After beating Sliema Wanderers 2-0 in their first outing, Tarxien Rainbows registered another positive result as they held Birkirkara in a 2-2 draw at the National Stadium on Friday.
Birkirkara welcomed back Justin Haber and Joseph Zerafa in their starting line-up while Liliu and Zachary Muscat were back in squad. Luke Montebello and Ebiabowei Baker made their debut for Tarxien.
The Stripes managed to take an early lead and although Tarxien levelled matters, they regained the lead but once again Jacques Scerri’s side managed to restore equilibrium to take home a point.
Birkirkara took the lead on the 2nd minute when off a corner from the right by Fabrizio Miccoli, Nikola Vukanac headed the ball home past goalkeeper Andrea Cassar.
However on the 14th, Cain Attard handled the ball inside the area. Referee Adrian Azzopardi ordered a penalty and Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos made no mistake from the penalty spot.
The Stripes regained the lead on 31 minutes when a cross from the left was not cleared by the Tarxien defence and Fabrizio Miccoli hit low in the bottom corner to the right of the Tarxien goalkeeper.
On the 64th minute, the score was once again draw as off a Triston Caruana corner, substitute Ebiabowei Baker headed home past Haber.
Three minutes in added time, Birkirkara could have notched the winner when a diagonal shot by Liliu was partially saved by Cassar, the ball hit the post and went into the direction of Ryan Camenzuli but the Tarxien defence cleared the ball into safety.
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Manuel Caruana, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Timothy Tabone Desira, Triston Caruana, Carlos Menendez Hevia, Luke Montebello (77′ Ayrton Azzopardi), Daniel Zerafa, Alex da Paixao Alves (55′ Anderson Raimundo da Silva), Matthew Tabone (10′ Ebiabowei Baker), Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Brandon Muscat, Danilo Meira Santos, Roderick Bajada.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
B’KARA Justin Haber, Cain Attard (77′ Zach Muscat), Nikola Vukanac, Mauricio Matias Latini Mazzetti, Joseph Zerafa, Marcelina Emerson, Gareth Sciberras (67′ Ellinton Antonio Costa Morais), Paul Fenech, Frank Temile (79′ Ryan Camenzuli), Fabrizio Miccoli, Vito Plut.
Subs not used: Philip Schranz, Kurt Zammit, Edmond Agius, Terence Vella.
Coach: Giovanni Tedesco
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Chris Francalanza
Fourth Official: Mario Apap
Yellow Cards: Sciberras, Fenech, Baker, M. Caruana, Temile, Oliveira Santos
BOV Player of the Match: Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos
Champions Hibernians registered their first win as they beat Floriana 2-1 at the Hibernians Stadium.
Hibs join Birkirkara, Tarxien and Balzan on the four-point mark, leaving Floriana at the bottom of the table without any points along with Qormi, Sliema, St. Andrews and Naxxar.
The two teams only had slight changes from their first outing with Matteo Piciollo making his return for the Greens after his short move back to Italy last month.
It was Clayton Failla who put the Paolites ahead on the 13th minute when he converted a penalty after Jorginho was floored inside the area by Matthew Calleja Cremona.
However on the hour, Floriana levelled matters when Dias floored Monticelli and from the penalty spot, Mauricio Villa made no mistake.
Two minutes later, the Greens were reduced to ten men as Enrico Pepe was sent off.
Hibernians regained the lead on the 72nd minute as a Marcelo Dias effort hit the upright and off the rebound, Andrew Cohen hit home. A goal which brought harsh protests by the Floriana players and officials who insisted on Cohen’s offside position. President Riccardo Gaucci was sent off the bench.
Five minutes from time, Jackson Lima was sent off for Hibernians.
HIBS Jurgen Borg, Rui da Gracia Gomes, Jackson di Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Andrew COhen (86′ Jonathan Pearson), Bjorn Kristensen (74′ Gilmar da Silva Ribeiro), Clayton Failla, Andrei Agius, Jorge Santos Silva, Jorge da Silva Pereira.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Jurgen Degabriele, Dunstan Vella, Zach Scerri, Joseph Mbong
Coach: Branko Nisevic
FLORIANA Matthew Calleja Cremona, A Monticelli, Enrico Pepe, Clyde Borg, Mauricio Villa (64′ Steve Pisani), Conor Borg (74′ Matteo Piciollo), Jurgen Pisani, Steve Bonnici (52′ Filippo Andrea Scozzese), Emanuel Briffa, Nicolas Hernan Chiesa, Mario Fonatanella.
Subs not used: Tyrone Gauci, Andre Scicluna, Daniel Agius, Firas Aboulezz
Coach: Luis Oliveira
Referee: Clayton Pisani
Assitant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Edward Spiteri
Fourth Official: Duncan Sultana
Yellow Cards: Calleja Cremona, Pepe, Dias, Briffa, Gilmar, Lima
Red Cards: Pepe, Lima
BOV Player of the Match: Marcelo Dias