A brace by Montenegrin stiker Bojan Kaljevic enabled Mosta to beat Hibernians 2-1 in the first match from the Championship Pool and join Sliema Wanderers in fourth place, two behind the Paolites.
For the Blues, this was the sixth consecutive win since Enrico Piccioni took over as coach. On the other hand, for the Paolites, this was a disappointing result as a win would have put them on level points with Valletta in second place.
The Paolites were in the driving seat for most of the first half with Mosta relying on swift counter attacks. In fact, Mosta managed to take the lead on the 13th when a Manolito Micallef through pass was well controlled by Bojan Kaljevic who dashed into the area, beating Jurgen Borg with a low diagonal shot.
Eight minutes in the second half, Mosta doubled the score when Bojan Kaljevic took a loose ball, advanced upfield and slotted the ball past the on rushing Jurgen Borg.
The Paolites reaction consisted of an Obinna Obiefule fierce shot which was deflected into a corner by Omar Borg. Omar Borg then performed two consecutive saves on a long-distance Bjorn Kristensen shot and on an Obinna Obiefule effort from close range off the rebound. However Mosta went close once again on 84 minutes with Gianmarco Piccioni hitting the posts with a low shot from inside the area.
Hibs pulled one back two minutes from time when off a cross by Andrew Cohen, Obinna Obiefule’s header hit the posts, ending at the back of the net.
MOSTA Omar Borg, Ishmael Grech, Tyrone Farrugia, Antonio Carrozza, Ryan Grech, Kurt Zammit (78’ Alex Cini), Manolito Micallef, Ian Zammit, Bojan Kaljevic (79’ Diego Pereira), Mark Brincat, Gian Marco Piccioni (90’ Yuri Messias).
Subs not used: Kurt Rizzo, Steve Schembri, Cristian Martins Fernandes, James Brincat.
Coach: Enrico Piccioni
HIBERNIANS Jurgen Borg, Timothy Tabone Desira (58’ Zoran Levnaic), Igor Radusinovic, Ryan Camilleri, Jonathan Pearson (17’ Scott Chircop), Andrew Cohen, Bjorn Kristensen, Jackson Di Lima Siqueira, Clayton Failla, Obinna Obiefule, Edison Luis Dos Santos (87’ Jurgen Degabriele).
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Dunstan Vella, Matthew Bartolo, Zachary Scerri.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, David Castillo
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier.
Yellow Cards: I. Zammit, A. Cohen, M. Brincat, E. L. Dos Santos.
Scorers: 13’ Bojan Kaljevic, 53’ Bojan Kaljevic, 88’ Obinna Obiefule
BOV Player of the Match: Bojan Kaljevic (Mosta)
At the Victor Tedesco Stadium, Tarxien Rainbows and Vittoriosa Stars shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw. Vittoriosa, therefore, stay one point ahead of the Rainbows and are now two ahead of Qormi.
Italian defender Leonardo Torri was making his debut for Oliver Spiteri’s side after joining the club from Livorno. Vittoriosa however lacked Siraj Arab and Francisco Arriagada Mella. Ryan Sammut and William Barbosa were both missing for the Rainbows.
Tarxien forged ahead after just five minutes thanks to Fernando Lopes Alcantara who slammed the ball home from close range after a powerful shot by Carlo Mamo was blocked by a defender.
However on the 20th, Vittoriosa were awarded a penalty after Gilbert Martin was brought down inside the area by Lopez Alcantara. From the penalty spot, Oscar Alvarado Guerrero converted.
Two minutes from the end of the first half, Demba Toure was unlucky to hit the upright for Tarxien with a powerful shot from the right.
A Jorge Santos Silva freekick was partially saved by Nicky Vella on the 70th. On the other side of the pitch, off a cross by Gilbert Martin, Marcelo Pereira headed the ball down for Oscar Guerrero whose conclusion from an ideal position inside the area ended high on 79 minutes.
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Fernando Lopez Alcantara, Luca Martinelli (41′ Miguel Ciantar), Demba Toure (73′ Lucas Goncalves da Silva), Carlos Menendez Hevia, Daniel Mariano Bueno, Josef Mifsud, Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Antonio Chetcuti, Steve Sadowski, Andrew Agius, Luke Aquilina, Luke Zahra.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
VITTORIOSA Mario Muscat, Gilbert Martin (90′ Michael Camilleri), Malcolm Buttigieg (64′ Clive Spiteri), Leonardo Torri, Clive Brincat, Marcelo Pereira, Luke Vella Critien (57′ Carl Sammut), Oscar Guerrero, Jose Filipe Aguiar, Samir Arab, Ousname Sidibe.
Subs not used: Sean Cini, Ryan Mifsud, Sheldon Grech, David Mitogo Garcia.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Hevia, Martin, Vella Critien, Bueno, Pereira
Scorers: 5′ Fernando Lopez Alcantara (T); 20′ Oscar Guerrero (V)
BOV Player of the Match: Malcolm Licari