Pembroke Athleta made sure of playing in the Premier League next season following a most dramatic 3-2 win over Floriana at the National Stadium.
They managed to build a two-goal lead but despite a Floriana comeback with two goals in two minutes, Winston Muscat’s side claimed the three points they needed thanks to another goal in added time. It was definitely a highly disappointing result and performance for the Greens following the impressive 2-0 win over Valletta last week.
Pembroke managed to take the lead on the 13th minute when Gustavo Villalobos managed to beat goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona with a fine shot from inside the area.
Floriana went close to equalising on the 29th when off a Juninho corner from the left, Mauricio Villa’s header hit the crossbar.
Nine minutes in the second half, Pembroke doubled the score when Villalobos sent Manolito Micallef through and the latter advanced before beating Calleja Cremona with a cute lob.
Eight minutes from time, Villalobos brought Mauricio Villa down inside the area. Referee Sandro Spiteri ordered a penalty and Mario Fontanella converted from the penalty spot.
Floriana equalised on the 85th when they were awarded another penalty following another foul inside the area, this time on Villa. Mario Fontanella.
One minute from time, the Greens were reduced to ten men after Matteo Piciollo was sent off by the referee.
Pembroke took full advantage as they notched the winner thanks to substitute Gustavo De Paulo Da Nobrega E Silva who received an assist on the right and with a diagonal shot, he beat goalkeeper Calleja Cremona.
FLORIANA Matthew Calleja Cremona, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg, Mauricio Villa, Juninho Cabral (76′ Firas Aboulezz), Andrea Scozzese, Matteo Piciollo, Steve Bonnici (59′ Neil Spiteri), Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella, Emerson Marcelina.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Luke Micallef, Jake Davies, Luca Gatt, Daniel Agius.
Assistant Coach: Michael Woods
PEMBROKE Mario Muscat, Kyle O’Brien, Manolito Micallef, Siraj Arab Eddin (90+2′ Sunday Eboh), Miguel Attard, Ariel Laudisi, Alex Cini, Owen Bugeja, Obinna Obiefule (78′ Gustavo De Paulo da Nobrega), Gustavo Villalobos, Zoran Levnaic.
Subs not used: Matthew Farrugia, Rennie Tanti, Geoffrey Spiteri, Tyrone Fenech, Terence Agius.
Coach: Winston Muscat
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: S. Pisani, N. Chiesa, M. Piciollo, C. Borg, S. Arab, Calleja Cremona, G. Villalobos, M. Muscat
Red Cards: 89′ Matteo Piciollo
Scorers: 13′ Gustavo Villalobos, 54′ Manolito Micallef, 83′ Mario Fontanella pen, 85′ Mario Fontanella, 90+1′ Gustavo de Paulo da Nobrega E Silva
BOV Player of the Match: Manolito Micallef
Meanwhile Sliema Wanderers pushed St. Andrews into deeper relegation trouble as they defeated them 3-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. For the Saints, this was the fifth consecutive defeat, leaving them four points behind Naxxar Lions with two games to go and the Lions having a game in hand.
The Wanderers took the lead on the 33rd minute when Jean Paul Farrugia stole the ball off Che and advanced before hitting low past Jake Galea.
Five minutes from the end of the first half, Sebastian Perdomo Esquivel doubled the score thanks to a rising shot from a diagonal position.
St. Andrews pulled one back on the 70th when off an assist by Jonatan Perez Cuesta, Lucky Visto Oseghale place d the ball at the back of the net from close range
However Sliema went 3-1 ahead on the 75th as Njongo Priso concluded a solo effort by dribbling two defenders before hitting low past the St. Andrews custodian.
SLIEMA Entonjo Elezai, Alex Muscat, Aiden Jake Friggieri, Njongo Doding Priso Lobe, Sebastian Perdomo Esquivel, Marko Potezica, Peter Xuereb (63’ Mark Scerri), Johann Bezzina (76’ Shola Haruna Shodiya), Jean Paul Farrugia, Stefano Bianciardi, Luke Dimech (73’ Clifford Gatt Baldacchino).
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, Justin Vella, Kurt Shaw, Gary Muir.
Coach: Alfonso Greco
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Emmy Manuel Pena Belter, Michael Johnson, Bong Won Che, Jonatan Perez Cuesta, Dale Camilleri (46’ Eloy Edu Nkene), Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo, Joseph Farrugia, Kyrian Nwoko (78’ Jacob Walker), Matteo Desira Buttigieg (56’ Victor Lucky Oseghale), Michel Salomon Wisdom.
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Nicholas Bradshaw, Liam Grech, Ryan Sammut.
Assistant Coach: Brian Chetcuti
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant referees: Mitchell Scerri, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow cards: Perdomo, Johnson, Bianciardi, Nkene, Potezica
Red Card: 43’ Michael Johnson
Scorers: 33’ Jean Paul Farrugia, 40’ Sebastian Perdomo Esiquivel, 70’ Lucky Victor Oseghale, 75’ Njongo Priso
BOV Player of the Match: Jean Paul Farrugia
Renato Vella reporting from the Victor Tedesco Stadium