
Scorers: 53’ Steve Onyii Chiemeka; 80’ Igor Coronado; 86’ Daniel Bogdanovic