Pietà Hotspurs maintained alive hopes of avoiding relegation as they defeated Zebbug Rangers 3-1 in the clash between the two teams lying in the bottom two places in the BOV Premier League.
For the Hotspurs, this was the first win after eight matches. A win which puts them four points clear of Zebbug. On the other hand, for Zebbug, this was the eighth consecutive defeat.
The Hotspurs took the lead on 25 minutes thanks to Kyle Cesare whose angled shot from the right hit the crossbar with the ball ending at the back of the net.
Zebbug equalised one minute from the end of the first half when off a cross by Paltemio Barbetti, Luke Montebello slammed the ball home past goalkeeper David Cassar.
Pietà regained the lead on 76 minutes thanks to a Claudio Frances freekick which gave goalkeeper Jeffrey Farrugia no chance.
Five minutes later, the Hotspurs extended the lead when off a cross by Frances, the ball reached Joao Gabriel da Silva who placed the ball at the back of the net.
PIETÀ David Cassar, Cain Attard, Leonardo Fortunato dos Santos, Ricardo Costa (90′ Travis Bartolo), Jurgen Pisani, Orosco Anonam, Kyle Cesare (80′ Dylon Agius), Joao Gabriel da Silva (90′ Neil Pace Cocks), Charles Nnaemeka Newuche, Claudio Frances, Karl Micallef.
Subs not used: Miguel Montfort, Ayrton Mizzi, Christian Degabriele, Rafael Rodrigues da Silva.
Assistant Coach: Orosco Anonam
ZEBBUG Jeffrey Farrugia, David Alejandro Reano, Matthew Bartolo, Thomas Paris (83′ Miguel Ciantar), Jacob Borg, Paltemio Barbetti, Matias Muchardi, Mauricio Osmar Rodrigues Britto, Rashid Yussuff (55′ Carlo Gordon Monti), Luke Montebello, Yessous Camilleri.
Subs not used: Manuel Bartolo, Shaun Borg, Kurt Zammit, Matthew Gauci, Lee Galea.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
Referee: Ian McNabb (NIR)
Assistant Referees: Ken Ross, Mark O’Brien (NIR)
Fourth Official: Evan Boyce (NIR)
Yellow Cards: Paris, Gabriel
Scorers: 25′ Kyle Cesare, 44′ Luke Montebello, 76′ Claudio Frances, 81′ Joao Gabriel da Silva
BOV Player of the Match: Claudio Frances
Meanwhile in another match, Sliema Wanderers secured their Premier League status with a 5-1 win over Mosta.
The Wanderers took the lead on the 11th minute thanks to Pedro dos Santos Calcado’s freekick which beat goalkeeper Omar Borg.
Four minutes from the end of the first half, Sliema doubled the score as a shot by Junior Obagbemiro was partially saved by Omar Borg, the same player took the rebound but Tyrone Farrugia cleared off the goal line; however Alex Muscat’s first-time effort hit the upright before ending at the back of the net.
Sixteen minutes in the second half, Pedrinho sent Mateus Ribeiro do Santos through and the latter hit low to beat the Mosta goalkeeper.
Three minutes later, Pedrinho concluded a solo effort with a low shot which beat Omar Borg to make it 4-0.
Sliema scored the fifth goal on the 76th as Tyrone Farrugia brought Pedrinho down inside the area and from the resulting penalty, Alex Muscat made no mistake.
Mosta scored a consolation goal six minutes from time through Adrian Borg whose header off a cross by Aaron Sammut gave Glen Zammit no chance.
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, Junior Obagbemiro (72’ Luca Martinelli), John Mintoff, Mark Scerri (46’ Aidan Jake Friggieri), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos, Marko Potezica, Trevor Cilia (67’ Peter Xuereb), Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Beppe Muscat.
Subs not used: Sam Bartolo, Joseph Borg, Filippo Talato, Sam Bartolo, Stefano Bianciardi.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
MOSTA Omar Borg, Tyrone Farrugia, Mark Brincat, Dyson Falzon, Ousman Koli, Kurt Magro (82’ Matteo Di Vita), Udo Fortune, Adrian Borg, Ryan Grech (73’ Kyle Frendo), Karl Pulo, Zak Brincat (46’ Aaron Sammut).
Subs not used: Kyle Gerada, James Brincat.
Coach: Peter Smith
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant referee: Edward Spiteri, David Castillo
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow cards: Borg, Falzon, Farrugia, Martinelli
Scorers: 11’ Pedro dos Santos Calcado, 41’ Alex Muscat, 61’ Mateus dos Santos Ribeiro, 64’ Pedro dos Santos Calcado, 76’ Alex Muscat, 84’ Adrian Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Pedro Dos Santos Calcado