Naxxar Lions earned a point in a goalless draw with Sliema Wanderers despite having to play for an hour in ten men at the Victor Tedesco Stadium. The draw was a first positive result after three defeats in their last three outings.
For the Wanderers, this was yet another disappointing result after last week’s defeat to Zebbug Rangers.
The Wanderers had three changes from the team which lost to Zebbug as Alex Muscat, Stefano Bianciardi and new recruit Pedro Calcado replaced Filippo Scozzese, Trevor Cilia and Guy Gnabouyou. Also making their debut for Sliema were substitutes Joseph Borg and Ifeanyi Wisdom who joined the club from Floriana and St. George’s respectively.
Naxxar, on the other hand, welcomed back Julian Azzopardi, Albert Bruce and Daren Falzon who replaced Luke Pecorella, David Fenech and Victor Bellia. Demba Toure who joined the club earlier this week was included as a substitute.
After Naxxar had a goal by Daren Falzon disallowed for an offside, Sliema went close with a Pedro Calcado effort which was blocked with Albert Bruce clearing the ball off the goal line.
On the 28th, Naxxar were reduced to ten men after Pablo Doffo picked a second yellow card for a late tackle on Pedrinho.
Just before half-time, Azzopardi turned into a corner a well-taken freekick by Pedrinho.
Goal-mouth action was rare during the second half but two minutes from time, Alex Muscat almost notched the winner concluded just wide with a shot from the right. Deep into added time, Ibok Edet headed just wide off a corner by Jorge Santos and then Angus Buhagiar, served by Jorge Santos, had an angled shot from the right turned into a corner by Zammit.
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat, John Mintoff, Mark Scerri, Andrea Pisanu, Marko Potezica, Aidan Jake Friggieri (68′ Joseph Borg), Pedro dos Santos Calcado (85′ Wisdom Ifeanyi), Bocar Djumo, Beppe Muscat (29′ Trevor Cilia), Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Daniel Balzan, Luca Martinelli, Clive Psaila, Clifford Gatt Baldacchino.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
NAXXAR Julian Azzopardi, Andrew Scicluna, Emmanuel Ibok Edet, Albert Bruce, Terence Vella (34′ David Fenech), Mattia Del Negro, Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro (82′ Demba Toure), Pablo Doffo, Daren Falzon (89′ Victor Bellia), Angus Buhagiar, Jorge Santos Silva.
Subs not used: Luke Pecorella, Kurt Drago, Jurgen Debono, Ryan Gilmour Cassar.
Coach: Jesmond Zerafa
Referee: Sandro Spiteri
Assistant Referees: Duncan Sultana, Luke Portelli
Additional Assistant Referees: Marco Borg, Trustin Farrugia Cann
Fourth Official: Alan Camilleri
Yellow Cards: Doffo, Scerri, Mintoff, T. Cilia, Pedrinho, Potezica, D. Fenech, Jorge Santos
Red Cards: 28′ Pablo Doffo
BOV Player of the Match: Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro
A goal in added time by new recruit Edu Vallecillo handed Tarxien Rainbows a point in a 1-1 draw with Mosta at the Hibernians Stadium.
Mosta therefore join Floriana in fifth place although the latter have a game in hand.
The Rainbows had three Spanish players making their debut, Jose Angel Godar Pereira, Manuel Bonaque Acevedo and Eduardo Vallecillo Casado. They replaced Owen Bugeja, Luke Zahra and Manuel Xerri in the starting line-up. Mosta coach Peter Smith made two changes from the team which defeated Qormi as Kyle Gerada and Tyrone Farrugia replaced Omar Borg, who was suspended, and Mark Brincat.
Mosta had the first attempt at goal on the 7th minute with Mateus Ribeiro serving Diogo Pinheiro but his low shot was well saved by the on-rushing Sean Mintoff. Tarxien replied with a Carlos Menendez Hevia effort which hit the posts following a short clearance by the Mosta defence. On 27 minutes, a header by Mateus Ribeiro, off a cross by Kurt Magro, was deflected by Mintoff onto the bar with the ball bouncing on the goalkeeper before being cleared into safety.
On the 31st minute, Mosta took the lead thanks to a low diagonal shot by Mateus Ribeiro da Silva which gave goalkeeper Mintoff no chance.
Mosta goalkeeper Kyle Gerada came to the rescue four minutes in the second half, turning into a corner a well-taken freekick from the left and two minutes later, Ian Zammit released Mateus Ribeiro whose shot was neutralised by Mintoff. A good shot by José Ángel on the 69th was turned into a corner by the Tarxien goalkeeper. Edu Vallecillo had a good shot blocked on the goal line by Tyrone Farrugia on the 80th.
One minute in added time, Tarxien notched the equaliser when off a cross by Carlinos, Edu Vallecillo headed the ball home from close range.
TARXIEN Sean Mintoff, Manuel Caruana, Triston Caruana, Firas Aboulezz (90+2′ Luke Zahra), Eduardo Vallecillo Casado, Ryan Sammut, Carlos Hevia Menendez, Jose Angel Godar Pereira, Alexander Cini, Matthew Tabone (76’ Kane Paul Farrugia), Manuel Bonaque Acevedo.
Subs not used: Jonathan Debono, Steven Marc Sadowski, Silas Caruana, Nigel Vella, Mikail Schembri.
Coach: Clive Mizzi
MOSTA Kyle Gerada, Jonas Rodriguez Ekani, Tyrone Farrugia, Yannick Ossok, Dyson Falzon, (26’ Karl Pulo), Gary Roberts (75’ Nemanja Milovanovic), Ryan Grech, Kurt Magro, Ian Zammit (83’ James Brincat), Mateus Ribeiro Dos Santos, Diogo Pinheiro de Sousa.
Subs not used: Emanuel Borg, Adrian Borg, Zachary Brincat, Aaron Sammut.
Coach: Peter Smith
Referee: Andre Arciola
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Thomas Debono
Additional Assistant Referees: Alan Mario Sant, Malcolm Spiteri
Fourth Official: Peter Abela
Yellow Cards: Tabone, Vallecillo, Hevia, Farrugia, Mateus
Scorers: 31’ Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos, 90+1 Eduardo Vallecillo Casado
BOV Player of the Match: Mateus Ribeiro dos Santos