Armario Negrin hat-trick hands Rabat Ajax first win

A hat-trick by Spanish striker Jose Luis Armario Negrin handed Rabat Ajax their first Premier League win as they defeated Mosta by the odd goal in five. A win which puts the Magpies just one point behind Melita when the second phase gets underway in two weeks’ time.

Mosta, on the other hand, will start their Championship Pool commitments at the bottom with seventeen points, two behind Sliema Wanderers. This was the fourth defeat in five matches for Steve D’Amato’s side.

Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar

Apart from the usual Chris Schembri, Adam Smeir and Ryan Micallef, Rabat lacked Joseph Caruana and Malcolm Licari. Mosta, on the other hand, could not count on Carlos Campagnoli, Steve Bezzina, Alex Cini, Ferdinando Apap and Adrian Farrugia.

Mosta went out on the attack and after having a shot by Kurt Magro neutralised by Sean Mintoff on the 3rd minute, a fine shot by Danail Mitev hit the upright five minutes later. Rabat replied with a cross by Diego Carrillo from which Jose Luis Armario Negrin’s close-range effort was deflected into a corner on the 29th. A minute later, a header by Negrin was parried by Jeffrey Farrugia. The Spanish striker went close once again on the 40th with a close-range shot which was blocked into a corner by Jeffrey Farrugia.

One minute from half-time, Rabat were awarded a penalty after Jose Luis Armario Negrin was brought down inside the area by Steve Chiemeka. From the penalty spot, Negrin made no mistake to put Rabat ahead.

Rabat doubled the score ten minutes in the second half, once again through Jose Luis Armario Negrin who received an assist by Diego Carrillo and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia.

The Magpies were awarded a penalty on the 63rd minute when Kurt Magro blocked a shot by Manuel Moral with his hand and from the penalty spot, Jose Luis Armario Negrin converted to make it 3-0.

Mosta replied with a cross shot by Danail Mitev which hit the crossbar on 73 minutes.

Seven minutes later, the Blues reduced the gap thanks to a direct freekick by Danail Mitev which gave goalkeeper Sean Mintoff no chance.

On the 90th, Mosta were awarded a penalty after Gaetano Gesualdi floored Bryan Agius inside the area. Danail Mitev converted from the penalty spot.

Jose Luis Armario Negrin was voted BOV Player of the Match.

RABAT Sean Mintoff, Gaetano Gesualdi, Ivan Carapic, Justin Felice (24’ Patrick Borg), Jose Luis Armario Negrin (88’ Chris Vella), Manuel Moral Fuster, Dylan Falzon, Clive Brincat, Diego Carrillo Pendas, David Azzopardi, Clifford Gauci.
Subs not used: Jonathan Azzopardi, Neil Caruana, Kurt Muscat, Wayne Borg, Yan Cauchi.
Coach: Silvio Vella
Asst. Coach: Joe Galea

MOSTA Jeffrey Farrugia, Giancarlo Sammut, Bryan Agius, Tyrone Farrugia (46’ Jonathan Bajada), Steve Onyii Chiemeka, Ryan Grech (70’ Kurt Zammit), Kurt Magro, Mano Micallef, Danail Mitev, Fabio Vignaroli, Chikadu Bruno Mbonu (73’ Ugochukwu Okoro).
Subs not used: Emanuel Borg, Wayne Chetcuti, Chris Saliba, Samuel Kehinde.
Coach: Steve D’Amato

Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Agius, Brincat, Chiemeka, Magro, Micallef
Scorers: 45’ Jose Luis Armario Negrin pen, 55’ Jose Luis Armario Negrin, 63’ Jose Luis Armario Negrin pen, 80’ Danail Mitev, 90’ Danil Mitev pen

Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar

Meanwhile Hibernians failed to make sure of ending the first phase on top as they were held in a goalless draw by neighbours Tarxien Rainbows.

The Paolites lead the way with 45 points, followed by Valletta on 43. Therefore should the Citizens beat Floriana, they would move on top with 46 points. In that case, both Valletta and Hibs would start their Championship Pool commitments with 23 points.

The Rainbows will start the second phase in fourth place on 19 points.

Both sides lacked a number of players. Hibernians lacked Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnajic and Rodolfo Soares while Orosco Anonam and Branislav Timotic were missing for the Rainbows.

Andrezinho had a goal on the 6th minute annulled for an offside and on the other side of the pitch, Jackson Lima went close to putting the Paolites’ ahead with a powerful shot from the left ending just wide. Tarxien replied with a shot by Daniel Mariano Bueno which was blocked by the goalkeeper and off the rebound, a header by Andrezinho ended high on the 18th.

Eight minutes later, Jean Paul Farrugia then headed the ball just wide off a cross from the right. Off a Jackson Lima corner, a close-range shot by Farrugia was parried by David Cassar on the 33rd.

A powerful drive by Jackson Lima three minutes in the second half scraped past the post. On the 53rd minute, Leandro Almeida almost put the Rainbows ahead when off a cross by Daniel Mariano Bueno but his close-range shot was somehow held by Mario Muscat.

Finally Andrezinho had a direct freekick ending just wide two minutes from time.

Daniel Mariano Bueno was voted BOV Player of the Match.

HIBS Mario Muscat, Adrian Pulis, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Johann Bezzina, Scott Chircop, Marcelo Dias (54’ Ayrton Azzopardi), Jean Paul Farrugia.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Brandon Muscat, Keith Tanti, Timothy Tabone Desira, Neil Chetcuti, Jurgen Degabriele.
Coach: Michael Woods
Asst. Coach: Darren Abdilla

TARXIEN David Cassar, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Marco Tulio Lopes Silva (60’ Mark Tanti), Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, Roderick Bajada (91’ Andrew Agius), Leandro da Silva Almeida, Justin Grioli, Ryan Sammut, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Steven Bonnici.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Steve Sadowski, David Fenech, Clive Fenech, Gianluca Calabretta.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Caruana, Sammut, Mamo
Attendance: 443