Argentine striker Emiliano Lattes was the hero for Naxxar Lions as he scored twice to give them their first points in the BOV Premier League in a 2-0 win over eternal rivals Mosta at the National Stadium.
Naxxar, for the first time under the guidance of new coach Clive Mizzi, showed greater determination, especially during the first half and controlled their opponents well after the break to register their first win after seven defeats in the first seven matches.
For Mosta, this was a highly disappointing result following an impressive 4-1 win over Hibernians in their last outing.
Mizzi changed five players from the team which lost heavily to Pembroke as Julian Azzopardi, Gnenegbe, Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Blazo Rajovic and Ishmael Grech replaced Luke Pecorella, Luca Lodetti, Sead Hadzibulic, Angus Buhagiar and David Fenech. Mosta, on the other hand, had two changes from the team which defeated Hibernians as Hassan Yau and Samuel Chukwide replaced Mark Brincat and the suspended Edin Murga.
Emiliano Lattes put Naxxar ahead on the 14th minute thanks to a shot from the right which beat goalkeeper Yenz Cini.
Three minutes later, Emiliano Lattes doubled the score when he slotted the ball past the Mosta goalkeeper with a shot from inside the area.
Mosta went close to reducing the gap on 84 minutes thanks to a direct freekick by Saviour Fidelis which hit the crossbar.
After the game, Mosta’s Ian Zammit and Naxxar’s Richard Cardozo were shown the red card by referee Clayton Pisani following an argument between the two.
MOSTA Yenz Cini, Tyrone Farrugia (86′ Adrian Borg), Manolito Micallef, Osa Guobadia, Ryan Grech (34′ James Brincat), Hassan Yau, Samuel Chukwide (35′ Saviour Fidelis), Jonas Rodriguez Ekani, Edile Micheletti Awoh, Ian Zammit, Fredrick Bobby Abel.
Subs not used: Omar Borg, Mark Brincat, Kurt Camilleri, Kyle Frendo.
Coach: Anton Cremona
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Blazo Rajovic, Andrew Scicluna, Moise Zady Gnenegbe, Richard Carlos Cardozo (88′ Duane Bonnici), Daren Falzon (67′ Sidoine Oussou), Ryan Gilmour Cassar, Jurgen Debono, Ishmael Grech, Emiliano Lattes, Armando Tarlazis Vieira dos Santos (80′ Mattia Del Negro).
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, Arya Koorosh Haghigi, Isaac McCarthy, Ryan Mercieca.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referee: Mitchell Scerri, David Castillo
Additional Assistant Referees: Marco Borg, Philip Farrugia
Fourth Official: Edward Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Chukwide, Guobadia, Azzopardi, Debono
Scorers: 14′ Emiliano Lattes, 17′ Emiliano Lattes
BOV Player of the Match: Emiliano Lattes
Attendance at the National Stadium: 1,196
Meanwhile a brace by Aleksandar Vujacic gave Balzan a 2-0 win over bottom-placed St. Andrews at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Following a goalless first half, Balzan managed to take the lead on the 55th minute when off a cross by Lydon Micallef, Aleksandar Vujacic beat goalkeeper Kris Calleja with a shot on the turn.
A minute later, Alfred Effiong served Aleksandar Vujacic with a back-heel pass and the Montenegrin striker just tipped the ball into the net.
ST. ANDREWS Kris Calleja, Jordan Williams, Dale Camilleri, Mariglen Sehitaj, Matthew Guillamier, Joseph Farrugia, Kyrian Nwoko, Michael Johnson, Chris Deguidjol (83’ Jacob Walker), Clyde Cumbo, Liam Grech (60’ Michael Grima).
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Ryan Sammut, Nicky Vella Petroni, Luca Cosmai, Wade Moodley,
Coach: Wayne Attard
BALZAN Christian Cassar, Dylan Grima, Edison David Bilbao Zarate (82’ Juan Corbolan), Samir Arab, Godwin Mensha, Alexandar Vujacic, Alfred Effiong, Elkin Orlando Serrano Valero (64’ Terrance Agius), Lydon Micallef (75’ Sean Cipriott), Maxim Fosca, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Mikhail Sciberras, Ryan Darmanin, Clive Brincat, Luke Sciberras,
Coach: Oliver Spiteri
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant referees: Roberto Vella, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Scorers: 55’ Aleksandar Vujacic, 56’ Aleksandar Vujacic
BOV Player of the Match: Alexander Vujacic
Attendance at the Victor Tedesco Stadium: 449