Valletta drop first points

Tarxien Rainbows vs Sliema Wanderers 3-1 (HT 1-1)

Tarxien Rainbows claimed three important points as they defeated Sliema Wanderers 3-1 despite playing for an hour in ten men. Tarxien join Qormi in third place on seven points.

The Rainbows were clearly a better side right from the start and fully deserved the three points. Sliema, on the other hand, disappointed once again as they suffered the third defeat in four matches.

Sliema lacked Alex Muscat while Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza started on the bench as coach Stephen Azzopardi handed a place in the starting line-up to Henry Isaac.

The first attempt at goal occurred after 17 minutes with Ryan Fenech trying his luck with a shot from outside the area which ended just over the bar. Tarxien replied with a low shot from the left by Anderson Mendes Ribeiro which was parried by Simon Agius a minute later. On the 20th, Ivan Woods released Clayton Failla on the left and Andrew Decesare came to the rescue heading away the latter’s cross before John Mintoff could conclude.

The Rainbows managed to take the lead on 25 minutes thanks to a great goal by Anderson Mendes Ribeiro whose rising shot from the edge of the area gave Simon Agius no chance.

However six minutes later, Tarxien received a major setback when Ryan Mintoff was sent off by referee Paul Caruana for persistent dissent.

Tarxien went close on 33 minutes when Denni Rocha Dos Santos concluded a solo effort with a rising shot which ended just over the bar. On the other side of the pitch, David Cassar managed to block a close-range effort by Henry Isaac a minute later. Five minutes from the end of the first half, a well-taken freekick by Ivan Woods was turned into a corner by Cassar with particular difficulty and from the resulting corner, Clayton Failla almost surprised the Tarxien custodian.

Sliema levelled matters on 41 minutes when Henry Isaac, served by Ivan Woods inside the area, managed to beat David Cassar with a fine shot.

Six minutes in the second half, Agius turned into a corner a freekick by Denni Rocha Dos Santos from the left.

The Rainbows regained the lead on 53 minutes thanks to a direct freekick by Everton Antonio Pereira which ended in the top right corner behind goalkeeper Simon Agius.

Six minutes later, Tarxien went close once again with another direct freekick by Everton Pereira which ended high.

Tarxien kept pushing for more and on 68 minutes, they increased the lead when off a freekick by David Camilleri from the left, Denni Rocha Dos Santos headed home.

TARXIEN David Cassar, Steve Sadowski, Manuel Caruana, David Camilleri, Gianluca Calabretta (39′ Lee Galea), Everton Antonio Pereira, Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (74′ Warren Chircop), Andrew Decesare, Luke Vella Critien (68′ Mark Tanti), Denni Rocha Dos Santos, Ryan Mintoff.
Subs not used: Anthony Curmi, Stacey Vella, James Shead, Kurt Magro.
Coach: Noel Coleiro
Asst. Coach: Michael Church

SLIEMA Simon Agius, Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Fenech, Mark Scerri, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Ivan Woods (71′ Miguel Ciantar), Lucian Dronca, Ian Ciantar (67′ Matthew Bartolo), Henry Isaac, John Mintoff (59′ Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza), Clayton Failla.
Subs not used: Michael Gustavo Siscoutto Lima, Luca Martinelli, Josef Mifsud, Noel Turner.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Team Manager: Rupert Perry

Referee: Paul Caruana
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Trustin Farrugia Cann
Fourth Official: Esther Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: J. Mintoff, M. Scerri, D. Cassar, Gatt Baldacchino, M. Caruana
Red Cards: 31′ Ryan Mintoff
BOV Player of the Match: Denni Rocha Dos Santos
Scorers: 25′ Anderson Mendes Ribeiro (T)
41′ Henry Isaac (S)
53′ Everton Antonio Pereira (T)
66′ Denni Rocha Dos Santos (T)

Valletta FC vs Msida St. Joseph 0-0

The Saints, who were claiming their first point after losing their first two matches, defended in an excellent manner with goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo and captain Tyrone Farrugia in brilliant form.

Valletta coach Ton Caanen rested Kevin Sammut and Terence Scerri, replacing them with Edmond Agius and Geert den Ouden. Msida, on the other hand, had Olumuyiwa Olushola Aganun making his debut.

After a quiet start for the two teams, Geert den Ouden had a shot from the right cleared into safety by Kevin Mifsud on the half-hour. Ten minutes later, the same Dutch striker was unlucky to hit the crossbar with a cute lob from the left.

Early in the second half, Geert den Ouden went close for Valletta with a good header and then a fierce shot by Dyson Falzon ended just wide. Msida replied with a powerful freekick by Olushola Aganun which was neutralised by Hogg.

On the hour, the Saints had a goal disallowed for an offside and three minutes later, the Citizens missed a good opportunity but Andrew Formosa’s close-range header, off a cross from the right by Emiliano Lattes, was parried by Hogg.

After including Ian Zammit as a substitute, the Valletta coach included Terence Scerri and Kevin Sammut as well in a bid to strengthen the forward line.

Four minutes from time, Manuel Bartolo performed a good save on a header by Geert den Ouden off a cross from the left by Jordi Cruyff and then Kevin Sammut tested the Msida custodian with a powerful shot from the edge of the area which the latter managed to turn into a corner.

VALLETTA Andrew Hogg, Steve Bezzina (79′ Kevin Sammut), Roderick Briffa, Luke Dimech, Kenneth Scicluna, Gilbert Agius, Edmond Agius (66′ Terence Scerri), Jordi Cruyff, Geert den Ouden, Dyson Falzon (61′ Ian Zammit), Njongo Priso Doding.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Justin Grioli, Stefan Giglio, Steve Borg.
Coach: Ton Caanen
Team Manager: Nicky Saliba

MSIDA Manuel Bartolo, Stefano Grima, Roderick Baldacchino, Cedric Sciberras, Tyrone Farrugia, Kevin Mifsud (90′ Adrian Farrugia), Olushola Aganun, Zoran Levnaic, Iro Curmi (74′ Neville Arpa), Emiliano Lattes, Karl Ebejer (57′ Andrew Formosa).
Subs not used: Ludwig Fardell, Matthew Borda, Darren Caruana, Lydon Micallef.
Coach: Mark Marlow
Asst. Coach: Keith Gouder

Referee: Silvio Tanti
Assistant Referees: Philip Agius, Joe Camilleri
Fourth Official: Andre Arciola
Yellow Cards: N. Priso, Z. Levnaic, I. Zammit
BOV Player of the Match: Tyrone Farrugia

Leaders Valletta dropped their first points as they were held in a goalless draw by Msida St. Joseph.