A goal early in the second half gave Pembroke Athleta three precious points as they defeated in-form Tarxien Rainbows 1-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. A goal which brought to an end the Rainbows’ positive run who remain three points behind fourth-placed Floriana.
Pembroke, on the other hand, join Sliema Wanderers in the eighth place on the 24-point mark.
The Rainbows had Claudio Frances and Ryan Spiteri making their debut when they were included as substitutes. Pembroke, on the other hand, welcomed back Siraj Arab Eddin and Terence Agius after serving a one-match ban.
Triston Caruana was unlucky not to put the Rainbows ahead on the 19th minute with a shot from inside the area. Four minutes later, Tarxien were awarded a penalty after Alex da Paixao Alves was adjudged to have been floored inside the area by Miguel Attard. However Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos’ effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Mario Muscat. Just before half-time, it was Pembroke’s Paltemio Barbetti’s turn to hit the upright with a beautiful freekick from the left.
Pembroke Athleta managed to break the deadlock on the 59th minute when off a counter-attack, Ariel Laudisi’s low effort was deflected by Cassar and Siraj Arab Eddin tapped the ball home from close range.
On the 66th minute, Pembroke went close once again with Gustavo Villalobos effort from close range hitting the posts.
To make matters worse for Tarxien, eight minutes from time, they were reduced to ten men after Bruno Giglio de Oliveira fouled Villalobos to receive a second yellow card and was therefore sent off.
Deep into stoppage time, the Rainbows had another player sent off as Carlos Menendez Hevia received a second yellow card off for a late tackle.
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Timothy Tabone Desira (86′ Ryan Spiteri), Triston Caruana, Ayrton Azzopardi (63′ Claudio Frances), Carlos Menendez Hevia, Luke Montebello (59′ Lucky Omeruo), Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Manuel Caruana, Brandon Muscat, Roderick Bajada.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
PEMBROKE Mario Muscat, Zoran Levnaic, Alex Cini, Miguel Attard, Owen Bugeja, Paltemio Barbetti, Siraj Arab Eddin (74′ Gustavo de Paulo da Nobrega), Kyle O’Brien, Ariel Laudisi, Patmore Shereni, Gustavo Villalobos (92′ Terence Agius).
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Rennie Tanti Tyron Fenech, Manolito Micallef, Terence Agius, Geoffrey Spiteri.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Referee: Matthew De Gabriele
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Attard, Bruno, Pedrinho, Hevia, Baker
Red Cards: 82′ Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, 90+2′ Carlos Menendez Hevia
Scorers: 59′ Siraj Arab Eddin
BOV Player of the Match: Mario Muscat
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, ten-man Hibernians defeated Qormi 4-2 despite a good comeback by Johann Scicluna’s side.
With Andrei Agius, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Marcelo Dias and Jorginho all ruled out due to injuries or suspensions, Hibs coach Branko Nisevic handed Diosdado Mbele Mba Mangue his debut. Qormi welcomed back Djamel Leeflang and Kurt Magro but lacked Clifford Gauci, Emerson Vella and Terence Vella.
Hibernians took the lead on the 6th minute when off a Clayton Failla freekick from the right, Jurgen Degabriele controlled before hitting past the Qormi goalkeeper
The Paolites doubled the score on the 16th when Jurgen Degabriele sent Jorge Santos Silva through and the latter hit hard past Vella.
Qormi pulled one back three minutes in the second half thanks to a direct freekick by Djamel Leeflang which gave Rudy Briffa no chance.
Two minutes later, Diosdado Mbele brought Tensior Gusman down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Djamel Leeflang converted to make it 2-2.
Hibernians however regained the lead on the 56th thanks to a Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro effort from outside the area.
Six minutes later, the Paolites extended the lead through a Clayton Failla penalty after Gilmar was floored inside the area.
HIBS Rudy Briffa, Diosdado Mbele Mba Mangue, Rodolfo Soares, Jonathan Pearson, Clayton Failla, Bjorn Kristensen, Andrew Cohen (67’ Denni Rocha dos Santos), Gilmar Da Silva Ribeiro, Jorge Santos Silva, Jackson di Lima Siqueira (80’ Zachary Scerri), Jurgen Degabriele
Subs not used: Jurgen Borg, Dunstan Vella, Joseph Essien Mbong, Jean Paul Farrugia, David Falzon.
Coach: Branko Nisevic
QORMI Jean Matthias Vella, Tensior Gusman (67’ Shamison Zammit), Ousmane Sidibe, Ryan Micallef, Djamel Romano Leeflang Boerstra, Yannick Yankam, Alessio Cassar, Immy Micallef (81’ Clint Barbara), Noah Olawale Ojuola, Pietro Viaggiani (68’ Gilmore Azzopardi), Kurt Magro,
Subs not used: Miguel Falzon, Joshua Barbara, Iven Zammit, Luke Farrugia.
Coach: Johann Scicluna
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Ryan Aquilina
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Gusman, Leeflang, Micallef, Denni
Red Cards: 50’ Diosdado Mbele
Scorers: 6’ Jurgen Degabriele, 16’ Jorge Santos Silva, 48’ Djamel Leeflang, 51′ Djamel Leeflang pen, 56′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro, 62’ Clayton Failla pen
BOV Player of the Match: Gilmar Ribeiro Da Silva
Renato Vella reporting from the Hibernians Stadium