Leaders Hibernians kept marching on with a sixth successive win as two early goals paved the way for a 4-1 win over Qormi.
The Paolites move six points clear on top the BOV Premier League table ahead of second-placed Valletta and Mosta. The Citizens, who have a game in hand, take on rivals Birkirkara on Sunday.
For Qormi, this was the fifth defeat in six matches.
Hibernians had a perfect start taking the lead after just thirty five seconds when Jackson di Lima Siqueira’s cross was met by Edison Luis Dos Santos whose header beat Matthew Farrugia with Andrew Cohen finalising the move with another header when it had already crossed the goal-line.
Three minutes later, Hibs doubled the score with a low diagonal shot from outside the penalty are by Clayton Failla which beat Farrugia.
Hibs kept pushing for more and a Tarabai effort was cleared off the goal line by Emerson Vella on the 6th. A low diagonal shot by Marcelo Dias was blocked by Matthew Farrugia ten minutes later. On the 25th, Jackson Di Lima Siqueira’s free kick was met by Jonathan Pearson whose attempt hit the crossbar.
Edison Luis dos Santos increased the lead on 27 minutes with a good header off a cross by Cohen which beat the Qormi goalkeeper.
Nine minutes in the second half, Leighton Grech tried his luck with a central shot which was easily blocked by Muscat.
Hibs made it 4-0 on 67 minutes thanks to Rodolfo Soares whose header off a cross from the right by Clayton Failla ended at the back of the net.
Substitute Obinna Obiefule hit the upright with a header off a cross by Marcelo Dias from the right on 74 minutes. Four minutes later, the Paolites were reduced to ten men after having substitute Jean Paul Farrugia sent off.
Qormi scored a consolation goal four minutes from time when Leighton Grech released Jorge Pereira da Silva inside the penalty area and despite being closely followed by a Hibernians defender, the Qormi striker’s attempt ended at the back of the net.
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QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Triston Caruana, Gianluca Nucera (57’ Federico Santaguida), Luigi Del Giudice (46’ Leighton Grech), Jorge Pereira Da Silva, Emerson Vella (18’ Roderick Bajada), Owen Bugeja, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin, Ricardo Innocenti, Francesco D’Aniello.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Dormond Micallef, Karl Sciortino, Dylan Pirotta.
Coach: Tommaso Volpi
HIBERNIANS Mario Muscat, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson (61’ Jean Paul Farrugia), Jackson Di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares (82’ Matthew Tabone), Marcelo Dias, Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Clayton Failla, Zoran Levnaic, Edison Luis Dos Santos (61’ Obinna Obiefule).
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Matthew Bartolo, Johann Bezzina, Ayrton Azzopardi.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: R. Soares
Red Cards: 78’ Jean Paul Farrugia (H)
Scorers: 1’ Edison Luis Dos Santos (H), 4’ Clayton Failla (H), 27’ Edison Luis Dos Santos (H), 67’ Rodolfo Soares (H), 84’ Jorge Pereira Da Silva (Q)
BOV Player of the Match: Edison Luis Dos Santos (H)
Attendance at the National Stadium: 1,916
At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Tarxien Rainbows returned to winning ways as they beat Balzan 3-1.
The Rainbows join Naxxar and Vittoriosa in sixth place. On the other hand, Balzan remain ninth as they suffered the fourth consecutive defeat.
Tarxien lacked Manuel Caruana and the suspended Jorge Santos Silva. Balzan, on the other hand, lacked Firas Aboulezz and Luke Sciberras.
Tarxien Rainbows managed to take the lead six minutes from the end of the first half when a Balzan defender handled the ball inside the area following a cross by Everton Souza Santos. Referee Mario Apap ordered a penalty and from the penalty spot, Ronaille Calheira Seara made not mistake.
Eleven minutes in the second half, the Rainbows doubled the score with a great volley by Carlo Mamo which gave goalkeeper Dani Miguelez no chance after having a first attempt blocked by Justin Grioli.
Balzan reduced the gap on 62 minutes when a Lydon Micallef effort was partially saved and off the rebound, Jose Luis Armario Negrin placed the ball at the back of the net.
Everton Souza Santso went close for the Rainbows with a freekick which was parried by the Balzan goalkeeper on 78 minutes.
Ronaille Calheira Seara sealed the issue for Tarxien with another goal on the 90th minute after concluding a good move with a shot from close-range which beat Miguelez.
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo, Fernando Lopez Alcantara Andrew Agius, Luca Martinelli, Marko Potezica, Ronaille Calheira Seara, Miguel Ciantar (89′ Karl Pulo), Everton Souza Santos (90′ Steve Sadowski), Josef Mifsud, Steven Bonnici (85′ Ryan Sammut).
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Silas Caruana, Matthew Cassar, Luke Zahra.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
BALZAN Daniel Miguelez Martinez, Steve Bezzina (70′ Godwin Mackay), Gianluca Calabretta, Ryan Darmanin, Dylan Grima, Justin Grioli, Jose Luis Armario Negrin, Rodrigo Frank Pereira, Andrew Scicluna, Mark Spiteri (57′ Lydon Micallef), Fabio Vignaroli.
Subs not used: Michael Falzon, Aaron Agius, Michael Borg, Shaun Bugeja, Andrew Cassar.
Coach: Riccardo Tumiatti
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Paul Apap
Additional Assistant Referees:
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Ciantar, Pereira
Scorers: 39′ Ronaille Calheira Seara pen (T); 56′ Carlo Mamo (T); 62′ Jose Luis Armario Negrin (B)
BOV Player of the Match: Everton Souza Santos
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 273