Two early goals paved the way for Qormi as they registered a comfortable 4-0 win over Rabat Ajax to move an important step towards securing their Premier League status.
For Rabat, this was a disappointing result as they were seeking a positive result in their bid to avoid relegation.
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Rabat lacked Dylan Falzon and Gaetano Gesualdi apart from the usual Chris Schembri, Ryan Micallef and Adam Smeir. To make matters worse, they lost three players injured during the game and had to be substituted. Luke Sciberras and Steve Wellman were missing for Qormi.
Qormi took the lead on the 8th minute when Alfred Effiong served Moises Avila Perez on the right and the latter beat Sean Mintoff with a diagonal shot.
Three minutes later, Joseph Chetcuti received the ball outside the area, pulled to the left before hitting low past the Rabat goalkeeper to double the score.
On the 16th, Jose Luis Armario Negrin received a through pass on the right and advanced into the area but his low shot was parried by Steve Sultana. A shot from the left by David Azzopardi on the 23rd minute was neutralised by the Qormi goalkeeper and two minutes later, Diego Carrillo entered the penalty area from the right but his pass for Negrin was intercepted by Sultana with the ball being cleared into safety by a defender.
Ten minutes in the second half, the Qormi goalkeeper came to the rescue turning into a corner a Jose Luis Armario Negrin effort following a cross by Manuel Fuster. Substitute Malcolm Licari was unlucky to hit the upright on 68 minutes when served by Armario Negrin.
Qormi were awarded a penalty on the 70th when Kris Thackray was floored inside the area by Joseph Caruana. From the penalty spot, Thackray converted to put Qormi three goals ahead.
One minute from time, a Moises Avila Perez freekick was tipped into a corner by the Rabat goalkeeper.
However in added time, Mintoff fouled Alfred Effiong inside the area and the Nigerian striker made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Jose Luis Armario Negrin was voted BOV Player of the Match.
QORMI Steve Sultana, Kris Thackray, Roderick Sammut, Alfred Effiong, Joseph Chetcuti (71’ Matthew Bartolo), Moises Avila Perez, Matthew Gauci, Edison Bilbao Zarate (83’ Triston Caruana), Jonathan Bondin, Alessio Cassar, Christian Cassar (71’ Leighton Grech).
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Shamison Zammit, Duncan Pisani, Dylan Pirotta.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Asst. Coach: Joe Brincat
RABAT Sean Mintoff, Ivan Carapic, Joseph Caruana, Jose Luis Armario Negrin, Manuel Moral Fuster, Patrick Borg (43’ Justin Felice), Clive Brincat (46’ Malcolm Licari), Diego Carrillo Pendas, Yan Cauchi, David Azzopardi (85’ Shaun Gauci), Clifford Gauci.
Subs not used: Jonathan Azzopardi, Neil Caruana, Zachary Tanti, Luke Cauchi.
Coach: Silvio Vella
Asst. Coach: Joseph Galea
Goalkeepers’ Coach: David Vella
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Luke Portelli
Fourth official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: M. Gauci, Mintoff
Scorers: 8′ Moises Avila Perez, 11′ Joseph Chetcuti, 70′ Kris Thackray pen, 90+1′ Alfred Effiong pen
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Meanwhile Valletta returned to winning ways as they scored six in the second half to beat Mosta 6-1.
The suspended Jonathan Caruana and Jason Vandelannoite and the injured Roderick Briffa and Daniel Bogdanovic were all ruled out for Valletta. Mosta, on the other hand, lacked Steve Onyii Chiemeka.
Michael Mifsud, served by William Barbosa from the right, had a diagonal shot ending just wide on the 8th minute and on the 20th, Gabriel served Abubakar Bello-Osagie who however failed to connect from close range. Mifsud received a good pass by Demba Toure but his low shot was parried by the Mosta goalkeeper on 35 minutes. One minute later, Edmond Agius was unlucky to hit the posts for Valletta. Mosta replied with a Danail Mitev freekick ending just over the bar.
Valletta managed to break the deadlock two minutes in the second half when they were awarded a penalty after Ferdinando Apap handled the ball inside the area following a shot by Demba Toure. From the penalty spot, William Barbosa converted.
Two minutes later, Gabriel served Michael Mifsud whose conclusion was deflected by a defender past goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia for the Citizens’ second goal.
Michael Mifsud made it 3-0 on 57 minutes when he concluded a good move with a low shot from the edge of the area.
Mosta pulled one back on the hour when they were awarded a penalty after Manolito Micallef was brought down inside the area by Luke Dimech. From the penalty spot, Danail Mitev converted.
Substitute Denni Rocha dos Santos scored a fourth goal on the 89th minute, hardly ten seconds after replacing Gabriel, with a powerful shot which gave Farrugia no chance.
Two minutes later, Denni made it 5-1 as he headed the ball home off a cross from the left by Demba Toure.
Three minutes in added time, a long-distance shot by William Barbosa ended in the top left corner for the Citizens’ sixth goal.
Michael Mifsud was voted BOV Player of the Match.
VALLETTA Yenz Cini, Ian Azzopardi, Joao Gabriel da Silva (89′ Denni Rocha dos Santos), Ryan Fenech, Edmond Agius, Michael Mifsud (83’ Llywelyn Cremona), William Barbosa, Demba Toure, Abubakar Bello-Osagie (66’ Joseph Jojo Ogunuppe), Dyson Falzon, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Glenn Cassar, Isaac McCarthy, Brandon Grech.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Reuben Debono
MOSTA Jeffrey Farrugia, Ferdinando Apap, Tyrone Farrugia, Bryan Agius, Manolito Micallef, Ryan Grech, Danail Mitev (55’ Steve Bezzina), Kurt Magro, Carlos Campagnoli, Fabio Vignaroli (83’ Alex Cini), Bruno Chikwadu Mbonu.
Subs not used: Noel Attard, Giancarlo Sammut, Jonathan Bajada, Kurt Zammit, Samuel Kehinde.
Coach: Danilo Doncic
Asst. Coach: Mark Vella
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Eman Grech
Fourth official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Apap, Grech, Dimech
Scorers: 47’ William Barbosa pen; 49’ Michael Mifsud, 57’ Michael Mifsud, 60’ Danail Mitev pen (M); 88′ Denni Rocha dos Santos (V); 90+1′ Denni Rocha dos Santos (V); 90+3′ William Barbosa (V)