Floriana and Balzan earned a point each as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw in a clash from the Relegation Pool. Balzan therefore join Qormi on the eighteen-point mark, two ahead of Floriana.
The Greens lacked Owen Bugeja and Sacha Borg while Jonathan Francica was missing for Balzan.
Aaron Agius tried his luck with a cross shot from the left ending just wide on the 12th minute. Three minutes later, Balzan went close with a Dylan Grima effort. A Renato Conceicao freekick from the left was neutralised by Tony Warner on 28 minutes. Floriana replied with an Igor Coronado shot from the right ending just wide on 33 minutes. Five minutes later, Tony Warner anticipated Ryan Darmanin off a cross by Akui N’Dekre. Three minutes from half-time, Warner turned into a corner a Jacob Borg effort from outside the area.
Ten minutes in the second half, it was the turn of Trevor Cilia to go close for Floriana but Dani Miguelez blocked his attempt. Udo Nwoko concluded a fine solo effort with a shot from the edge of the area which scraped past the post.
The Greens managed to break the deadlock on 66 minutes when Igor Coronado received a pass on the right flank and with an intelligent lob from inside the area, he beat goalkeeper Dani Miguelez.
However five minutes later, Balzan levelled matters through Ryan Darmanin who received a cross by Elie Moises Akui N’Dekre and after controlling, beat Tony Warner with a fine rising shot.
Four minutes from time, Balzan were unlucky not to take the lead when a Ryan Darmanin header hit the crossbar off a corner by Firas Aboulezz and attempts by Jacob Borg and Christian Caruana off the rebound were blocked.
In added time, Udo Nwoko almost pounced on a back-pass by Matthew Mendy for Dani Miguelez but the Balzan goalkeeper managed to clear the ball into safety in time.
Igor Coronado was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Tony Warner, Carl Tremarco, Kane Farrugia, Gary Roberts, Trevor Cilia, Thomas Paris, Clyde Borg, Brooke Farrugia, Udo Nwoko, Steve Pisani (81’ Mark Spiteri), Igor Coronado.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Luca Casha, Francesco Guzman, Luke Scorfna, Isaac Galea, Joseph Borg.
Coach: Iain Brunskill
Asst. Coach: Gary Howard
BALZAN Daniel Miguelez Martinez, Aaron Agius (76’ Yessous Camilleri), Jacob Borg, Matthew Mendy, Stefan Giglio, Dylan Grima, Jamie Pace, Renato Conceicao (83’ Firas Aboulezz), Christian Caruana, Ryan Darmanin, Elie Moises Akui N’Dekre (88’ Rennie Forace).
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Bjorn Bondin, Kevin Camilleri, Shaun Bugeja.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Alan Camilleri
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Roberts
Scorers: 66’ Igor Coronado (F); 71’ Ryan Darmanin (B)
Meanwhile a hat-trick by Daniel Mariano Bueno handed Tarxien Rainbows a comfortable win over Mosta. Tarxien therefore move to just one point behind Sliema Wanderers although they are still fifth.
The Rainbows lacked Justin Grioli, Branislav Timotic and Andrezinho while Alex Cini and Steve Bezzina were missing for Mosta.
Tarxien went close to taking the lead with a cross shot by Daniel Mariano Bueno which was deflected into a corner by Ferdinando Apap on the 3rd minute. A Danail Mitev effort was parried by Nicky Vella on 25 minutes and three minutes later, a conclusion by Bueno ended just over the bar.
The Rainbows managed to take the lead on 34 minutes thanks to Danial Mariano Bueno who advanced on the right before beating Jeffrey Farrugia.
Tarxien went close once again on 39 minutes as a freekick by Marco Tulio was parried by Farrugia.
Three minutes later, the Rainbows doubled the score thanks to Daniel Mariano Bueno, served on the left by Mark Tanti, who slotted the ball past Farrugia.
Eight minutes in the second half, Leandro da Silva Almeida released Mark Tanti on the left but the latter’s shot was deflected by Jeffrey Farrugia into a corner. Mosta replied with a Danail Mitev freekick which was parried by Nicky Vella on 65 minutes. Another freekick by the Bulgarian midfielder was saved by the Tarxien custodian ten minutes later.
Ten minutes from time, Tarxien sealed the issue with the third goal when off a David Fenech freekick from the right, Daniel Mariano Bueno headed home past Farrugia.
One minute from time, Jonathan Bajada missed a good opportunity to reduce the gap, hitting high off a pass by Danail Mitev.
Daniel Mariano Bueno was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MOSTA Jeffrey Farrugia, Ferdinando Apap, Tyrone Farrugia, Manolito Micallef, Carlos Campagnoli (84’ Ugochkukwu Okoro), Ryan Grech, Jonathan Bajada, Danail Mitev, Kurt Magro (62’ Bryan Agius), Fabio Vignaroli, Bruno Chikwadu Mbonu.
Subs not used: Noel Attard, Giancarlo Sammut, Steve Onyii Chiemeka, Kurt Zammit, Samuel Kehinde.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Mark Vella
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Marco Tulio Lopes Silva (69’ Gianluca Calabretta), Andrew Agius (82’ Roderick Bajada), Leandro da Silva Almeida (74’ David Fenech), Ryan Sammut, Mark Tanti, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Orosco Anonam, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Nigel Vella, Clive Fenech.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steve Vella
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Thomas Debono, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Magro, Bonnici, Apap, Anonam
Scorers: 34’ Daniel Mariano Bueno, 42’ Daniel Mariano Bueno, 80’ Daniel Mariano Bueno