Gzira United registered their third win in as many matches as they defeated Tarxien Rainbows 2-1 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Saturday. The Maroons now lead the table with nine points, two ahead of Hibernians and three ahead of Hamrun and Valletta but the Citizens have a game in hand.
For the Rainbows, this was the third successive defeat, leaving them at the bottom of the table.
Gzira were the better side taking the lead on the 33rd minute when they were awarded a penalty after Amadou Samb was brought down inside the area by goalkeeper Christian Cassar and from the penalty spot, the Senegalese striker made no mistake.
Two minutes in the second half, the Maroons doubled the score through Ndubisi Emmanuel Okoye who hit home from close range following a cross from the left.
Tarxien scored a consolation goal on the 90th thanks to Artur Benes who beat Curmi with a good shot from inside te area when served by Ryan Darmanin.
TARXIEN Christian Cassar, Andre Scicluna, Sean Cipriott (90′ Arsenne Rye Cilia Mumford), Matthew Spiteri, Andrew Agius, James Brincat, Luke Grech, Ryan Darmanin, Ricardo Silva Faria, Artur Benes, Godwin McKay (82′ Matthew Brincat).
Subs not used: Antonio Chetcuti, Matthew Sladden, Eduard Marian Calin, Cedric Zahra, Owen Francalanza
Coach: Jose Borg
GZIRA Anthony Curmi, Andrew Cohen, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Moises Avila Perez, Karl Pulo, Samba Tounkara (83′ Luca Brincat), Roderick Briffa, Gary Muir, Ndubisi Emmanuel Okoye (59′ Zack Scerri), Andre White, Amadou Samb (75′ Nikolai Muscat).
Subs not used: Justin Haber, Samuel Timmy Ogundare, Chris Sammut, Souleymane Diamoutene
Coach: Darren Abdilla
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees; Edward Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Stefan Pace
Yellow Cards: Avila Perez, Cassar, Muir, Tounkara, Gatt Baldacchino, Ricardinho
BOV Player of the Match: Amadou Samb
Hibernians dropped their first points after being held in a 1-1 draw by Floriana at the National Stadium. A draw which leaves the Paolites two points behind leaders Gzira.
For Floriana, this was the second draw in three matches and now share fifth place with Sliema.
Enzo Ruiz put the Greens ahead five minutes from the end of the first half when he rose high to head the ball home following a Steve Pisani corner.
Marco Sahanek equalised on the 73rd minute when he concluded a solo effort with a low effort which gave Ini Etim Akpan no chance.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Martin Kreuzriegler, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Jackson de Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias (71′ Johann Bezzina), Jurgen Degabriele (81′ Joseph Mbong), Bjorn Kristensen, Jorge Elias dos Santos, Andrei Agius, Marco Sahanek.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Dunstan Vella, Connor Zammit, David Xuereb, Clayton Failla.
Coach: Mark Miller
FLORIANA Ini Etim Akpan, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Steve Pisani, Clyde Borg, Ignacio Varela, Maurizio Vella, Juninho Cabral (68′ Dylan Grima), Alex Cini, Arthur Henrique Oyama, Mario Fontanella.
Subs not used: Matthew Grima, James Baldacchino, Jake Stensen, Jamie Delia, Denilson Borg Castaldi, Leighton Grech.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Martin Borg
Fourth Official: Emanuel Grech
Yellow Cards: Agius, Vella, da Gracia Gomes, Borg, Soares, Pisani
After a shock defeat to St. Andrews, Balzan failed to return to winning ways, this time after being held in a goalless draw by Sliema Wanderers at the National Stadium.
For Sliema, this was the second draw in three matches after a comfortable win over Naxxar in their previous outing.
The Blues had Brazilian striker Jefferson de Assis making his debut along with Edmond Agius who was included as a substitute.
Sliema had an excellent opportunity to take the lead when they were awarded a penalty on the 23rd minute after Jefferson was brought down inside the area by Elkin Serrano but captain Alex Muscat’s effort from the penalty spot was neutralised by Janjusevic.
However in the second half, Alfred Effiong had an attempt cleared off the goal line and attempts by Cadu and Bojan Kaljevic hit the woodwork.
SLIEMA Giuseppe Sarao, Stefano Bianciardi, Matias Muchardi (82′ Jonathan Pearson), Gabriel Aquilina (45′ Edmond Agius), Peter Xuereb, Jefferson de Assis, Ricardo Calisto Correa, Mark Scerri, Ryan Spiteri (64′ Frank Temile), Alex Muscat, Nikola Gavric.
Subs not used: Glenn Zammit, John Mintoff, Dylan Micallef, Michele Sansone
Coach: John Buttigieg
BALZAN Ivan Janjusevic, Milos Lepovic (64′ Ryan Fenech), Steve Bezzina, Paul Fenech, Bojan Kaljevic, Uros Ljubomirac, Alfred Effiong (64′ Alex da Paixao Alves), Justin Grioli, Michael Johnson, Elkin Serrano Valero, Carlos Eduardo de Fiori Mendes.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Jamie Zerafa, Samir Arab, Jacob Borg, Clive Brincat
Coach: Marko Micovic
Referee: Steven Gregg (NIR)
Assistant Referees: Kristian Hanna, Gavin Andrews (NIR)
Fourth Official: Tony Clarke (NIR)
Yellow Cards: Muscat, Cadu, Lepovic, Serrano
BOV Player of the Match: Jefferson de Assis
Under the guidance of coach Paul Zammit, Birkirkara FC registered their first win as they beat Mosta 2-0 at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
For Mosta, on the other hand, this was the second defeat in three matches.
Nikola Vukanac and Mislav Andjelkovic made their return for the Stripes after agreeing new contracts with the club.
Ernest Webnje N’For put the Stripes ahead on the 74th minute when he converted a penalty after being brought down inside the area.
Matthew Guillaumier doubled the score six minutes from time with a first-time effort which gave the Mosta goalkeeper no chance.
B’KARA Philip Schranz, Cain Attard, Jake Grech, Llywelyn Cremona (60′ Matthew Guillaumier), Ryan Camenzuli, Luke Montebello (46′ Edward Herrera), Nikola Vukanac, Lucas Maia, Mislav Andjelkovic, Bruno Fernandes de Brito (77′ Kurt Zammit), Ernest Webnje N’For.
Subs not used: David Cassar, Brandon Muscat, Martin Klein, Alex Nilsson.
Coach: Paul Zammit
MOSTA Andreas Vella, Leonardo Henrique Ferreira, Tyrone Farrugia, Thomas Veronese, Ivan Maric, David Ifeanyi Nworah, Kurt Magro, Dexter Xuereb (77 Zach Brincat), Edison Bilbao Zarate, Cristian Jorge Martins Fernandes (89′ David Fenech), Jonas Ekani Rodrigues.
Subs not used: Warren Galea, Kyle Frendo, Neil Frendo, Jean Paul Formosa, Kyle Gatt.
Coach: Johann Scicluna
Referee: Philip Farrugia
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Camenzuli, Guillaumier, Magro, Maric
Red Cards: 87′ Kurt Magro
BOV Player of the Match: Ernest N’For