Malta Football Association
Tarxien stun title hopefuls Balzan to boost survival bid
Apr 7, 2018
Posted in:
BOV Premier League

BALZAN                      1


Tarxien Rainbows have boosted their survival hopes while dealing a blow to Balzan’s title chances after pulling off a shock 3-1 victory over the leaders at the Hibernians Stadium.

This result means that Valletta will overtake Balzan at the top if they win their impending match against Ħamrun Spartans on Sunday. Tarxien have now opened a five-point gap on second-from bottom Naxxar Lions and are one point above St Andrews.


The first half produced one goal with Boubacar Traore firing the Rainbows ahead on 34 minutes.


With 15 minutes left, Eduard Calin put Tarxien 2-0 but Alex da Paixao Alves looked to have revived Balzan’s hopes by pulling one back 12 minutes from the end.


However, Samba Tounkara killed Balzan’s comeback hopes and seal Tarxien’s win four minutes from time.


BOV player of the match: Andrea Cassar (Tarxien Rainbows).






Gżira United made another important step in their bid to qualify for the Europa League after beating relegation-threatened Naxxar Lions 2-0 to increase their lead on fourth-placed Birkirkara.


Naxxar suffered an early setback as Daren Falzon was given a straight red card for elbowing Clifford Gatt Baldacchino after just 10 minutes. 


Haruna Garba had a great chance to open the scoring for Gżira as he lobbed the ball over Luan Gomes but Rafael Santos was on hand to clear off the line.


Moments later, Gżira were awarded a penalty after Djijali Belhadj was adjudged to have pulled Prince Mambouana’s shirt inside the area.


Amadou Samb made no mistake from the spot for his 20th league goal of the season.


The Maroons had to wait until 20 minutes from time to seal their win.


Roderick Briffa advanced on the right and his cross was met by Samb who headed into the net.


BOV player of the match: Andrew Cohen (Gżira United). 







Hibernians stayed in contention for European qualification after overcoming fellow contenders Birkirkara 3-1 at the National Stadium.


A balanced match turned on the sending-off of Birkirkara midfielder Mislav Andjelkovic just before half-time with the score still goalless.


Hibernians exploited their numerical advantage after the break, taking the lead in the 62nd minute. A left-wing cross from Clayton Failla sailed towards Jackson de Lima Siqueira who glanced his header ball past Birkirkara goalkeeper Kristijan Naumovski.


Six minutes later, the Paolites increased their lead. Jurgen Degabriele was the provider this time as his cross was headed home by Joseph Mbong with the ball hitting the upright before dropping into the net.


Birkirkara’s woes increased on 69 minutes when Degabriele all but secured Hibs’ win as his ferocious shot gave Naumovski no chance.


Late in the game, Birkirkara won a penalty after substitute Ognjen Rolovic was pushed by Mbong inside the area. From the penalty spot, Rolovic made no mistake but Hibs had long been home and dry.


BOV player of the match: Jurgen Degabriele (Hibernians).





St Andrews claimed three important points in their battle against relegation as they edged Lija Athletic 2-1 on Saturday to stay clear of the drop zone.


On 36 minutes, St Andrews captain Joseph Farrugia crossed from the right and Kevaughn Atkinson hit past goalkeeper Jonathan Martinelli from close in to put the Saints ahead. 


St Andrews doubled their lead 11 minutes into the second half when Atkinson got his second goal with a shot from the edge of the area.


Lija reopened the issue when Abubakar Bello-Osagie passed to Erjon Beu whose low shot had the better of Matthew Calleja Cremona.


BOV player of the match: Kevaughn Atkinson (St Andrews).



MOSTA                       2


Senglea Athletic have all but banished their relegation fears after winning their direct clash with Mosta 5-2 at the Centenary Stadium on Friday.


The Yellow-Reds broke the stalemate on 19 minutes when Augusto Rene Caseres fired home from close range after defender Tyrone Farrugia had repelled shots by Matias Garcia and Gonzalo Nicolas Virano.


Mosta levelled six minutes later. Damir Bartulovic’s initial header from Thomas Veronese’s free-kick was partially blocked by a defender but the Mosta player scored from the rebound.


Two minutes from the end of the first half, Senglea restored their lead thanks to goal from Virano who put them 3-1 up 11 minutes into the second half with a drive from outside the area.


With 11 minutes remaining, Farrugia narrowed the gap for Mosta with a fine effort from the edge of the area but five mnutes later, Senglea scored again. Terence Vella controlled a pass by Virano before rifling past Andreas Vella.


A minute later, Peter Paul Sammut sealed Senglea’s win, making it 5-2 with a close-range effort after his initial attempt had been saved by the Mosta goalkeeper.


BOV player of the match: Gonzalo Virano (Senglea Athletic).

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