Tarxien Rainbows continue to enjoy a one-point lead over Floriana after the two teams shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw. For the Rainbows, this was the sixth draw in ten matches.
A draw was a fair result as the two teams shared the exchanges throughout the ninety minutes.
Tarxien had five changes from the team which lost to Floriana as they welcomed back Owen Bugeja, Matthew Tabone, Carlos Menendez Hevia and Wesley Lima Silva – all back from suspension – and had goalkeeper Sean Mintoff making his debut against Floriana – with whom he had started the season. These replaced Triston Caruana, Manuel Xerri, Ryan Sammut, Clebinho and the suspended Sean Cini. Goalkeeper Jonathan Debono and Firas Aboulezz were ruled out injured. Floriana coach Giovanni Tedesco, on the other hand, named Manuel Briffa and Emerson Marcellina in the starting line-up replacing Conor Borg and Rodrigo Aguiar.
The Rainbows went close on 27 minutes but Valerio Senatore performed a good save on a Alvaro Silva effort from close range when served by Pipico.
Three minutes later, Floriana took the lead when Steve Pisani served Amadou Samb and the latter, although closely marked by a defender, managed to slot the ball past Mintoff.
Tarxien levelled matters on the 38th when off an erratic clearance, Alex Cini served Jorge Santos Silva whose fine rising shot from the right gave goalkeeper Senatore no chance.
Two minutes from half-time, Alvaro Silva Branquinho went close once again with a shot from the edge of the area ending just wide.
Six mnutes in the second half, the Floriana goalkeeper came to the rescue blocking into a corner a Wesley Pipico effort from the left. On the other side of the pitch, on 54 minutes, following a good run by Brooke Farrugia, he served Vito Plut who however concluded high.
In stoppage time, Tarxien almost notched the winner with an angled shot by Jorge Santos Silva which was however neutralised by Senatore with particular difficulty. A few seconds later, Sean Mintoff rushed out of the area to block an attack by Floriana, the ball reached Vito Plut whose goal-bound acrobatic shot was blocked into a corner by Alessandro Lopes.
TARXIEN Sean Mintoff, Kane Farrugia (64′ Ryan Sammut), Manuel Caruana, Owen Bugeja, Alvaro Andre Rodrigues Silva (79′ Cleber Barbosa Viana), Wesley Lima Silva, Carlos Menendez Hevia, Alex Cini, Matthew Tabone (69′ Triston Caruana), Alessandro Lopes Pereira, Jorge Santos Silva.
Subs not used: Antonio Chetcuti, Steve Sadowski, Luke Aquilina, Manuel Xerri.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
FLORIANA Valerio Senatore, Andre Scicluna, Douglas Felipe Moreira Cobo, Emerson Marcelina (69′ Isaac Galea), Steve Pisani (89′ Giovanni Galea), Clyde Borg, Vito Plut, Neil Spiteri, Emanuel Briffa, Amadou Samb, Brooke Farrugia.
Subs not used: Andrew Zammit, Rodrigo Aguiar, Luke Micallef, Daniel Agius, Steve Bonnici.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Refere: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Thomas Debono, Duncan Sultana
Additional Assistant Referees: Chris Lautier, Trustin Farrugia Cann
Fourth Official: Edward Spiteri
Yellow Cards: Scicluna, Farrugia, Pipico, Samb, Lopes
Scorers: 30′ Amadou Samb; 38′ Jorge Santos Silva
BOV Player of the Match: Steve Pisani