Floriana, for the first time under the guidance of Italian coach Giovanni Tedesco, to return to winning ways as they beat nine-man Tarxien Rainbows 2-0 to leapfrog the Rainbows. With two games to go for the end of the season, Floriana are now second in the Relegation Pool on 24 points, one ahead of Naxxar, two ahead of Tarxien and three ahead of Vittoriosa
For the Rainbows, this was the second consecutive defeat after losing narrowly to Naxxar last week.
Floriana were awarded a penalty on the 37th after referee Glenn Tonna adjudged Manuel Caruana to have fouled Steve Pisani inside the area. The Tarxien captain was sent off and from the penalty spot, Gary Muir converted to put the Greens ahead.
Eight minutes in the second half, Tarxien were reduced to nine men after substitute Lucas Goncalves da Silva was the second player to be sent off by the referee following a tackle on Rodrigo Felix Aguiar.
Ten minutes from time, Floriana sealed the issue when in a swift counter-attack, Igor Coronado released Diogo Pinheiro de Souza inside the area who slotted the ball past Nicky Vella.
Floriana could have added another on the 89th when Ibok Edet sent Igor Coronado through and the latter concluded a good run with a low shot which was somehow neutralised by the Tarxien goalkeeper.
TARXIEN Nicky Vella, Carlo Mamo, Manuel Caruana, Fernando Lopes Alcantara (46′ Lucas Goncalves da Silva), Luca Martinelli (75′ Karl Pulo), Demba Toure, Carlos Menendez Hevia (81′ Ryan Sammut), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Josef Mifsud, Steve Bonnici, Jorge Santos Silva.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Steve Sadowski, Andrew Agius, Miguel Ciantar.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
FLORIANA Sean Mintoff, Andre Scicluna, Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Steve Pisani (89′ Darrell Baldacchino), Igor Coronado, Diogo Pinheiro de Souza, Joseph Borg, Brooke Farrugia (72′ Manuel Briffa), Rodrigo Aguiar, Gary Muir, Sacha Borg.
Subs not used: Daniel Hanford, Christian Caruana, Jonathan Xerri, Luca Casha, Isaac Galea.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Glenn Tonna
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Scicluna, Alcantara, Coronado, Muir, Martinelli, Farrugia, Edet, Mintoff
Red Cards: 37′ Manuel Caruana, 53′ Lucas Goncalves
Scorers: 38′ Gary Muir pen, 80′ Diogo Pinheiro de Souza
BOV Player of the Match: Gary Muir
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 506
At the Hibernians Stadium, Valletta found no difficulty in beating Mosta 5-0 to move temporarily on top the BOV Premier League table, one point ahead of Birkirkara.
For Mosta, this was another disappointing defeat after losing 0-4 to Birkirkara last week.
Jonathan Caruana and Luke Dimech were ruled out through suspension for Valletta. The Blues, on the other hand, welcomed back Omar Borg and Bojan Kaljevic.
Valletta took the lead on the 12th minute when a Luke Montebello effort was partially saved by Omar Borg and off the rebound Denni Rocha dos Santos had no difficulty to slot the ball past the Mosta goalkeeper.
On the 29th, Denni doubled the score with a low diagonal shot from inside the penalty area which ended at the back of the net.
One minutes from the end of the first half, the Citizens increased the lead when Ryan Fenech advanced unperturbed on the left and lobbed the ball over Omar Borg.
Eight minutes in the second half, Valletta made it 4-0 when off an assist by Abdelkarim Nafti for Luke Montebello, the latter placed the ball at the back of the net with a good shot from inside the area.
Substitute Seun Abayomi Owonikoko scored the fifth and final goal on 77 minutes when Denni served substitute Abayomi Seun Owonikoko inside the penalty box and the Valletta player slotted the ball at the back of the net.
MOSTA Omar Borg, Tyrone Farrugia, Rodriguez Ekani, Mark Brincat, Ishmael Grech (55’ Kurt Zammit), Ryan Grech, Manolito Micallef, Cristian Martins Fernandes (54’ Antonio Carrozza), Ian Zammit, Bojan Kaljevic (57’ Diego Periera), Gianmarco Piccioni.
Subs not used: Kurt Rizzo, James Brincat, Alex Cini, Steve Schembri.
Coach: Enrico Piccioni
VALLETTA Nukri Revishvili, Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Ryan Fenech, Roderick Briffa, Luke Montebello (66’ Llewelyn Cremona), Alan da Silva Souza (66’ Abayomi Seun Owonikoko), Shaun Bajada, Denni Rocha dos Santos, Irakli Maisuradze, Abdel Karim Nafti.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Edmond Agius, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, Dario Tabone, , Luke Scicluna.
Coach: Andre Paus
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: M. Brincat, I. Azzopardi, B. Kaljevic, I. Zammit, R. Grech
Scorers: 12’ Denni Rocha dos Santos, 29’ Denni Rocha dos Santos, 44’ Ryan Fenech, 53’ Luke Montebello, 77′ Seun Abayomi Owonkiko
BOV Player of the Match:Alan da Silva Souza
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 1,318