Following a 1-1 draw with St. Andrews last week, a goal by Leandro Aguirre one minute from time enabled them to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw with Tarxien Rainbows at the National Stadium. A draw which leaves Valletta seven points behind leaders Balzan and five behind Hibernians.
On the other hand, Tarxien registered the eighth consecutive positive result following the appointment of Jesmond Zerafa as new coach two months ago. It was also a second consecutive draw against a team challenging for the championship.
Both coaches made one change from their previous outing as Valletta had Argentine striker Maximiliano Velasco making his debut, replacing Romeu Romao, while Tarxien had Ayrton Azzopardi replacing the suspended Alex da Paixao Alves.
Tarxien managed to take the lead on the 57th minute when Daniel Ponce de Leon sent through Alex Nilsson who avoided Jonathan Caruana’s marking and his diagonal shot from inside the area saw the ball hit the foot of the upright before ending at the back of the net.
The Rainbows could have increased the lead but one minute from time, Leandro Aguirre restored equilibrium with a direct freekick wnding in the bottom left corner.
TARXIEN Philip Schranz, Ebiabowei Baker, Emerson Marcelina, Triston Caruana, Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia (74′ Julian Galea), Alex Nilsson (87′ Andrew Agius), Ayrton Azzopardi (67′ Sacha Borg), Sergio Fernandez Prendes, Daniel Zerafa, Matthew Tabone, Kurt Zammit.
Subs not used: Andrea Cassar, Matthew Brincat, Dylan Micallef, Lyon Caruana.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
VALLETTA Dziugas Bartkus, Jonathan Caruana, Steve Borg, Ryan Camilleri (69′ Luke Montebello), Santiago Malano, Tomas Radzinevicius, Claudio Pani, Uchenna Calistus Umeh, Leandro Aguirre, Rowen Muscat, Maximiliano Velasco (80′ Llywelyn Cremona).
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Russell Fenech, Jean Borg, Matthew Spiteri, Nicholas Pulis.
Coach: Paul Zammit
Referee: Alan Mario Sant
Assistant Referees: Roberto Vella, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Glen Tonna
Yellow Cards: S. Borg
BOV Player of the Match: Alex Nilsson