Three teams joint-second from bottom as Pietà beat Qormi

Pietà Hotspurs joined Qormi and Tarxien Rainbows in the ninth place on seventeen points as they returned to winning ways, defeating Qormi 1-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.

For Qormi, this was the fifth consecutive defeat and they have now gone ten matches without a win.

Jurgen Pisani returned for Pietà after skipping the last game and replaced Kyle Cesare in the starting line-up. Qormi, on the other hand, welcomed back Duncan Pisani and had new signing Christopher Edafe Uzeh making his debut. They replaced Bjorn Bondin and Ryan Micallef who had started the previous game.

The Hotspurs lost goalkeeper David Cassar injured following a tackle by Frank Temile and was substituted by Miguel Montfort on the 20th minute.

Pietà took the lead on 31 minutes when following a great run by Claudio Frances, he served Luke Micallef who beat goalkeeper Matthew Farrugia with a diagonal shot from the right.

Luke Micallef went close to doubling the score on 73 minutes when he received an assist by Rafinha and rounded the goalkeeper but his conclusion hit the side netting. Seven minutes later, Luke Micallef had another good opportunity when served on the left by Frances. Nine minutes from time, Jurgen Pisani had a close-range effort deflected into a corner by Matthew Farrugia.

QORMI Matthew Farrugia, Christopher Edafe Uzeh (77′ Bjorn Bondin), Mauricio Matias Mazzetti Latini (46′ Ryan Micallef), Joseph Chetcuti, Alfred Effiong, Clifford Gauci, Frank Temile, Emerson Vella (83′ Steve Agius), Zoran Levnajic, Duncan Pisani, Jonathan Bondin.
Subs not used: Jurgen Cilia, Roderick Sammut, Pietro Viggiani, Alessio Cassar.
Coach: Josef Mansueto

PIETÀ David Cassar (19′ Miguel Montfort), Karl Micallef, Leonardo Fortunato dos Santos, Christian Grech, Jurgen Pisani, Orosco Anonam (73′ Kyle Cesare), Dylon Agius, Joao Gabriel da Silva, Luke Micallef, Claudio Frances, Rafael Rodrigues da Silva.
Subs not used: Neil Pace Cocks, Ayrton Mizzi, Christian Stewart, Josual Spiteri, Zsolt Mark Kecskes.
Coach: Noel Coleiro

Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Leo Fortunato, Bondin, Vella, Grech, J. Bondin
Scorer: 31′ Luke Micallef
BOV Player of the Match: Luke Micallef
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 566

At the Hibernians Stadium, Valletta scored a goal in each half to beat Zebbug Rangers 2-0. Valletta move twelve points behind leaders Hibernians who however have a game in hand.

Zebbug had three changes from the team which defeated Sliema as Yessous Camilleri, Jacob Borg and Kurt Zammit replaced Melvin Farrugia, Matthew Gauci and the injured Carlo Monti. Valletta, on the other hand, had no changes as Shaun Bajada was still ruled out through an injury.

As expected, the Citizens held the initiative right from the start, going close with an Abdelkarim Nafti effort, served by Elford-Alliyu, which was parried by Manuel Bartolo. Eight minutes from the end of the first half, Nafti hit the upright from a corner with the ball cleared into safety by the Zebbug defence. Bartolo then turned into a corner a close-range effort by Lateef Elford-Alliyu.

Three minutes from the end of the first half, Valletta took the klead when off a pass by Hamza Barry for Lateef Elford-Alliyu who served Abdelkarim Nafti slotted the ball past the Zebbug goalkeeper.

Lateef Elford-Alliyu concluded a fine solo effort with a shot from a close angle which hit the upright with the ball being cleared into safety on the 58th.

On the 76th, Valletta doubled the score when off a good move by Hamza Barry in which he rounded three players, the ball reached Lateef Elford Alliyu who tapped the ball home from close range.

In added time, substitute Llywelyn Cremona could have added another but his long-distance shot hit the crossbar with Bartolo beaten.

VALLETTA Nicky Vella, Jonathan Caruana, Ian Azzopardi, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri, Ryan Fenech, Hamza Barry (90+2′ Jean Borg), Roderick Briffa, Lateef Elford-Alliyu (90’ Luke Montebello), Abdelkarim Nafti (86’ Llywelyn Cremona), Luke Dimech.
Subs not used: Pietro Demetrio Marino, Hamid Ismaeel Alkamali, Nicholas Pulis, Stefan Cassar.
Coach: Gilbert Agius

ZEBBUG Manuel Bartolo, Yessous Camilleri, Paltemio Barbetti, Lee Galea, Jacob Borg, Matthew Bartolo, Thomas Paris, Matias Mucchardi, Kurt Zammit (69’ Miguel Ciantar)(76′ Matthew Gauci), Rashid Yussuff, Mauricio Osmar Rodrigues Britto.
Subs not used: Jeffrey Farrugia, Melvin Farrugia, Lee James Agius, Shaun Borg, Matthew Camilleri.
Coach: Alfonso Greco

Referee: Adrian Azzopardi,
Assistant Referees: Chris Francalanza, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Fenech, Y. Camilleri
Scorers: 41’ Abdel Karim Nafti 76’ Lateef Elford-Alliyu
BOV Player of the Match: Abdelkarim Nafti
Attendance at the Hibernians Stadium: 842