Edison Luis dos Santos scored four minutes in added time to hand Hibernians a narrow win over neighbours Tarxien Rainbows in the derby.
The game, in fact, seemed heading for a draw despite Tarxien having a player sent off before the end of the first half but Tarabai notched the winner for Hibernians deep into added time.
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With no new faces in squad apart from Matthew Bartolo, who was included as a substitute, new coach Branko Nisevic relied on a typical formation of last season with the only unavailable player being Rodolfo Soares. The Rainbows, on the other hand, had five new foreigners, namely Marko Potezica, Fernando Lopes, Ronaille Calheira, Everton Souza Santos and Jorge Santos Silva, and new signings Luca Martinelli and Josef Mifsud.
The Paolites went close after four minutes with a cross by Jackson di Lima Siqueira but Nicky Vella deflected into a corner before Obiefule could do any harm. A Jorge Santos Silva low fierce shot from the edge of the area was blocked by Mario Muscat on 28 minutes for Tarxien. Clayton Failla had a good attempt from the left blocked by Nicky Vella and deflected into safety by a defender on the 40th.
One minute from half-time, Tarxien were reduced to ten men after Marko Potezica picked a second yellow card for a late tackle on Dias.
A well-placed freekick by Andrew Cohen was parried by the Tarxien keeper early in the second half and then on the 62nd minute, off a cross by Marcelo Dias, Tarabai dribbled past Vella but his attempt ended a little bit wide past the upright. A cross by Jackson Lima from the left was met by an Obiefule header, ending just wide. On the other side of the pitch, a header by Ryan Sammut off a cross by Mamo was blocked by the Hibs goalkeeper on 77 minutes. Six minutes later, Vella performed a good save on a powerful shot by Tarabai.
Four minutes in added time, Hibs scored the all-important goal when off a corner by Failla from the left, Edison Luis dos Santos headed the ball home.
TARXIEN Nicholas George Vella, Carlo Mamo, Fernando Lopes Alcantra, Andrew Agius, Marko Potezica, Ronaille Calheira Seara (85’ Steven Sadowski), Everton Souza Santos (45’ Ryan Sammut), Josef Mifsud, Jorge Santos Silva (90’ Karl Pulo), Luca Martinelli, Steven Bonnici.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Antonio Chetcuti, Luke Zahra, Nigel Vella,
Coach: Clive Mizzi
HIBERNIANS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson, Jackson Di Lima Siqueira, Marcelo Dias (89’ Matthew Bartolo), Andrew Cohen (66’ Jean Paul Farrugia), Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnaic, Obinna Obiefule, Edison Luis Dos Santos.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Matthew Tabone, Neil Chetcuti, Brandon Muscat, Johann Bezzina.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Edward Spiteri
Additional Assistant Referees: Clayton Pisani, Fyodor Zammit
Fourth Official: Sammy Attard
Yellow Cards: M. Potezica, J. Mifsud, Z. Levnaic, B. Kristensen, S. Bonnici, R. Sammut
Red Cards: 44’ M. Potezica
Scorers: 94’ Edison Luis Dos Santos
BOV Player of the Match: Nicholas George Vella
Attendance at the National Stadium: 1450
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At the Centenary Stadium, a brace by Stanley Ohawuchi and another by Andrea Navarra gave Sliema Wanderers a most comfortable win over Qormi.
The Blues had Jacob Borg and Pape Gueye making their debut. Qormi, on the other hand, had several new faces in squad with Leonardo Gabrieli, Simone Bezziccheri, Federico Santaguida, Emerson Vella and Roderick Bajada making their first appearance.
The Wanderers managed to break the deadlock on 33 minutes when off a Matias Muchardi corner from the right, Stefano Bianciardi headed the ball in the direction of Stanley Ohawuchi who headed the ball home past Matthew Farrugia.
Sliema doubled the score four minutes in the second half when John Mintoff released Stanley Ohawuchi on the left and the latter managed to beat the Qormi goalkeeper with a diagonal shot.
Substitute Andrea Navarra made it 3-0 on 76 minutes beating Farrugia from close range when served by Ohawuchi following a good run by the latter.
Four minutes from time, Andrea Navarra was on target once again, heading the ball home from close range, off a Matias Muchardi corner from the right.
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat (83′ Ivan Woods), Jacob Borg, Paltemio Barbetti, John Mintoff (80′ Trevor Cilia), Mark Scerri, Stanley Ohawuchi, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Pape Gueye (64′ Andrea Navarra), Matias Muchardi, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Beppe Muscat, Axl Xuereb, Dylan Borg.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Alfred Effiong, Leonardo Gabrieli, Roderick Bajada, Simone Bezziccheri, Joseph Chetcuti (73′ Gillmore Azzopardi), Triston Caruana (85′ Karl Sciortino), Emerson Vella, Owen Bugeja, Duncan Pisani, Federico Santaguida (46′ Alessio Cassar).
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Leighton Grech, Dormond Micallef, Jonathan Bondin.
Coach: Tommaso Volpi
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: Bianciardi, Muchardi, Bajada
Scorers: 33′ Stanley Nka Ohawuchi, 49′ Stanley Nka Ohawuchi, 76′ Andrea Navarra, 86′ Andrea Navarra
BOV Player of the Match: Stanley Ohawuchi
Attendance at the Centenary Stadium: 747