Nigerian striker Stanley Ohawuchi was once again the hero for Sliema Wanderers as he scored twice in a 2-0 win over Naxxar Lions. The Wanderers therefore maintained their unbeaten record after collecting four points from the first two matches in a win over Qormi and a draw with Birkirkara.
For Naxxar, this was the first defeat after they also collected four points from the previous two matches.
Sliema coach Alfonso Greco made no changes to the team which held Birkirkara last week. Naxxar, on the other hand, had Malta Under-21 international defender Louis John Cutajar making his debut but they lacked the injured Ryan Gilmour Cassar and Terence Scerri and the suspended Thiago Lopes de Souza. Another new signing
The Wanderers went close to taking the lead on the 19th when off a cross by John Mintoff from the right, Stanley Ohawuchi controlled the ball well but then allowed goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi to intercept the ball.
However Sliema managed to take the lead on 28 minutes when a Pape Gueye effort hit the upright and off the rebound, Stanley Ohawuchi placed the ball at the back of the net.
A fine freekick by Paltemio Barbetti from the left was deflected into a corner on 35 minutes.
Three minutes in the second half, Stefano Bianciardi headed the ball just over the bar off a freekick by Muchardi. Two minutes later, Ohawuchi hit just just wide after advancing on the left. Julian Azzopardi then performed a fine save on Matias Muchardi from close range on the hour.
On the other side of the pitch, a freekick by Ousseni Zongo was parried by Henry Bonello on 74 minutes. A minute later, following a good run on the left flank, Zongo served Osi Lucky Agboebina who concluded wide.
Sliema doubled the score on 78 minutes thanks to Stanley Ohawuchi who received a through pass and from inside the area, he managed to slot the ball past goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi.
Nine minutes from time, Sliema could have added antoher when they were awarded a penalty after Angus Buhagiar brought Ohawuchi down inside the area. However from the penalty spot, Alex Muscat’s effort hit the crossbar.
To make matters worse for Naxxar, two minutes in added time, Kurt Drago was sent off for a foul just outside the area. From the resulting freekick, Abubakar Bello-Osagie hit the crossbar.
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SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Jacob Borg, John Mintoff (90’ Trevor Cilia), Mark Scerri (86’ Beppe Muscat), Stanley Ohawuchi, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Pape Gueye, Paltemio Barbetti, Matias Muchardi (75’ Abubakar Bello-Osagie), Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Axl Xuereb, Dylan Borg, Dale Micallef.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Marlon Briffa (63’ Osi Lucky Agboebina), Angus Buhagiar, Louis John Cutajar (77’ Victor Bellia), Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro (20’ Ousseni Zongo), Andrew Decesare, Pablo Doffo, Kurt Drago, Daren Falzon, Andre Rocha da Silva, Evaldo Silva dos Santos.
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, John Debono, Jurgen Debono, Mattia del Negro.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Jurgen Spiteri
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Drago, Decesare, Gatt Baldacchino, Buhagiar
Red Cards: 90+2’ Kurt Drago
Scorers: 29’ Stanley Ohawuchi, 78’ Stanley Ohawuchi
BOV Player of the Match: Stanley Ohawuchi
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At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, leaders Hibernians maintained a perfect record with a comfortable 5-2 win over Vittoriosa Stars despite having to play in ten men for over an hour.
Marcelo Dias was missing for Hibernians. Vittoriosa welcomed back Sean Cini in goal with coach Oliver Spiteri unable to count once again on the injured Sheldon Grech and Roberto Brincat.
Hibernians had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 5th minute thanks to close-range header by Rodolfo Soares, off a Jackson Lima corner, which beat Sean Cini.
On the 12th minute, Edison Luis dos Santos put Bjorn Kristensen in an ideal position to score but the latter’s attempt ends high over the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Clive Spiteri floored Tarabai inside the penalty area. Referee Fyodor Zammit ordered a penalty and Clayton Failla made no mistake to double the score.
Hibernians scored the third goal on 22 minute when off an assist by Jackson Lima for Clayton Failla, the latter served Edison Luis dos Santos whose powerful shot gave Sean Cini no chance.
The Paolites were reduced to ten men three minutes later after Jonathan Pearson floored Gilbert Martin just outside the area, leaving the referee no option other than to send the Hibernians defender for an early shower.
Vittoriosa seemed to regain composure, reducing the gap on the 28th when a Gilbert Martin cross was well connected by Marcelo Perreira whose attempt beat Mario Muscat from close range.
An Oscar Guerrero Alvarado low diagonal shot hit the upright for Vittoriosa and on the 37th, Tarabai tried to dribble past Sean Cini who managed to block the ball with his foot.
Four minutes from half-time, Ramon dos Santos handled the ball off a cross by Matthew Bartolo. The referee ordered a second penalty for Hibernians and Clayton Failla converted placing the ball on the right hand side of the keeper.
The first half was not over yet as Oscar Guerrero headed the ball home off a Marcio Teruel freekick for Vittoriosa’s second goal.
Four minutes in the second half, a Marcelo Pereira header, off a cross by Clive Spiteri from the left, hit the crossbar and four minutes later, a cross shot by Ramon dos Santos ended wide past the upright. A Marcio Teruel effort was then blocked by Mario Muscat.
On the hour, Hibernians increased the lead as a throughpass by Failla was well controlled by Andrew Cohen who darted inside the penalty box, dribbled past Cini and flicked the ball into an empty net.
Vittoriosa hit the crossbar once again with a Marcelo Pereira header off a cross by Guerrero on 64 minutes and then Sean Cini came to the rescue, intercepting the ball outside the penalty area, on the onrushing Jean Paul Farrugia, before the latter could do any damage two minutes later.
VITTORIOSA Sean Cini, Lucas Ramon dos Santos, Jose Filipe Aguiar Caldeira (82′ Mark Barbara), Marcio Teruel, Oscar Dario Guerrero Alvardo, Clive Spiteri, Gilbert Martin (83′ Ryan Mifsud), Michael Camilleri, Samir Arab, Marcelo Pereira, Malcolm Buttigieg (74′ Siraj Arab Eddin).
Subs not used: Jean Matthias Vella, Justin Camilleri, Adam Spiteri, Liam Gauci.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
HIBERNIANS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Andrew Cohen (90′ Timothy Tabone Desira), Bjorn Kristensen (77′ Johann Bezzina), Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnaic, Matthew Bartolo, Edison Luis dos Santos (64′ Jean Paul Farrugia).
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Matthew Tabone, Scott Chircop, Brandon Muscat.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Sandro Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Ramon, C. Spiteri, Levnajic, Martin
Red Cards: 25′ Pearson
Scorers: 5′ Rodolfo Soares (H); 17′ Clayton Failla pen (H); 22′ Edison Luis dos Santos (H); 29′ Marcelo Pereira (V); 43′ Clayton Failla pen (H); 45′ Oscar Guerrero V); 60′ Andrew Cohen (H)
BOV Player of the Match: Andrew Cohen