Stanley Ohawuchi was the hero for Sliema Wanderers as he notched a hat-trick in a comfortable 3-0 win over Balzan.
A win which puts the Blues back on track after dropping five points in their last two matches. Balzan, on the other hand, suffered the second defeat in three matches.
Alessandro Rapino and Mark Scerri returned for Sliema with Paltemio Barbetti missing the game as he serves a one-match ban. Balzan welcomed back Luke Sciberras but Dani Miguelez and Firas Aboulezz
Sliema took the lead on the 3rd minute when off a cross from the right, Stanley Ohawuchi headed the ball home past goalkeeper Guilherme Lorenzi Schelski.
The Blues doubled the score on the half-hour when he received a through pass, advanced into the area and hit low past Lorenzi Schelski.
Just before half-time, Trevor Cilia concluded a good run on the right with an assist for Ohawuchi who however hit wide from close range.
Five minutes in the second half, Stanley Ohawuchi made it 3-0 when he received another through pass by Ivan Woods and slotted the ball past the Brazilian goalkeeper.
Seven minutes from the end, Pape Gueye could have added another one but his attempt was turned into a corner by Lorenzi Schelski. IN stoppage time, the Senegalese striker missed another good opportunity hitting wide from close range off an inviting pass by Cilia.
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Alessandro Rapino, John Mintoff (70′ Axl Xuereb), Mark Scerri, Stanley Ohawuchi (57′ Pape Gueye), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods (62′ Beppe Muscat), Trevor Cilia, Matias Muchardi, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Jacob Borg, Abubakar Bello-Osagie, Dylan Borg.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
BALZAN Guilhermo Lorenzi Schelski, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Rodrigo Frank Pereira, Andrew Scicluna, Fabio Vignaroli, Dylan Grima (46′ Aaron Agius), Lydon Micallef, Luke Sciberras, Jose Luis Armario Negrin (71′ Joselito dos Reis Santos), Ryan Darmanin.
Subs not used: Jacob Cipriott, Godwin Mckay, Mark Spiteri, Erjon Beu, Gianluca Calabretta.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Micallef, Woods, Pereira
Scorers: 3′ Stanley Ohawuchi, 30′ Stanley Ohawuchi, 50′ Stanley Ohawuchi
BOV Player of the Match: Stanley Ohawuchi
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 408
At the Centenary Stadium, Floriana came back from one goal down to beat Vittoriosa Stars 3-1 to re-join Naxxar Lions in sixth place.
This was the fourth win for Floriana in five matches. On the other hand, for the Stars, this was the fifth consecutive defeat.
Vittoriosa had Guinean defender Ousmane Sidibé making his debut while two players who were on the books of Mosta were on the bench, Francisco Arriagada Mella and Seydou Bamba. Arriagada Mella was included as a substitute. Oscar Guerrero was back after serving a one-match ban while Malcolm Buttigieg and Samir Arab were missing as they were serving a one-match ban. For Floriana, Diogo Pinheiro De Sousa and Joseph Borg replaced Giacomo Favero and the suspended Brooke Farrugia.
Floriana had the first attempt at goal with Christian Caruana’s shot from outside the area ending just wide on the 6th. Four minutes later, a Gilbert Martin effort was turned into a corner by Daniel Hanford.
Vittoriosa took the lead on the 11th when Marcelo Pereira hit pas Hanford off a cross by Gilbert Martin from the right.
Floriana went close on the 15th ith a lob by Darrell Baldacchino who anticipated the Vittoriosa goalkeeper but the ball ended just over the bar.
The Greens levelled matters a minute later when off an assist by Joseph Borg for Diogo Pinheiro De Sousa, the Brazilian beat Jean Matthias Vella with a rising shot.
Luca Casha went close with a diagonal shot from the left on the 19th and four minutes later, a feeble shot by Gilbert Martin ended into the goalkeeper’s safe hands. Four minutes from the end of the first half, Jean Mathias Vella punched the ball off a long-distance freekick by Gary Muir and off the rebound, Christian Caruana failed to connect in front of the goalkeeper.
Floriana forged ahead one minute from the end of the first half, when Coronado released Joseph Borg on the right flank and off the latter’s cross, Luca Casha tapped the ball home from close-range.
A Mark Barbara effort from outside the penalty area was saved by Daniel Hanford with some difficulty ten minutes in the second half.
However on the 74th minute, Floriana sealed the issue when Gary Muir converted a penalty after a defender handled the ball inside the area. A penalty which brought protests by the Vittoriosa players.
Eight minutes from time, Luca Casha hit the crossbar with a powerful shot from inside the area and finally Jose Filipe Aguiar’s powerful central shot for Vittoriosa was deflected into safety by Daniel Hanford.
VITTORIOSA. Jean Mathias Vella, Ousmane Sidibe, Mark Barbara (68′ Justin Camilleri), Marcelo Pereira, Gilbert Martin, Clive Brincat (60′ Francisco Arriagada Mella), Oscar Dario Guerrero, Jose Filipe Aguiar, Adam Spiteri, Clive Spiteri, Michael Camilleri (71′ Siraj Arab Eddin).
Subs not used: Sean Cini, Liam Gauci, Seydou Bamba.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
FLORIANA Daniel Hanford, Andre Scicluna, Ibok Edet, Christian Caruana (71′ Steve Pisani), Igor Coronado (81′ Giacomo Favero), Diogo Pinheiro De Sousa, Darrell Baldacchino, Clyde Borg (81′ Isaac Galea), Joseph Borg, Luca Casha, Gary Muir.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Jonathan Xerri, Glen Tabone Luke Micallef.
Coach: Ian Dawes
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Jurgen Spiteri
Additional Assistant Referees: Paul Caruana, Philip Farrugia
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards:C. Borg, Pereira, Barbara, Guerrero, Arab
Scorers: 11’ Marcelo Pereira (V) 16’ Diogo Pinheiro De Sousa (F), 44’ Luca Casha (F); 73′ Gary Muir pen (F)
BOV Player of the Match: Luca Casha