Champions Birkirkara were held in a 1-1 draw by Sliema Wanderers in a clash between two teams who had collected maximum points from their first outing.
The two teams join Naxxar Lions and Balzan on top the BOV Premier League table with four points.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
Birkirkara lacked Edward Herrera but had Brazilian defender Matheus Bissi da Silva making his debut with Frank Temile starting the game on the bench. For Sliema, Abubakar Bello-Osagie was named among the substitutes.
The Wanderers had the first attempt at goal on the 2nd minute with a cross from the right by Alex Muscat, met by Stanley Ohawuchi whose effort was blocked by Haber. On the 26th, the on rushing Justin Haber intercepted the ball outside the penalty area before Pape Gueye could do any damage. Six minutes later, a Shola Shodiya effort was blocked by Sliema goalkeeper Henry Bonello. Just before half-time, off a cross by Paul Fenech, Demba Toure’s header was deflected into a corner by Bonello.
Nine minutes in the second half, Birkirkara were unlucky to hit the upright through Rowen Muscat off the rebound after that a Demba Toure header was partially saved by Henry Bonello. Ten minutes later, a cross by Paul Fenech from the right flank was met by a Rowen Mucat first-timer which however ended high.
Birkirkara managed to break the deadlock on the 70th when off a swift counter-attack for Birkirkara, Shola Shodiya’s cross was met by Demba Toure’s header which beat Bonello, ending at the back of the net.
Sliema levelled matters nine minutes from time when off a freekick by Paltemio Barbetti, there was a short clearance by the Birkirkara defence and off the rebound, Matias Muciardi’s low powerful shot beat Haber.
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
no images were found
B’KARA Justin Haber, Alejandro Mendoza, Zach Muscat, Joseph Zerafa, Matheus Bissi Da Silva, Paul Fenech, Gareth Sciberras, Rowen Muscat (90’ Ryan Camenzuli), Haruna Shola Shodiya (80’ Terrence Vella, Ryan Scicluna (88’ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Demba Toure.
Subs not used: Reuben Gauci, Frank Temile, Kurt Zammit, Ini Akpan.
Coach: Paul Zammit
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Jacob Borg, Paltemio Barbetti, John Mintoff (78’ Trevor Cilia), Mark Scerri, Stanley Ohawuchi, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Pape Gueye (67’ Abubaker Bello-Osagie), Matias Muchardi, Stefano Biancardi.
Subs not used: Axl Xuereb, Glenn Zammit, Dylan Borg, Dale Micallef, Beppe Muscat.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Kevin Azzopardi
Fourth Official: Thomas Debono
Yellow Cards: P. Gueye, M. Scerri, M. Bissi Da Silva, J. Zerafa, A. Mendoza, G. Sciberras
Scorers: 70’ Demba Toure (B), 81’ Matias Muchardi (S)
BOV Player of the Match: Matias Muchardi
Attendance at the National Stadium: 1009
Photo (below): Copyright © Joe Borg
Tarxien Rainbows collected their first three points as they defeated Floriana 2-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
The Rainbows had Miguel Ciantar making his debut while defender Marko Potezica was ruled out through suspension. Floriana, on the other hand, had the full squad at their disposal.
The Greens held the initiative in the early stages, first with a cross by Joseph Borg from which Diogo Pinheiro flicked the ball but Nicky Vella saved. Then on the 9th minute a Daniel Bogdanovic freekick from the right which was neutralised by Vella.
Tarxien however managed to take the lead on 13 minutes with an angled shot by Luca Martinelli from the left which gave goalkeeper Daniel Hanford no chance.
Steve Pisani, served by Igor Coronado, had a low shot from the left which scraped past the post on 36 minutes for Floriana. Four minutes later, Ronaille Calheira went close with a shot from inside the area being deflected into a corner following a through pass by Carlo Mamo.
Eight minutes in the second half, Bogdanovic served Igor Coronado before trying his luck with a shot half-height which was neutralised by Nicky Vella. Ronaille Calheira then failed to connect off an inviting cross by Luca Martinelli on 65 minutes.
The Rainbows doubled the score on 71 minutes with a solo effort by Ronaille Calheira Seara who concluded his attempt with a low shot which hit the foot of the post before ending at the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Floriana reduced the gap thanks to a Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa first-time effort from a close angle off a cross by Igor Coronado from the right.
On the 78th, Diogo Pinheiro had a close-range effort blocked by Nicky Vella and a minute later, it was Daniel Bogdanovic’s turn to have an attempt neutralised by the Tarxien goalkeeper.
FLORIANA Daniel Hanford, Gary Muir, Sunday Eboh (75’ Christian Caruana), Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Sacha Borg, Steve Pisani (59’ Brooke Farrugia), Joseph Borg, Clyde Borg, Daniel Bogdanovic, Igor Coronado, Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Jonathan Xerri, Francesco Guzman, Isaac Galea, Luca Casha.
Coach: Ian Dawes
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Fernando Lopes Alcantara, Andrew Agius (86’ Steve Sadowski), Luca Martinelli, Ronaille Calheira Seara (91’ Karl Pulo), Miguel Ciantar (79’ Ryan Sammut), Jorge Santos Silva, Josef Mifsud, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Everton Souza Santos, Luke Zahra, Nigel Vella
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: C. Borg, Fernando Lopes, Eboh, Mamo, Edet, Ronaille, Sadowski
Scorers: 13’ Luca Martinelli (T); 71’ Ronaille Calheira Seara (T); 76’ Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa (F)
BOV Player of the Match: Nicky Vella
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 424