A brace by Luke Micallef handed Melita a shock 2-1 win over Valletta for the Amateurs’ second win in the BOV Premier League.
For Valletta, this was yet another disappointing result – the second defeat in three matches. They stay in second place with Birkirkara on 29 points, two behind leaders Hibernians.
Photo: Copyright © Joe Borg / MFA
Melita had Spanish goalkeeper Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia making his debut but lacked Karl Vella Petroni, Matthew Borg and Nigel Rizzo. On the other hand, Steve Borg and Roderick Briffa were missing for Valletta.
The Citizens held the initiative during the first half but only went close with shots by Ryan Fenech, Ian Zammit, Leandro da Silva and Denni Rocha dos Santos.
However deep into stoppage-time, the Amateurs managed to break the deadlock when in a swift counter-attack, Andrew Caruana Scicluna exchanged the ball with Julian Galea before releasing Luke Micallef who rounded goalkeeper Manuel Bartolo, placing the ball at the back of the net.
Valletta levelled matters three minutes in the second half when off a corner by Denni from the right, Ian Zammit headed the ball in the direction of goal with Leandro Almeida heading the ball home. The Brazilian forward had to abandon the pitch injured as a defender hit him in an attempt to clear the ball.
Denni went close with a header from close range on 57 minutes following a cross from the left but the ball scraped past the post. Nine minutes later, substitute Joseph Ogunuppe was unlucky to hit the crossbar following a corner from the right by Denni.
The crossbar once again denied Valletta on the 80th with Gabriel’s effort from outside the area. Four minutes later, Ian Zammit headed just wide off a cross by Ian Zammit from the right.
Melita notched the winner on the 93rd minute. Substitute Jean Pierre Attard led a swift counter-attack and released Luke Micallef on the right with the latter rounding Manuel Bartolo before placing the ball at the back of the net.
One minute later, Valletta were unlucky once again as Michael Mifsud served Denni on the right but the latter’s conclusion hit the foot of the post.
The game was not over yet as on the 96th minute, Michael Valenzia was sent off for Melita.
George Gribbon was voted BOV Player of the Match.
VALLETTA Manuel Bartolo, Dyson Falzon, Ricardo Barreto da Rocha Filho (64’ Joseph Jo Jo Ogunuppe) William Barbosa (66’ Michael Mifsud), Edmond Agius, Ian Zammit, Leandro da Silva Almeida (49’ Joao Gabriel da Silva), Denni Rocha dos Santos, Ian Azzopardi, Ryan Fenech, Kurt Magro.
Subs not used: Yenz Cini, Jonathan Caruana, Glenn Cassar, Shaun Bajada.
Coach: Mark Miller
Asst. Coach: Gilbert Agius
MELITA Guillermo Gabilondo Garcia, Jovan Vukanic, Manuel Ramon Sierra Camacho, Ivan Tufegdzic, George Gribbon, Michael Martin, Andrew Caruana Scicluna (88’ Jean Pierre Attard), Michael Valenzia, Luke Micallef, Julian Galea, Luke Sammut (75’ Marc Attard).
Subs not used: Andrew Abela, Daniel Cabanillas Ayllon, Antoine Attard, Rudi Alhinho.
Coach: Patxi Salinas
Asst. Coach: Alejandro Martinez Lopez
Referee: Esther Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Peter Abela
Fourth Official: Kevin Azzopardi
Yellow Cards: Valenzia, Caruana Scicluna, Gabilondo, Sammut
Red Cards: 96’ Valenzia
Scorers: 45+2’ Luke Micallef (M); 48’ Leandro da Silva Almeida (V); 90+3’ Luke Micallef (M)
Tarxien claimed three important points in the battle for a place in the Championship Pool as they defeated Balzan 4-3 in an entertaining clash at the Hibernians Stadium.
The Rainbows were a better side during the first half but after the break, Balzan kept the pace with their opponents although they failed to take home a positive result.
Tarxien lacked Carlo Mamo and Karl Pulo while Matthew Camilleri, Dylan Grima and Pedro dos Santos Calcado were missing for Balzan.
The Rainbows took the lead on the 2nd minute when off a freekick by Andrezinho from the left, Evaldo Silva dos Santos headed the ball home past goalkeeper Fredrick Tabone.
Two minutes later, Rennie Forace almost committed an own goal following a cross by Bueno from the left. Off the resulting corner, Andrezinho’s in-swinger was turned into another corner by the Balzan goalkeeper.
Tarxien doubled the score on the 10th minute when Danilo Meira Santos concluded a good run on the left flank before serving Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito who rounded the goalkeeper before placing the ball inside the empty net.
Balzan replied with an Elton da Silva freekick from the left which was blocked by goalkeeper David Cassar on 23 minutes. A powerful shot by Jacob Borg ended just over the bar on 27 minutes. A diagonal shot by substitute Rodrigo de Barros Consani, served by Jamie Pace, ended just wide two minutes later.
One minute from half-time, Danilo served Mark Tanti whose diagonal shot from the left scraped past the post.
Balzan went close to reducing the gap two minutes in the second half when a close-range shot by Elton da Silva was saved by Cassar, aided by the upright.
However on the 53rd minute, a shot by Matthew Mendy was deflected by Malcolm Licari and Yessous Camilleri took the rebound hitting the ball hard from close range.
But Tarxien restored a two-goal lead on 66 minutes thanks to a fine shot by Daniel Mariano Bueno, served on the left by Andrezinho.
On the other side of the pitch, Elton da Silva tried his luck with a powerful shot from outside the area on 68 minutes.
Four minutes later, the same Brazilian striker was not to be denied when he headed the ball home off a corner by Rodrigo from the left to score a second goal for Balzan.
However Daniel Mariano Bueno made it 4-2 for the Rainbows on 83 minutes with a diagonal shot from the right, when served by Danilo.
Balzan were back in contention after scoring a third goal on the 90th thanks to Elton da Silva who received the ball following a freekick from the right by Rodrigo Consani and beat David Cassar with a shot from the edge of the area.
Daniel Mariano Bueno was voted BOV Player of the Match.
BALZAN Fredrick Tabone, Yessous Camilleri, Stefan Giglio (23’ Rodrigo de Barros Consani), Matthew Mendy, Renato Conceicao, Rennie Forace, Bjorn Bondin (72’ Christian Caruana), Jamie Pace, Elton Alexandre da Silva, Malcolm Licari, Jacob Dominico Borg (34’ Jonathan Francica).
Subs not used: Mikhail Sciberras, Martin Deyanov, Michael Borg, Aaron Agius.
Coach: Joe Borg
Team Manager: Ivan Zammit
TARXIEN David Cassar, Evaldo Silva dos Santos, Steven Sadowski, Roderick Bajada, Danilo Meira Santos, Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito (88’ Luiz Romulo de Castro), Ryan Sammut, Mark Tanti (61’ David Fenech), Daniel Mariano Bueno, Orosco Anonam (58’ Manuel Caruana), Steve Bonnici.
Subs not used: Nicky Vella, Justin Grioli, Andrew Agius, Clive Fenech.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
Asst. Coach: Steven Vella
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Roberto Vella
Fourth Official: Chris Lautier
Yellow Cards: R. Sammut, Bondin, Conceicao, Pace, Francica Elton, Sadowski
Scorers: 2’ Evaldo Silva dos Santos (T); 10’ Andre Reinaldo de Souza Esposito (T); 53′ Yessous Camilleri (B); 66′ Daniel Mariano Bueno (T); 72′ Elton Alexandre da Silva (B); 83′ Daniel Mariano Bueno (T); 90′ Elton Alexandre da Silva (B)