Tarxien Rainbows turned defeat into victory as they beat leaders Valletta by the odd goal in five to move third on level points with Birkirkara.
The Citizens took an early lead with Tarxien equalising mid-way through the first half. Valletta regained the lead a few minutes later but Tarxien scored twice after the break to take home the three points.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Hibernians and Birkirkara could both leapfrog the Valletta should they defeat Sliema and Mosta respectively on Wednesday.
Valletta took the lead after just three minutes thanks to Denni Rocha dos Santos who dribbled past a defender, advanced into the area and beat goalkeeper Nicky Vella.
Tarxien however levelled matters on the 24th minute as Daniel Mariano Bueno released Andre de Souza Esposito who galloped ahead of the Valletta defence and beat the Valletta goalkeeper with a low powerful shot.
The Citizens regained the lead on 31 minutes when Denni Rocha dos Santos served the ball to Ryan Fenech who advanced inside the area and from an ideal position, beat the Tarxien goalkeeper with a well-placed diagonal shot at the back of the net.
Six minutes from half-time, Jason Vandelannoite headed high off a cross by Roderick Briffa from the right. Three minutes later, a Demba Toure low powerful shot ended up inches wide off the upright.
Four minutes in the second half, Denni released Michael Mifsud on the right and off the latter’s through pass, Edmond Agius hit high.
Tarxien restored equilibrium on 57 minutes when off a perfect cross by Carlo Mamo from the left, Daniel Mariano Bueno’s header beat Manuel Bartolo.
Six minutes later, Bueno failed to connect off an inviting cross by Justin Grioli. On the 76th, Bueno released substitute Leandro Almeida on the right and the latter’s fierce shot was blocked by the Valletta goalkeeper.
Three minutes later, Tarxien made it 3-2 when a cross by Daniel Mariano Bueno from the right, Edmond Agius deflected the ball and former Valletta striker Leandro da Silva Almedia snapped the ball and beat Bartolo.
Daniel Bogdanovic, served by Denni, missed a good opportunity two minutes from time as he had a shot from close range, ending off target. Tarxien, however, went close once again on the 90th with an Andrezinho effort ending high.
Daniel Mariano Bueno was voted BOV Player of the Match.
TARXIEN Nicholas Vella, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Andrew Agius (83’ Marco Tulio Lopes Silva), Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito (90’ Mark Tanti), Roderick Bajada (72’ Leandro da Silva Almeida), Justin Grioli, Ryan Sammut, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Orosco Anonam, Steven Bonnici.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Steven Sadowski, David Fenech, Gianluca Calabretta.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella
VALLETTA Manuel Bartolo, Roderick Briffa, Ian Azzopardi, Jason Lee Vandelannoite, Edmond Agius, Dyson Falzon, Ryan Fenech, Daniel Bogdanovic, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Demba Toure’ (85’ Joseph Jojo Ogupunne), Michael Mifsud (65’ Joao Gabriel da Silva)
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Llywelyn Cremona, Jonathan Caruana, Brandon Grech.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Albert Borg Cardona
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Caruana, Grioli, N. Vella
Scorers: 3’ Denni Rocha Dos Santos (V), 24’Andre Reinaldo De Souxa Esposito (T), 31’ Ryan Fenech (V), 57’ Daniel Mariano Bueno (T), 79’ Leandro Da Silva Almeida (T) Scorers:
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 560
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg/MFA
A brace by Igor Coronado early in the second half enabled Floriana to turn defeat into victory, beating Rabat Ajax 2-1. A win which puts the Greens ten points clear of Rabat.
Apart from the injured Justin Felice, Yan Cauchi, Adam Smeir, Chris Schembri and Ryan Micallef, Rabat lacked the suspended Joseph Caruana. Owen Bugeja, on the other hand, returned for Floriana after serving a one-match ban.
The Magpies managed to take the lead on 22 minutes when off a cross by Diego Carrillo Pendas from the right, David Azzopardi headed home past goalkeeper Tony Warner.
Floriana replied with a cross from the left from which Steve Pisani’s effort was deflected into a corner by Sean Mintoff on 32 minutes. Five minutes later, a shot by Igor Coronado from the edge of the area ended just wide.
The Greens equalised eight minutes in the second half when off a cross by substitute Mark Spiteri from the right, Igor Coronado beat Sean Mintoff with a great overhead kick which gave the Rabat goalkeeper no chance.
Dylan Falzon came to the rescue for Rabat clearing off the goal line a Trevor Cilia effort on 59 minutes following a pass by Mark Spiteri. Three minutes later, Armario Negrin served Diego Carrillo who controlled before unleashing a powerful shot which scraped past the post.
Floriana forged ahead on the 63rd minute. It was another cross from the right, this time by Steve Pisani, and Igor Coronado was left unmarked to flick the ball past the Rabat goalkeeper.
Ivan Carapic headed just wide off a Diego Carrillo freekick from the right on 75 minutes. Jose Luis Armario Negrin then missed a good opportunity, hitting wide from close range on the 85th.
Igor Coronado was voted BOV Player of the Match.
FLORIANA Tony Warner, Gary Roberts, Owen Bugeja, Carl Tremarco, Trevor Cilia, Thomas Paris, Clyde Borg, Brooke Farrugia (46’ Kane Farrugia), Udo Nwoko (46’ Mark Spiteri), Steven Pisani, Igor Coronado.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Luca Casha, Luke Scorfna, Francesco Guzman, Isaac Galea.
Coach: Iain Brunskill
Asst. Coach: Gary Howard
RABAT Sean Mintoff, Gaetano Gesualdi, Ivan Carapic, Jose Luis Armario Negrin, Manuel Moral Fuster, Dylan Falzon, Patrick Borg, Clive Brincat (34’ Malcolm Licari), Diego Carrillo Pendas, David Azzopardi, Clifford Gauci.
Subs not used: Jonathan Azzopardi, Aidan Azzopardi, Zachary Tanti, Wayne Borg, Luke Cauchi, Chris Vella.
Coach: Silvio Vella
Asst. Coach: Joseph Galea
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Paris, Pisani, Carapic, Bugeja, C. Borg
Scorers: 22’ David Azzopardi (R); 53’ Igor Coronado (F); 63’ Igor Coronado (F)
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg/MFA
In another match at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Balzan and Melita shared the spoils in a goalless draw.
Balzan therefore continue to move closer to safety while Melita remain anchored at the bottom of the table although they now move to just one point behind Rabat.
The Amateurs had a number of changes in their starting line-up as they lacked George Gribbon, Luke Sammut, Nigel Rizzo and Karl Vella Petroni. Balzan, on the other hand, could not count on Jonathan Francica.
Melita had the first attempt at goal with Julian Galea trying his luck with a shot ending just wide on 14 minutes. Balzan replied with a Christian Caruana freekick on the 28th minute from which Jamie Pace’s header was saved by Dani Miguelez.
A Renato Conceicao freekick ended just over the bar on the 62nd minute. On the other side of the pitch, a great freekick by Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho was turned into a corner in style by Dani Miguelez.
Ten minutes from time, Jamie Pace went close with a good header off a cross by substitute Dylan Grima. Rudi Alhinho had a freekick saved by the Balzan goalkeeper on 87 minutes.
Jamie Pace was voted BOV Player of the Match.
BALZAN Daniel Miguelez Martinez, Yessous Camilleri (70’ Bjorn Bondin), Stefan Giglio, Matthew Mendy, Aaron Agius (67’ Dylan Grima), Renato Garcia Conceicao, Jamie Pace, Christian Caruana, Jacob Borg, Ryan Darmanin (67’ Firas Aboulezz), Elie Moises Akui N’Dekre.
Subs not used: Fredrick Tabone, Clint Micallef, Rennie Forace, Shaun Bugeja.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
MELITA Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, Matthew Borg, Rudi Alhinho, Ivan Tufegdzic, Jean Pierre Attard, Andrew Caruana Scicluna, Luke Micallef (20’ Michael Martin), Alan Borg Olivier, Julian Galea, Luke Bianco.
Subs not used: Andrew Abela, Marc Attard, Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon, Michael Valenzia.
Coach: Patxi Salinas
Asst. Coach: Alejandro Martinez Lopez
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Eman Grech, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: Attard, Galea, Conceicao
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 221
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
At the Hibernians Stadium, Qormi defeated Hamrun Spartans 2-0.
Qormi had the first attempt at goal with a cross shot by Duncan Pisani from the right which was parried by Anthony Curmi on the 9th minute. Three minutes later, Joseph Chetcuti dribbled a defender but his conclusion was blocked by a defender.
Jesmond Zerafa’s side managed to take the lead on the 14th minute thanks a Luke Sciberras long-distance volley which left the Hamrun custodian astounded as the ball ended directly into the net.
Hamrun replied with a Giacomo Favero corner which was saved in two attempts by Steve Sultana on 32 minutes. A minute later, Favero exchanged the ball with Terence Vella and the former’s powerful shot was blocked by the Qormi keeper.
Qormi, however, hit back with a diagonal shot by Joseph Chetcuti ending wide on 35 minutes. Four minutes later, Alfred Effiong, served by Chetcuti, was unlucky to hit the upright with Bledjon Guga clearing the ball into safety before Moises Avila Perez could do any damage.
Two minutes from half-time, a fierce shot by Edison Bilbao Zarate was blocked by the on-rushing Anthony Curmi and a minute later, the Hamrun goalkeeper had to get out of the penalty area to clear into safety an inviting through pass for Bilbao Zarate.
Eighteen minutes in the second half, Emilano Lattes tried his luck with a shot from outside the area which ended just wide. Three minutes later, Sultana performed a good save on a David Camilleri freekick from the right. A Terence Vella effort from outside the penalty area was punched into safety by Steve Sultana.
On the 90th, the Spartans were reduced to ten men after having Adrian Borg sent off.
Qormi doubled the score four minutes in added time thanks to Leighton Grech who advanced into the area before beating Curmi with a powerful shot.
Luke Sciberras was voted BOV Player of the Match.
HAMRUN Anthony Curmi, Glenn Azzopardi, Adrian Borg, Bledjon Guga, Massimo Grima (74’ Ryan Spiteri), David Camilleri, Giacomo Favero, Loic Lumbilla Kandja, Terence Vella (87’ Rodney Refalo), Emiliano Lattes (67’ Daniel Zerafa), Roderick Fenech.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Luke Grech, Gianluca Debattista, Melvin Busuttil.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Jeffrey Mifsud
QORMI Steve Sultana, Kris Thackray, Roderick Sammut, Alfred Effiong (90’ Christian Cassar), Joseph Chetcuti, Moises Avila Perez (80’ Matthew Bartolo), Luke Sciberras, Matthew Gauci (71’ Leighton Grech), Edison Bilboa Zarate, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Shamison Zammit, Alessio Cassar, Dylan Pirotta.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Asst. Coach: Joe Brincat
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Lumbilla, Pisani, Sammut, Fenech, Zarate, Azzopardi
Scorers: 14’ Luke Sciberras, 90+4’ Leighton Grech