Naxxar Lions moved seventh in the BOV Premier League thanks to a 2-1 win over neighbours Mosta in an entertaining derby. The Lions were therefore quick to bounce back after losing to Birkirkara last week.
Mosta, on the other hand, remain fourth on twenty points but fail to narrow the gap with third-placed Birkirkara.
Naxxar created the better chances early in the game, going close on the 14th when Ryan Gilmour Cassar served Terence Vella who dribbled round a defender but the latter’s conclusion was turned into a corner by Omar Borg.
Three minutes later, the Lions took the lead when a Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro freekick saw the ball end in the top right corner giving the Mosta custodian no chance to save.
Three minutes in the second half, Mosta equalised thanks to a Bojan Kaljevic freekick with the ball ending in the top left corner behind Julian Azzopardi.
Mosta went close to taking the lead on 51 minutes but Azzopardi was quick enough to rush out of the area to clear the ball into safety. On the 67th, Gueye stole the ball off the Mosta defence but his conclusion was neutralised by Omar Borg.
Naxxar made it 2-1 on 72 minutes when off a corner by Gilmar, substitute Pape Gueye headed the ball home.
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Andrew Scicluna (86’ John Debono), Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Terrence Vella (84’ David Fenech), Daren Falzon (87’ Victor Bellia), Gilmar Da Silva Ribeiro, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Pablo Doffo, Angus Buhagiar, Uchenna Emenike Mbachu (62’ Pape Gueye), Christopher Uzeh Edafe.
Subs: Luke Pecorella, Mattia Del Negro, Duane Bonnici.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
MOSTA Omar Borg, Jonas Rodriguez Ekani, Mark Brincat, Adrian Borg, Dyson Falzon (46’ Sasa Jovanovic), Kurt Magro, Ryan Grech (90’ Kurt Zammit), Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos, Nemanja Milovanovic, Karl Pulo, Bojan Kaljevic.
Subs not used: Kyle Gerada, Youssou Lo, Kyle Frendo, James Brincat, Matteo di Vita.
Coach: Peter Smith
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Ingmar Spiteri, Duncan Sultana
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow cards: Brincat, Uzeh, Falzon, Falzon, Mbachu, Borg, Doffo, Magro, Grech, Cassar,
Scorers: 18’ Gilmar Da Silva Ribeiro (N), 48’ Bojan Kaljevic (M), 72’ Pape Gueye (N)
BOV Player of the Match: Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 824
Meanwhile Birkirkara continued to disappoint, this time after being held in a goalless draw by Balzan.
After a quiet start, Paul Fenech went close for Birkirkara on 42 minutes with a shot from the left which was partially saved by Steve Sultana.
On the 61st, a Ryan Camenzuli effort hit the upright and off the rebound, Liliu’s attempt was tipped by the goalkeeper, Camenzuli regained possession but his attempt was blocked by the Balzan goalkeeper.
Birkirkara were reduced to ten men four minutes from time as Ryan Scicluna was sent off for a late tackle on Bilbao Zarate.
B’KARA Justin Haber, Nikola Vukanac, Ellinton Antonio Costa Morais, Eliandro dos Santos Gonzaga (79′ Kurt Zammit), Haruna Shola Shodiya, Alejandro Mendoza Corujo, Gareth Sciberras, Zach Muscat (38′ Edward Herrera), Paul Fenech (86′ Edmond Agius), Ryan Camenzuli, Ryan Scicluna.
Subs not used: Ini Etim Akpan, V’Yancheslav Shevchenko, Antoine Borg, Andrea Curmi.
Coach: Paul Zammit
BALZAN Steve Sultana, Justin Grioli, Steve Bezzina, Elkin Serrano Valero, Edison Bilbao Zarate, Osa Ice-Cream Guobadia, Clive Brincat, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (53′ Lydon Micallef), Oscar Dario Guerrero, Luke Sciberras (80′ Dylan Grima), Gianmarco Piccioni (90′ Ryan Darmanin).
Subs not used: Christian Cassar, Michael Borg, Juan Corbalan, Sean Cipriott.
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Adrian Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Scicluna, Sciberras, Fenech
Red Cards: 87′ Ryan Scicluna
BOV Player of the Match: Steve Sultana
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 612