Qormi maintained their challenge in the battle against relegation as they registered a third consecutive win, beating Vittoriosa Stars 5-1.
The Yellow Blacks now move four points ahead of their opponents. For Vittoriosa, this was the second defeat in three matches, therefore remaining second from bottom.
Owen Bugeja and Lucas Cantoro were missing for Qormi while Vittoriosa were in full strength.
Qormi took the lead on the 7th minute when Luke Vella Critien failed to control a cross from the right and Alfred Effiong slotted the ball past Mario Muscat.
Karel Zeman’s side went close once again on 23 minutes when off a cross by Leighton Grech, Alfred Effiong header deflected into a corner by Muscat. The Vittoriosa custodian performed a great save at point blank on an Effiong effort following another cross by Leighton Grech on the 34th and five minutes later, Muscat neutralised a fine freekick by Jorge Pereira.
Four minutes in the second half, Qormi doubled the score thanks to a header by Jorge Pereira da Silva off a cross from the left by Emerson Vella.
A Siraj Arab effort from outside the area for Vittoriosa was neutralised by Farrugia in two attempts on 53 minutes. Two minutes later, Marcelo Pereira concluded a solo effort with a shot from the edge of the area ending just wide.
Qormi were awarded a penalty on the 61st minute after Jorge Pereira da Silva was brought down inside the area by Ousmane Sidibe who was also sent off; from the penalty spot, Jorge Pereira da Silva’s effort was blocked by Muscat but the Brazilian striker placed the ball at teh back of the net from close range.
Leighton Grech concluded a good run on the right flank, after being served by Quintieri, by hitting past Muscat to make it 4-0 on the 72nd.
A minute later, Leighton Grech rounded the Vittoriosa goalkeeper who rushed out of the area in attempt to clear the ball into safety and deposited the ball inside the empty net.
Vittoriosa pulled one back on 77 minutes thanks to Marcelo Pereira who beat Farrugia from close range when served by Gilbert Martin.
QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Jonathan Bondin, Emerson Vella, Giorgio Gianola, Duncan Pisani, Triston Caruana, Raffaele Simone Quintieri (75′ Roderick Bajada), Joao Gabriel da Silva, Leighton Grech, Alfred Effiong (82′ Dylan Pirotta), Jorge Pereira da Silva.
Subs not used: Steve Sultana, Paolo Dandolo, Stefano Zampa, Roderick Sammut.
Coach: Karel Zeman
VITTORIOSA Mario Muscat, Clive Brincat, Leonardo Torri (46′ Siraj Arab), Malcolm Buttigieg, Luke Vella Critien, Gilbert Martin, Federico Santaguida (64′ Francisco Arriagada Mella), Ousmane Sidibe, Marcelo Pereira, Jose Filipe Aguiar, Michael Camilleri (46′ Clive Spiteri).
Subs not used: Sean Cini, Samir Arab, Ryan Mifsud, Carl Sammut.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Duncan Sultana
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Aguiar, Buttigieg, Santaguida, Bondin
Red Cards: 61′ Ousmane Sidibe
Scorers: 7′ Alfred Effiong, 49′ Jorge Pereira da Silva, 63′ Jorge Pereira da Silva, 72′ Leighton Grech, 73′ Leighton Grech, 77′ Marcelo Pereira
BOV Player of the Match: Leighton Grech
In a match from the Championship Pool, Sliema Wanderers joined Hibernians in third place as they shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Mosta.
The Wanderers therefore stay three points ahead of Mosta in the race for a place in the UEFA Europa League.
Despite that the first half was a balanced affair, it was Sliema that had the upper hand on a resilient Mosta side. The second half was another story as Mosta were the better side and it was no surprised that they scored the equaliser.
A late tackle by Tyrone Farrugia on Stanley Ohawuchi cost him a straight red card leaving Mosta in ten men after just eleven minutes.
However seven minutes later, Admir Vladavic received a second yellow card after handling the ball and therefore referee Marco Borg sent the Sliema striker for an early shower.
On the half-hour, Mark Scerri sent Ohawuchi through inside the penalty area but the latter’s low shot ended wide past the upright.
Two minutes later, Sliema took the lead when an inviting cross by Trevor Cilia from the left was met by a Stanley Ohawuchi perfect header who sent the ball past Omar Borg.
Bojan Kaljevic stole the ball off an opponent on the 36th and advanced on the left but his rising shot ended a little bit high on the crossbar. Stanley Ohawuchi then controlled a through pass by Alex Muscat but the Nigerian striker’s low shot ended inches wide off the upright. Just before half-time, an angled shot by Kaljevic was blocked by Bonello.
Mosta levelled matters nine minutes in the second half when off an Antonio Carrozza free kick from the left, Manolito Micallef’s powerful header ended at the back of the net.
Trevor Cilia had a powerful shot deflected into safety by Omar Borg on 66 minutes. Four minutes later, Ian Zammit’s attempt from a central position was deflected by a Sliema defender, the ball hit the crossbar and ended into a corner. In the final stages, a powerful diagonal shot by Trevor Cilia was punched by Omar Borg and then a back pass by Ishmael Grech to the goalkeeper, was intercepted by Ohawuchi but Omar Borg deflected the ball into a throw-in.
MOSTA Omar Borg, Jonas Ekani Rodriguez, Tyrone Farrugia, Mark Brincat, Ishmael Grech, Ryan Grech, Kurt Zammit (15′ Antonio Carrozza), Manolito Micallef (84′ Cristian Martins Fernandes), Ian Zammit, Bojan Kaljevic, Gianmarco Piccioni.
Subs not used: Kurt Rizzo, Alex Cini, Steve Schembri, Ricardo Silva Faria.
Coach: Enrico Piccioni
SLIEMA Henry Bonello, Alex Muscat, Kane Farrugia, John Mintoff (71′ Ivan Woods), Mark Scerri (31′ Jacob Borg), Stanley Ohawuchi, Trevor Cilia, Paltemio Barbetti, Matias Muchardi, Stefano Bianciardi, Admir Vladavic.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Axl Xuereb, Alex Podda, Gabriel Aquilina, Beppe Muscat.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Referee: Marco Borg
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: Vladavic, Scerri, Piccioni, A. Muscat
Red Cards: 11′ Tyrone Farrugia, 18′ Admir Vladavic
Scorers: 32′ Stanley Ohawuchi; 54′ Manolito Micallef
BOV Player of the Match: Stanley Ohawuchi