After collecting just three points in three draws out of the last five matches, Sliema Wanderers returned to winning ways as they defeated Lija Athletic 2-0 at the Centenary Stadium on Saturday.
For Lija, this was the seventh consecutive defeat whch leaves them anchored at the bottom of the table.
The Wanderers took the lead on the 59th minute thanks to an own goal by Ousmane Sidibe who headed the ball home following a Ricardo Correa freekick from the right.
Two minutes later, Sliema doubled the score when Frank Temile exchanged the ball with Ricardo Correa and although the former’s cross was blocked by a defender, he took the rebound and served Michele Sansone who hit low past Bonnici.
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Stefano Bianciardi, Matias Muchardi, Frank Temile, Nicolae Milinceanu, Mark Scerri (86’ Kurt Shaw), Michele Sansone (70’ Ryan Spiteri), Peter Xuereb, Ricardo Correa, John Mintoff, Jefferson de Assis (58’ Edmond Agius)
LIJA Luke Bonnici, Carl Cassar (78’ Dylan Agius), Leon Muscat, Daniel Scerri, Aaron Sammut, Patrick Borg, Ousmane Sidibe, Vilfor Hysa (84’ McAllister Clinch), Kei Hirose, Erjon Beu, Ryan Sammut (56’ Raphael Kooh Sohna)
Referee: Fyodor Zammit
Assistant Referees: Luke Portelli, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Darryl Agius
Yellow Cards: Sammut, Hirose, Xuereb
BOV Player of the Match: Ricardo Calixto Correa Duarte
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, Tarxien Rainbows earned a point in a 2-2 draw with Senglea Athletic despite having to play for eighty minutes in ten men.
Senglea had a perfect start, taking the lead on the 3rd minute when off a corner, Matias Garcia rose high to head home past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
The Rainbows were reduced to ten men on the 11th minute when Sean Cipriott was sent off by referee Matthew De Gabriele for passing remarks.
However Tarxien managed to equalise on the 32nd minute when James Brincat had a shot deflected into a corner by Farrugia, following a cross by Samba Tounkara and from the resulting corner, Wellington Oliveira Vieira hit home from close range.
Senglea regained the lead five minutes in the second half thanks to Terence Vella who placed the ball at the back of the net following a good run and a cross from the left by Gregori Braga.
However Tarxien restored equilibrium nine minutes from time thanks to a fine shot from outside the area by Eduard Calin which gave the Senglea goalkeeper no chance.
SENGLEA Matthew Farrugia, Randall Vella, Jonathan Bondin, Sergio Uyi, Ian Azzopardi, Matias Garcia, Gonzalo Nicolas Virano, Ivan Paz, Terence Vella, Nicola Palmieri, Gregori de Sousa Braga (65′ Augusto Rene Caseres).
Coach: Paolo Favaretto
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, André Scicluna, Luke Grceh, Stefan Radovanovic, Gabriel Aquilina, Sean Cipriott, James Brincat (70′ Godwin McKay), Eduard Marian Calin, Samba Tounkara, Wellington De Oliveira Vieira (62′ Matthew Brincat).
Coach: Jose Borg
Referee: Matthew Degabriele
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Sammy Attard
Fourth Official: Ishmael Barbara
Red Cards: 11′ Sean Cipriott
Yellow Cards: S. Uyi, I. Azzopardi, S. Radovanovic
BOV Player of the Match: Ivan Paz