Valletta scored twice in the second half to maintain alive hopes for the title as they registered a 2-0 win over Sliema Wanderers.
Sliema lacked Mark Scerri and Ian Zammit while Valletta could not count on Steve Borg, Roderick Briffa and Ryan Fenech but Jonathan Caruana and Jason Vandelannoite were back after missing the last game.
Michael Mifsud went close to putting Valletta ahead after just one minute when he concluded a solo effort with a shot which hit the upright. Another good move by Mifsud ended with a fine lob which was turned into a corner by Glenn Zammit, aided by the crossbar on 19 minutes. From the resulting corner by Gabriel, Demba Toure’s header was parried by the Sliema goalkeeper.
The Wanderers replied with a good attempt by Luigi Ruggiero which was blocked on the 24th and the ball finally reached Matias Muchardi whose powerful drive ended just wide. Glenn Zammit performed another good save on a Gabriel close-range header off a freekick by Barbosa from the right.
Valletta managed to take the lead two minutes in the second half when off a cross by Jason Vandelannoite, Dyson Falzon beat Glenn Zammit with a diagonal shot from the left.
The Citizens doubled the score on 51 minutes when off a cross by Dyson Falzon, Michael Mifsud headed the ball into the direction of Demba Toure who headed home from close range.
Dyson Falzon was voted BOV Player of the Match.
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Paltemio Barbetti, John Mintoff (59’ Luca Martinelli), Luigi Ruggiero (58’ Alain Faccini), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods, Shaun Bajada, Matias Muchardi, Beppe Muscat (75’ Miguel Ciantar), Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: James Abela, Stanley Ohawuchi, Ariel Laudisi, Josef Mifsud.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Asst. Coach: JoJo Bajada
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Roderick Agius
VALLETTA Yenz Cini, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Joao Gabriel da Silva, Edmond Agius, Michael Mifsud, William Barbosa, Demba Toure (53’ Abubakar Bello-Osagie), Dyson Falzon (64’ Daniel Bogdanovic), Jason Vandelannoite, Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Brandon Grech, Joseph JoJo Ogunuppe, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Llywelyn Cremona.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Reuben Debono
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Duncan Sultana
Fourth official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Mifsud, Caruana, Bajada
Scorers: 47’ Dyson Falzon, 51’ Demba Toure
Melita remain anchored at the bottom of the BOV Premier League table after losing 1-3 to Qormi. A defeat which leaves the Amateurs five points behind Hamrun Spartans and six behind Rabat Ajax.
Qormi lacked Christian Cassar, Matthew Bartolo and Triston Caruana. Melita, on the other hand, had Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia back in goal but Luke Sammut and Jorge Veloso Lourido were once again missing.
The Yellow Blacks had the first attempt at goal on the 4th minute with Moises Avila Perez heading high off a freekick by Edison Bilbao Zarate. A Jonathan Bondin effort was parried by Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia on the 10th. On the other side of the pitch, a Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon effort hit the woodwork on 32 minutes following a cross by Julian Galea.
Qormi took the lead three minutes from the end of the first half when Alfred Effiong served Moises Avila Perez who rounded a defender before beating the Melita goalkeeper with an angled shot from the left.
The second half had hardly started when referee Clayton Pisani sent off Matthew Borg after hitting an opponent. Coach Patxi Salinas was also ordered to leave the bench.
Leighton Grech went close for Qormi with a shot from the right on the hour. Ten minutes later, off a cross from the right by Grech, Roderick Sammut headed just over the bar.
Melita pulled one back on 84 minutes when off an Ivan Tufegdzic header, Julian Galea beat Matthew Farrugia with an angled shot from the left.
One minute from time, Qormi scored the third goal when they were awarded a penalty after Leighton Grech was brought down inside the area by Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho who received his second yellow card. From the penalty spot, Alfred Effiong converted.
Leighton Grech was voted BOV Player of the Match.
MELITA Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia, Matthew Borg, Luke Bianco, Ivan Tufegdzic, George Gribbon (46’ Michael Valenzia), Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, Nigel Rizzo, Jean Pierre Attard (43’ Karl Vella Petroni), Julian Galea, Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon, Luke Micallef.
Subs not used: Philip Schranz, Rudi Goncalves Alhinho, Andrew Caruana Scicluna, Alan Borg Olivier, Michael Martin.
Coach: Patxi Salinas
Asst. Coach: Alfred Zammit
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Nikolai Attard
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Kris Thackray, Roderick Sammut, Alfred Effiong, Moises Avila Perez (85′ Dylan Pirotta), Luke Sciberras, Matthew Gauci (57’ Alessio Cassar), Edison Bilbao Zarate (81′ Joseph Chetcuti), Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin, Leighton Grech.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Gillmore Azzopardi, Shamison Zammit, Ismael Borg.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Asst. Coach: Joe Brincat
Referee: Clyaton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Paul Apap, Peter Abela
Fourth official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: Sierra Camacho, Vella Petroni, Cabanillas Ayllon, Effiong
Red Cards: 46′ Matthew Borg, 88′ Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho
Scorers: 42’ Moises Avila Perez, 75′ Leighton Grech; 84′ Julian Galea; 89′ Alfred Effiong