Pembroke Athleta returned to winning ways as two goals in the second half enabled them to beat Naxxar Lions 2-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. A win which puts ninth-placed Pembroke three points behind Sliema Wanderers.
Naxxar, on the other hand, remain second from bottom as they suffer the sixth consecutive defeat.
Both sides were unable to field their best formation due to the suspended Angus Buhagiar for Naxxar, Siraj Arab and Terence Agius for Pembroke. Pembroke also lacked the injured Leighton Grech. Naxxar, on the other hand, had Ryan Grech and Alvaro Hungria Rosero making their debut.
Following a goalless first half, Pembroke managed to break the deadlock fourteen minutes in the second half when off a cross by Ariel Laudisi from the left, Manolito Micallef headed home past goalkeeper Julian Azzopardi.
Two minutes in added time, Pembroke sealed the issue with a second goal as Laudisi released Gustavo Villalobos who ran past the on-rushing goalkeeper before hitting home from an angled position from the right.
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Andrew Scicluna, Ryan Grech, Demba Toure, Daren Falzon, Duane Bonnici (38′ Alvaro Javier Hungria Rosero), Jose Angel Godar Pereira, Jurgen Debono (75′ Thomas Sarina), Ishmael Grech, Ennio Hamutenya, Nikola Tasic.
Subs not used: Gianluca Abela, Yaron Sammut, Ryan Mercieca, David Fenech, Mark Fenech.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
PEMBROKE Mario Muscat, Alex Cini, Miguel Attard, Owen Bugeja, Paltemio Barbetti, Zoran Levnajic (84′ James Togbah), Manolito Micallef, Kyle O’Brien, Ariel Laudisi, Patmore Shereni, Gustavo Villalobos.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Neil Micallef, Rennie Tanti, Tyrone Fenech, Neil Grech, Geoffrey Spiteri.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Luke Portelli
Fourth Official: Malcolm Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Grech, Hamutenya, Shereni, Micallef
Scorers: 59′ Manolito Micallef, 90+2′ Gustavo Villalobos
BOV Player of the Match: Manolito Micallef