Mosta secured a place in the Championship Pool as they came back from two goals down to beat Qormi 3-2. With two games to go he Blues now lie on the 32-point mark, five ahead of Naxxar Lions and ten ahead of Balzan.
For Qormi, this was yet another disappointing result as this was the fifth defeat in six matches, leaving them joint-second from bottom.
Dyson Falzon and Gianmarco Piccioni were ruled out for Mosta. Qormi, on the other hand, lacked Owen Bugeja, Joao Gabriel da Silva and Jorge Pereira da Silva but had Argentine striker Lucas Maximilian Cantoro making his debut.
Mosta were unlucky not to take the lead on the 8th minute when a Bojan Kaljevic freekick was blocked by a defender, Manolito Micallef took the rebound but his conclusion hit the posts twice before being cleared into safety.
Qormi however managed to take the lead on 24 minutes thanks to Alfred Effiong who controlled a pass by Leighton Grech before hitting the ball past goalkeeper Omar Borg.
Four mintues later, Lucas Cantoro served Effiong whose diagonal shot from the left scraped past the post.
However on 31 minutes, Alfred Effiong was not to be denied as he received a perfect pass by Leighton Grech from the right and his well-placed shot from the edge of the area gave the Mosta goalkeeper no chance.
Two minutes in added time, Mosta pulled one back when they were awarded a penalty after Manolito Micallef was brought down inside the area. From the penalty spot, Bojan Kaljevic converted.
Nine minutes in the second half, a diagonal shot by Manolito Micallef hit the foot of the upright.
Mosta equalised on the 64th thanks to a goal by Bojan Kaljevic who received a perfect pass on the left flank, hitting low past Farrugia.
Two minutes later, Lucas Cantoro was unlucky to hit the upright with a first-time effort from inside the area.
Mosta notched the winner ten minutes from time when off a Harouna Bara corner from the left, Ishmael Grech deflected the ball past Farrugia to make it 3-2.
Qormi could have equalised four minutes from time when Alfred Effiong hit the upright with a header off a Triston Caruana freekick.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Duncan Pisani, Roderick Sammut (69′ Stefano Zampa), Leonardo Gabrieli, Emerson Vella, Roderick Bajada, Triston Caruana, Leighton Grech (82′ Dylan Pirotta), Alfred Effiong, Lucas Cantoro, Christian Terribile.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, George Portelli, Terence Abela, Asin Scerri, Karl Sciortino.
Coach: Karel Zeman
MOSTA Omar Borg, Tyrone Farrugia, Mark Brincat, Ishmael Grech, Ryan Grech, Kurt Zammit (46′ Lukas Duriska), Manolito Micallef, Yuri de Jesus Messias, Diego Pereira (74′ Harouna Bara), Bojan Kaljevic (79′ James Brincat), Jonas Ekani Rodriguez.
Subs not used: Kurt Rizzo, Alex Cini, Kane Farrugia, Steve Schembri.
Coach: Enrico Piccioni.
Referee: Chris Lautier
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: E. Vella, T. Caruana, L. Duriska, L. Gabrieli
Scorers: 24′ Alfred Effiong, 31′ Alfred Effiong, 45+2′ Bojan Kaljevic pen, 64′ Bojan Kaljevic, 80′ Ishmael Grech
BOV Player of the Match: Manolito Micallef
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
At the National Stadium, Sliema Wanderers defeated Vittoriosa Stars 2-1 to move to just one point behind third-placed Hibernians.
Vittoriosa coach Oliver Spiteri, who had a full squad at his disposal, was suspended for this match. On the other hand, Sliema lacked Clifford Gatt Baldacchino and Abubakar Bello-Osagie but they welcomed back Stefano Biancardi after serving a one-match ban.
The Wanderers held the initiative for most of the first half, going close with a Paltemio Barbetti effort which was neutralised by Cini on the 8th minute. Six minutes later, on the other side of the pitch, Bonello blocked into a corner an insidious shot by Oscar Guerrero. On 27 minutes, Michael Camilleri failed to clear the ball, Admir Vladavic served Matias Muchardi whose shot which was deflected by a defender into a corner.
Three minutes in the second half, Muchardi released Vladavic on the left with the Bosnian striker’s effort from close range neutralised by the Vittoriosa custodian.
Eight minutes later, off a cross by Vladavic, Matias Muchardi hit low past Cini from inside the area.
Vittoriosa levelled matters on the 57th when a cross by Garcia Mitogo was well connected by Marcelo Pereria who flicked the ball into the net from close range.
However two minutes later, Sliema regained the lead when Vladavic sent Trevor Cilia through and the latter advanced upfield, beating the on rushing goalkeeper with a low shot.
The Wanderers could have added another on 68 minutes but Ivan Woods’ first-time effort ended just wide when served by Ohawuchi.
Vittoriosa were awarded a penalty on 76 minutes after Stefano Bianciardi brought Marcelo Pereira down inside the area. However Oscar Guerrero hit high from the penalty spot. Three minutes from time, Ousmane Sidibe headed just wide off a freekick by Guerrero.
VITTORIOSA Sean Cini, Ousmane Sidibe, Malcolm Buttigieg, David Mitigo Garcia (74’ Seydou Bamba), Samir Arab, Oscar Guerrero, Clive Spiteri (64’ Clive Brincat), Gilbert Martin, Marcelo Pereira, Francisco Arriagada Mella, Michael Camilleri (30’ Luke Vella Critien).
Subs not used: Lawrence Cauchi, Justin Camilleri, Ryan Mifsud, Siraj Arab.
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Jacob Borg, John Mintoff (67’ Ivan Woods), Stanley Ohawuchi, Trevor Cilia, Paltemio Barbetti, Matias Muchardi, Beppe Muscat, Stefano Biancardi, Admir Vladavic.
Subs not used: Carl Cassar, Clive Psaila, Mark Scerri, Axl Xuereb, Glenn Zammit, Gabriel Aquilina.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Christopher Francalanza, Peter Abela,
Additional Assistant Referees: Mario Apap, Sandro Spiteri
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: P. Barbetti, F. Mella Arriagada, B. Muscat, S. Biancardi.
Scorers: 53’ Matias Muchardi, 57’ Marcelo Perreira, 59’ Trevor Cilia
BOV Player of the Match: Trevor Cilia