Tarxien Rainbows returned to winning ways as they scored one in each half to beat Valletta 2-0 at the National Stadium. A defeat which puts the Citizens’ third place in the table at risk.
This was in fact the second consecutive defeat for the Citzens who won just one out of the last six matches. On the other hand, for the Rainbows, this was the first win in over three months. A win which should act as a morale booster for the FA Trophy semi-finals in programme in two weeks’ time.
Tarxien had no less than six changes as Andrea Cassar, Emerson Marcelina, Julian Galea, Triston Caruana, Alex Nilsson and Alex da Paixao Alves replacing Philip Schranz, Matthew Tabone, Dylan Micallef, Ayrton Azzopardi, Matthew Brincat and Matthew Sladden. Valletta, on the other hand, had two changes as Roderick Briffa and Uchenna Umeh replaced Jonathan Caruana and Valdo Alhinho.
The Rainbows took the lead on the 16th minute when off Alex Nilsson’s effort from outside the area beat goalkeeper Bartkus.
Valletta could have equalised when they were awarded a penalty on the half hour after Baker brought Velasco down inside the area but Maxi Velasco’s effort was neutralised by Andrea Cassar.
Tarxien doubled the score seventeen minutes in the second half thanks to Ebiabowei Baker who beat the Valletta goalkeeper off the rebound after Bartkus saved partially an attempt by Alex da Paixao Alves.
VALLETTA Dziugas Bartkus, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Roderick Briffa (65′ Llywelyn Cremona), Luke Montebello, Jean Borg, Claudio Pani, Uchenna Calistus Umeh, Leandro Aguirre (83′ Russell Fenech), Maxi Velasco, Romeu Romao.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Jake Borg, Leon Camilleri, Nicholas Pulis, Jeremy
Coach: Paul Zammit
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Andrew Agius, Ebiabowei Baker, Sacha Borg, Triston Caruana (57′ Sergio Fernandez Prendes), Julian Galea (78′ Ayrton Azzopardi), Emerson Marcelina (90′ Dylan Micallef), Alex Nilsson, Alex da Paixao Alves, Kurt Zammit, Daniel Zerafa.
Subs not used: Antonio Chetcuti, Matthew Brincat, Daniel Ponce de Leon Garcia, Matthew Tabone
Coach: Brian Testaferrata
Referee: Malcolm Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Peter Abela, Theodor Zammit
Additional Assistant Referees: Trustin Farrugia Cann, Darryl Agius
Fourth Official: Paul Apap
BOV Player of the Match: Alex da Paixao Alves
Meanwhile at the Hibernians Stadium, two goals in two minutes between the 71st and 73rd gave Floriana a 2-0 win over Mosta at the Hibernians Stadium.
Mosta had four changes from the team which drew with Sliema as Yenz Cini, Zachary Brincat, Emerson Vella and Dexter Xuereb replaced Andreas Vella, Kurt Magro, David Fenech and the suspended Pedrinho. On the other hand, Floriana welcomed back Nicolas Chiesa who replaced the suspended Sebastian Nayar.
Following a goalless first half, Mosta managed to break the deadlock on the 71st minute when off a cross by Andre Scicluna from the right, substitute Ryan Camenzuli’s first time effort beat Yenz Cini.
Two minutes later, the Greens doubled the score when off an assist by Amadou Samb for Mario Fontanella, the latter beat the Mosta custodian with a diagonal shot from the right.
MOSTA Yenz Cini, Kyle Frendo, Zachary Brincat (77′ Neil Frendo), Tyrone Farrugia, Emerson Vella, Dexter Xuereb (76′ Chinatu Francis Onwudinjo), Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza (79′ Nicholas Farrugia), Jonas Rodrigues Ekani, Mario Toth, Cedric Hengbart, Njongo Priso.
Subs not used: Andreas Vella, Luke Galea, Matthias Formosa, Matthew Attard.
Coach: Johann Scicluna
FLORIANA Justin Haber, Andre Scicluna, Antonio Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Enzo Ruiz, Clyde Borg (61′ Ryan Camenzuli), Ignacio Varela (41′ Steve Pisani), Alex Cini (46′ Jurgen Pisani), Amadou Samb, Nicolas Chiesa, Mario Fontanella.
Subs not used: Matthew Grech, Mattia Zarb, Zach Camilleri, Jake Stenson.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Eman Grech
Assistant Referees: Jurgen Spiteri, William Debattista
Fourth Official: Philip Farrugia
Yellow Cards: A. Cini, T. Farrugia, K. Frendo, J. Pisani
BOV Player of the Match: Mario Fontanella