Relegation battle wide open as Qormi beat Naxxar

BOV-Premier-LeagueA hat-trick by Alfred Effiong and a brace by Jorge Pereira da Silva enabled Qormi to come back from one goal down to beat Naxxar Lions 5-1 and open wide the battle against relegation as four points now separate five teams.

In fact, Floriana lead the way with 17 points, followed by Tarxien and Naxxar on 15, Qormi on 14 and Vittoriosa on 13 with Rabat almost resigned to playing in Division 1 next season with four points.

For Naxxar, this was the sixth defeat in seven matches while Qormi registered a second consecutive win after beating Rabat Ajax in their last outing.

Both sides were unable to field their best formation due to the absence of Raimi Bakare and Pablo Doffo for Naxxar and Owen Bugeja for Qormi.

Naxxar managed to take the lead on 21 minutes when off a cross by Andrew Decesare from the left, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro headed the ball home past goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia.

Qormi equalised eight minutes from the end of the first half. It was a great freekick by Jorge Pereira da Silva which gave goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi no chance.

Twelve minutes in the second half, Naxxar forged ahead when Alfred Effiong took advantage of an erratic pass by Andre Rocha, advanced into the area and hit low past Azzopardi.

Alfred Effiong concluded a fine solo effort on the 62nd minute by pulling to the right before hitting past the Naxxar custodian with a shot from the edge of the area to make it 3-1.

Three minutes later, Alfred Effiong and Jorge Pereira da Silva exchanged the ball inside the area with the Brazilian striker hitting past Julian Azzopardi when served with a pass from the left.

To make matters worse for Naxxar, Andrew Decesare picked a second yellow card on the 68th minute and was therefore given marching orders by referee Alan Mario Sant.

Nine minutes from time, Alfred Effiong concluded a fine run on the left flank with a perfect lob over the Naxxar goalkeeper to make it 5-1.

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jonathan Bondin, Roderick Sammut (71′ Emerson Vella), Giorgio Gianola, Duncan Pisani, Triston Caruana, Joao Gabriel da Silva (86′ Dylan Pirotta), Raffaele Simone Quintieri, Leighton Grech, Jorge Pereira da Silva (71′ Lucas Cantoro), Alfred Effiong.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Paolo Dandolo, Stefano Zampa, Roderick Bajada.
Coach: Karel Zeman

NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Angus Buhagiar, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, Andrew Decesare, Daren Falzon, Thiago Lopes de Souza, David Aleandro Reano (78′ Milan Vignevic), Andre Rocha da Silva, Terence Scerri, Filip Stojanovic.
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, Victor Bellia, Matthew Bezzina, Kurt Drago, Ryan Mercieca, Yaron Sammut.
Coach: Winston Muscat

Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: Andre Rocha, Gabriel, Decesare, Gilmar, Quintieri, Caruana, Gianola
Red Cards: 68′ Andrew Decesare
Scorers: 21′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro (N); 37′ Jorge Pereira da Silva (Q); 57′ Alfred Effiong (Q); 62′ Alfred Effiong (Q); 65′ Jorge Pereira da Silva (Q); 81′ Alfred Effiong (Q)
BOV Player of the Match: Alfred Effiong
Attendance: 554