Hamrun Spartans earned their third point in a third successive draw as they notched a late equaliser despite playing in ten men for over half an hour in the game against Tarxien Rainbows.
For Tarxien, now under the guidance of coach Clive Mizzi who replaced Danilo Doncic earlier this week, this was the first point after losing the first two games.
The Rainbows had two players making their debut, Roderick Bajada and Brazilian striker Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito ‘Andrezinho’ but Danilo Meira Santos was missing as he is serving a two-match ban. On the other hand, Roderick Fenech and Terence Scerri were ruled out for the Spartans but had substitutes Richard Brightwell and Anthony Curmi making their debut.
Daniel Mariano Bueno missed an excellent opportunity to put Tarxien ahead on 24 minutes when off a cross by Justin Grioli from the right, his volley ended incredibly high. A powerful shot shot by Andrezinho was then blocked into a corner by Massimo Grima three minutes later.
Tarxien managed to break the deadlock on 36 minutes when a great freekick by Evaldo hit the crossbar and off the rebound, Daniel Mariano Bueno headed the ball home.
Hamrun were reduced to ten men twelve minutes in the second half after goalkeeper Andrea Cassar was sent off for handling the ball outside the area. Former Tarxien goalkeeper Anthony Curmi replaced Cassar in goal with David Camilleri being substituted.
Roderick Bajada tested Curmi with a shot from the left on the hour but the Hamrun goalie turned the ball into a corner. The Spartans went close to equalising on 74 minutes with an Angel Yoshev freekick and following a deflection by a defender, David Cassar managed to turn the ball into a corner. Three minutes later, Daniel Zerafa hit wide from an inviting freekick by Yoshev from the right.
Hamrun Spartans levelled matters two minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty after Evaldo brought Lyubomir Vitanov down inside the area. From the penalty spot, Massimo Grima made no mistake.
Daniel Mariano Bueno was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg
HAMRUN Andrea Cassar, Gianluca Calabretta, David Camilleri (58’ gk Anthony Curmi), Massimo Grima, Ryan Spiteri (46’ Richard Brightwell), Terence Vella, Daniel Zerafa, Adrian Ivanov, Angel Yoshev, Lyubomir Vitanov, Anton Vergilov (46’ Nikolay Bozhov).
Subs not used: Luke Grech, Gabriel Formosa, Melvin Busuttil, Gary Desira.
Coach: Stefan Sultana
Asst. Coach: Atanas Marinov
TARXIEN David Cassar, Carlo Mamo, Evaldo Silva dos Santos, Roderick Bajada, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito, Karl Pulo (82’ James Shead), Mark Tanti (90’ Andrew Agius), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Luiz Romulo de Castro (14’ Manuel Caruana), Orosco Anonam, Justin Grioli.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Steve Sadowski, Clive Fenech, Steve Bonnici.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Valla
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assistant Referees: William Debattista, Paul Apap
Fourth Official: Alan Mario Sant
Yellow Cards: Grioli, Grima, Vergilov, Yoshev, Calabretta, Caruana, Evaldo, Andrezinho
Red Cards: 57’ Andrea Cassar
Scorers: 36’ Daniel Mariano Bueno (T); 88’ Massimo Grima pen (H)
Floriana registered their first win as they beat Balzan 3-1 to remain unbeaten after the first three matches.
The Greens took the lead and although Balzan levelled matters, they scored twice in the final ten minutes to secure victory.
Floriana had Nigerian-born striker Akanni-Sunday Wasiu making his debut but they lacked defender Carl Tremarco. Balzan, on the other hand, lacked Renato Conceicao with new signing Christian Caruana starting the game on the bench.
A freekick by Pedro Calcado was saved partially by Jurgen Borg on the 3rd minute. Three minutes later, Aaron Brown cleared off the goal line an Elton da Silva effort.
The Greens managed to take the lead on the 12th minute when Ryan Darmanin headed the ball home past goalkeeper Matthew Camilleri following a cross.
Balzan equalised on 36 minutes thanks to Elton Alexandre da Silva who received a through pass on the left by Rennie Forace and hit low past goalkeeper Jurgen Borg.
On the hour, Matthew Mendy risked committing an own goal when deflecting a cross with the ball ending into a corner. A powerful shot by Valdo Alhinho was parried by Camilleri on 62 minutes.
Floriana regained the lead on 81 minutes when Aman Verma managed to beat Camilleri with a great freekick.
Three minutes later, Darmanin released substitute Trevor Cilia on the left and the latter chipped the ball over the Balzan custodian.
Aman Verma was voted BOV Player of the Match.
Photos: Copyright © Joe Borg
BALZAN Matthew Camilleri, Bjorn Bondin (34’ Jonathan Francica), Yessous Camilleri, Rennie Forace, Matthew Mendy (82’ Martin Deyanov), Stefan Giglio, Pedro dos Santos Calcado, Jamie Pace, Dylan Grima, Malcolm Licari (46’ Christian Caruana), Elton da Silva.
Subs not used: Jacob Cipriott, Clint Micallef, Aaron Agius, Kevin Camilleri.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
FLORIANA Jurgen Borg, Aaron Brown, Owen Bugeja, Tyrone Farrugia, Duncan Pisani, Kane Farrugia, Brooke Farrugia, Aman Verma, Clyde Borg (57’ Valdo Alhinho), Ryan Darmanin, Akanni-Sunday Wasiu (76’ Trevor Cilia).
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Francesco Guzman, Thomas Paris, Mark Spiteri, Sacha Borg.
Coach: Mark Wright
Asst. Coach: Alan Lewer
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Fourth Official: Fyodor Zammit
Yellow Cards: C. Borg, Pisani, Giglio, Calcado, Elton, T. Farrugia, B. Farrugia, D. Grima, M. Mendy, K. Farrugia
Scorers: 12’ Ryan Darmanin (F); 36’ Elton Alexandre da Silva (B); 81’ Aman Verma (F); 84’ Trevor Cilia (F)