Tarxien Rainbows secured a place in the Championship Pool thanks to a 3-0 win over Melita.
A brace by Daniel Mariano Bueno paved the way for Tarxien with Leandro Alemeida sealing the issue with a late goal.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Tarxien lacked Steve Bonnici, Orosco Anonam and Roderick Bajada but had Gianluca Calabretta making his debut when he was included as a substitute. Goalkeeper Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia, Luke Sammut and Julian Galea were, on the other hand, missing for Melita.
After a quiet start, Melita had the first attempt at goal on the 20th minute with Michael Valenzia testing David Cassar with a shot from outside the area following a pass by Daniel Cabanillas. On the other side of the pitch, a header by Daniel Mariano Bueno, off a cross by Marco Tulio, was parried by Karl Zahra.
The Rainbows forged ahead on the 24th minute when a freekick by Andrezinho from the left was partially saved by the Melita custodian and off the rebound, Daniel Mariano Bueno placed the ball at the back of the net.
On the half-hour, Justin Grioli concluded a solo effort with a shot from outside the area which was turned by Zahra into a corner.
From the resulting corner by Marco Tulio, Ryan Sammut hit the crossbar with a header and off the rebound, Daniel Mariano Bueno hit home.
Tarxien went close once again on 35 minutes as a Daniel Mariano Bueno diagonal shot from the left scraped past the post. On the other side, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho hit the crossbar with a shot from outside the area.
Eight minutes in the second half, Andrew Agius concluded a good move on the left by hitting wide. The Rainbows almost added another goal on 62 minutes with a header by Branislav Timotic off a corner by Marco Tulio; however Karl Zahra managed to deflect the ball off the goal line with the Tarxien players claiming that the ball had already crossed the line.
Tarxien sealed the issue on the 78th minute when Mark Tanti served substitute Leandro da Silva Almeida and the latter controlled before beating Zahra with the ball hitting the foot of the post before ending at the back of the net.
Daniel Mariano Bueno was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MELITA Karl Zahra, Matthew Borg (61’ Jean Pierre Attard), Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, Ivan Tufegdzic, George Gribbon, Michael Martin, Andrew Caruana Scicluna, Michael Valenzia (46’ Nigel Rizzo), Jorge Veloso Lourido (79’ Rudi Goncalves Alhinho), Luke Micallef, Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon.
Subs not used: Andrew Abela, Karl Vella Petroni, Michael Cachia, Luke Bianco.
Coach: Alejandro Martinez Lopez
Asst. Coach: Alfred Zammit
TARXIEN David Cassar, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Marco Tulio Lopes Silva (66’ Leandro da Silva Almeida), Andrew Agius (83’ David Fenech), Justin Grioli, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, Ryan Sammut, Mark Tanti (79’ Gianluca Calabretta), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Branislav Timotic.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Steve Sadowski, Nigel Vella, Clive Fenech.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Rizzo, Andrezinho, JP Attard, L. Micallef
Scorers: 24’ Daniel Mariano Bueno, 31’ Daniel Mariano Bueno, 78’ Leandro da Silva Almeida
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Qormi maintained hopes of making it to the Championship Pool as two goals early in the second half handed them the three points in a 2-1 win over Mosta. A win which puts them on the 27-point mark, four behind Mosta and Sliema, with two games to go for the end of the first phase.
Mosta had Fabio Vignaroli and Kurt Magro making their debut but Fernando Apap, Alex Cini and Steve Bezzina were both ruled out injured. Qormi lacked Matthew Bartolo but new signings Duncan Pisani and Christian Cassar started the game on the bench.
Alfred Effiong concluded a good run on the right on the 8th minute with a pass for the unmarked Abubakar Bello-Osagie but a defender cleared the ball into a corner. On 32 minutes, Bello-Osagie served Alfred Effiong whose close-range effort was saved in two attempts by Jeffrey Farrugia. Mosta replied with a pass by Danail Mitev for Fabio Vignaroli whose shot was parried by Matthew Farrugia.
Nine minutes in the second half, Qormi took the lead when Edison Bilbao Zarate served Abubakar Bello-Osagie on the right and the latter beat goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia.
Alfred Effiong then served Bello-Osagie on 61 minutes but the latter’s close-range effort was neutralised by the Mosta goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Qormi doubled the score as Abubakar Bello-Osagie served Alfred Effiong on the right and the latter slotted the ball past the Mosta goalkeeper.
Joseph Chetcuti went close on the 70th when he concluded a good run on the right with a low shot which was however blocked by Jeffrey Farrugia. Three minutes later, Bello-Osagie headed high off an inviting cross by Chetcuti from the left.
On the 79th minute, Alfred Effiong had a shot blocked by Jeffrey Farrugia following a cross from the right by Duncan Pisani.
In added time, Mosta scored a consolation goal through David Maia dos Santos who hit home from close range after goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia partially saved a corner by Danail Mitev.
Alfred Effiong was voted BOV Player of the Match.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Kris Thackray, Roderick Sammut, Alfred Effiong (84’ Leighton Grech), Joseph Chetcuti (73’ Duncan Pisani), Abubakar Bello-Osagie (79’ Moises Avila Perez), Luke Sciberras, Matthew Gauci, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Jonathan Bondin, Stephen Wellman.
Subs not used: Steven Baldacchino, Duncan Pisani, Alessio Cassar, Christian Cassar, Dylan Pirotta.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Asst. Coach: Joe Brincat
MOSTA Jeffrey Farrugia, Tyrone Farrugia, Bryan Agius (69’ Giancarlo Sammut), Mano Micallef, Steve Onyii Chiemeka (63’ David Maia dos Santos), Ryan Grech, Jonathan Bajada, Danail Mitev, Kurt Magro, Carlos Campagnoli, Fabio Vignaroli.
Subs not used: Noel Attard, Steve Schembri, Adrian Caruana, Chris Saliba, Adrian Farrugia.
Coach: Steve D’Amato
Asst. Coach: Mark Vella
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Alex Grech
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: M. Gauci, R. Grech
Scorers: 54’ Abubakar Bello-Osagie, 63’ Alfred Effiong; 90+2′ David Maia dos Santos