General Category

Positive milestones for Marsaxlokk, Birkirkara, Santa Lucia

Published: Mon 26 Feb 2024, 17:10

2023/24 BOV Premier League Match Day 18 Statistics

– The goalless draw between Balzan and Hibernians was the very first one in history between the two. In fact, only three draws were played out between Balzan and the Peacocks in the previous 34 encounters, with the first draw being the memorable 4-4 final score at the end of season 2013/14. The other two stalemates were a 2-2 during season 2015-16 and a two all draw in December 2018. Hibernians still have the upper-hand against Balzan with 22 wins from 35, with Balzan recording nine victories over their rivals from Paola.

1 – Naxxar Lions fielded two young Maltese debutants in their match against Floriana on Sunday. Up front, Australian born Liam Fernando Farrugia started in George Vella’s chosen XI, a 21-year-old striker who joined the Lions from Victoria based Brunswick City in December last year. On 75 minutes, Kyle Debono replaced Edson Farias, another player on his MPL and senior debut. This 20-year-old player joined Naxxar last summer from San Gwann, where he played in their youth ranks.

4 – The 4-0 demolishing of Santa Lucia over Gudja United was the third largest-ever result for the Lucians in the Premier League. In February 2020, Senglea Athletic were beaten 5-2 while Santa Lucia’s biggest victory in the top flights remains their emphatic 7-0 score over neighbours Tarxien Rainbows on 13 February 2021 with three goals by Kevin Rosero and one each for Jamie Zerafa, Augusto Caseres, Alan da Silva Souza and Nicholas Pulis.

– Sliema failed to beat Hamrun for the fifth consecutive time in the Premier League. The three matches played between the two during the seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22 were all won by the Spartans (3-1 and two 2-0 wins) while the Wanderers managed to hold the title favourites on two draws this season (1-1 & 0-0). The last victory of the Blues was recorded on 8 November 2019, a 2-0 result with goals by Robert Carvajal and Kurt Shaw.

8 – Valletta succumbed their eighth defeat in this Premier League campaign, which certainly ranks amongst their club Top 10 of worst seasons. Looking at the number of defeats, the worst record of the Citizens in the top flight is still season 2005/06, when they lost 13 (of 28) games in the Premiership, followed by 11 (of 27) two seasons ago. These were the only two campaigns in history when Valletta recorded defeats with double digits.

10 – The goalless draw against Hamrun Spartans meant that Sliema remained unbeaten since 3 December, their tenth consecutive positive result (W6, D4), although four of the last five games were drawn. The club record for the Wanderers in the top flight remains their formidable run of 23 unbeaten games between 14 December 1975 and 30 January 1977 (W13, D10).

15 – It was nearly 15 years ago, to be exact 14 years, 9 months and 9 days, that Marsaxlokk last managed to beat Valletta. On 16 May 2009, Marsaxlokk managed to shake off the resistance by Valletta by the odd goal in three on the penultimate match day of the 2008/09 MPL campaign. On that day, Dyson Falzon opened the scoring in favour of the Lilywhites but Marcelo Pereira and a Kenneth Scicluna own goal  paved the way for a rare Marsaxlokk victory.

20 – Andrei Ciolacu’s early 3rd minute opener against Mosta last Saturday was the 20th Premier League goal in total for the Romanian forward, his ninth for Birkirkara this season. The 31-year-old scored 11 of these 20 for his current club Birkirkara, who he joined half way last season from Floriana, which who he scored the other nine MPL goals.

50 – Birkirkara’s 2-0 victory over Mosta was their 50th win in history over the Blues and their 30th in the top flight. Twelve of the other twenty victories if the Stripes were recorded in the second tier, seven in the FA Trophy and one in the Division Two KO Cup competitions. The match has been played 72 times with Mosta recording 12 victories and there were ten draws. The very first meeting between the two was on 3 December 1950 in the 2nd Division, a match Mosta won by the odd goal in three.

100 – Degran Kemmu Jackson made his 100th appearance in the Maltese Premiership with his club Sirens against Gzira United on Sunday morning. The 28-year-old Jamaican is in his third season with Sirens, joining the St Paul’s Bay based club from St Andrews in 2021 with whom he spend four season. Jackson played most of these 100 games for Sirens (65), but also 27 for St Andrews and eight for Mosta, the club who introduced him to Maltese football during season 2016/17.

300 – The match against Valletta last Saturday (2-0) was Marsaxlokk’s 300th game in the Premier Division. In 2002, the club obtained their first ever promotion to the Premiership by winning the 2001/02 1st Division campaign and always managed to qualify amongst the top six in their first seven seasons in the top flight, with season 2006/07 as absolute highlight by winning the Premier League title. In 2022, after ten seasons in the lower divisions, Marsaxlokk obtained another promotion and are now in their second consecutive season amongst the elite, having set up an ambitious project to return to the top of Maltese football.