St. Andrews maintained alive hopes of avoiding relegation as they defeated Naxxar Lions in a direct clash between the teams lying second and third from bottom at the Hibernians Stadium. A win which puts them just two points behing Naxxar with one game to go. St. Andrews take on Qormi while Naxxar Lions face Sliema Wanderers next week.
The Saints dominated from start to finish and after taking a comfortable two-goal lead courtesy of Kyrian Nwoko, they created several other chances, increasing the lead through Lucky Oseghale.
St. Andrews forged ahead on the 17th minute when off a cross from the right, Kyrian Nwoko headed home past goalkeeper Alberto Gallinetta.
Kyrian Nwoko doubled the score on the 25th when off an assist by Lucky Oseghale, he slotted the ball past Gallinetta with a shot from inside the area.
The Saints increased the lead further on 66 minutes thanks to Lucky Victor Oseghale whose low shot from inside the area gave the Naxxar goalkeeper no chance.
Naxxar were reduced to ten men on the 90th after Daren Falzon was sent off for a rough tackle on an opponent.
However two minutes in added time, Naxxar were awarded a penalty after Liam Grech handled the ball inside the penalty area. From the penalty spot, Eduardo Vallecillo Casado converted to score a consolation goal.
ST. ANDREWS Jake Galea, Enmy Manuel Pena Beltre, Eloy Edu Nkene, Bong Won Che (76′ Liam Grech), Jonatan Perez Cuesta, Dale Camilleri (55′ Matteo Desira Buttigieg), Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo, Joseph Farrugia (85′ Ryan Sammut), Lucky Victor Oseghale, Kyrian Nwoko, Michel Salomon Wisdom.
Subs not used: Dorian Bugeja, Nicholas Bradshaw, Jamie Magri Overend, Jacob Walker.
Assistant Coach: Brian Chetcuti
NAXXAR Alberto Gallinetta, Andrew Scicluna, Ryan Grech, Eduardo Vallecillo Casado, Daren Falzon, Demba Toure (63′ Jurgen Debono), Duane Bonnici (31′ Mark Fenech), Jose Angel Godar Pereira (63′ Alvaro Javier Hungria Rosero), David Fenech, Angus Buhagiar, Ennio Hamutenya.
Subs not used: Gianluca Abela, Francesco Gauci, Gianluca Grima, Ryan Mercieca.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Marco Borg
Yellow Cards: Vallecillo, Scicluna
Red Cards: 90′ Daren Falzon
Scorers: 17′ Kyrian Nwoko, 25′ Kyrian Nwoko, 66′ Lucky Victor Oseghale, 90+2′ Eduardo Vallecillo Casado pen
BOV Player of the Match: Lucky Victor Oseghale
Meanwhile Tarxien Rainbows found no difficulty in beating Pembroke Athleta 4-0 in a clash between two teams lying in a comfortable mid-table position at the National Stadium.
The Rainbows managed to take the lead on the 25th minute when off a cross from the right by Ayrton Azzopardi, Claudio Frances headed home from close range.
One minute from the end of the first half, Tarxien doubled the score through Claudio Frances who received a through pass by Azzopardi and hit low past Farrugia.
The third goal arrived on the 66th minute when Frances sent Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos through and the latter beat the Pembroke goalkeeper with a low shot.
Eleven minutes from time, Tarxien made it 4-0 with a powerful shot by Ayrton Azzopardi which gave Matthew Farrugia no chance.
PEMBROKE Matthew Farrugia, Obinna Obiefule (68’ Gustavo de Paulo da Nobrega E Silva), Manolito Micallef, Tyron Fenech (55’ Siraj Eddin Arab), Zoran Levnaic, Alexander Cini, Rennie Tanti (60’ Leighton Grech), Gustavo Villalobos, Owen Bugeja, Terence Agius, Ariel Laudisi.
Subs not used: Matthew Camilleri, Sunday Eboh, Geoffrey Spiteri, Kyle O’Brien.
Coach: Winston Muscat
TARXIEN Andre Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Triston Caruana, Brandon Muscat, Alex Nilsson (46’ Luke Montebello), Ayrton Azzopardi (84’ Roderick Bajada), Sergio Fernandez Prendes, Alex da Paixao Alves (81’ Manuel Caruana), Matthew Tabone, Joao Pedro Oliviera Santos, Claudio Frances.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Daniel Zerafa, Ryan Spiteri, John Mintoff.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant referees: Roberto Vella, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Yellow Cards: Pedrinho, Prendes, T. Caruana, Lecao
Scorers: 25’ Claudio Frances, 44’ Claudio Francis, 66’ Joao Pedro Oliviera Santos, 79’ Ayrton Azzopardi
BOV Player of the Match: Claudio Frances