Day 12 Valletta 1 Tarxien R. 1 Published on: 18-11-2012
Tarxien Rainbows became the latest team to take points off Valletta as the champions were held to a 1-1 draw for the fourth consecutive game. The result means Valletta and Birkirkara are now level at the top of the Premier League with 26 points each.
Michael Mifsud came off the bench to level matters for the Citizens after Evaldo had given Tarxien an early lead, but the Rainbows withstood their opponents' relentless pressure in the second half to gain a precious point.
Tarxien provided an early warning of their threat from set-pieces as, after six minutes, Evaldo's header from Andrezinho's corner was deflected wide of the near post.
Four minutes later, Tarxien seized the lead from a similar situation as Andrezinho's cross from a left-wing corner was headed home by Evaldo.The slow-starting Citizens looked stunned as Tarxien showed great determination and resilience in the early stages.
On 17 minutes, Manuel Bartolo, the Valletta goalkeeper, had to rush out of goal to block Karl Pulo's dangerous run.
Valletta tried to react, forcing a spate of corners but they couldn't breach Tarxien's resistance. Denni curled the ball goalwards from another corner on 27 minutes but David Cassar, the Tarxien goalkeeper, pushed out the Brazilian's cross-shot.
The champions were dominating possession now. Denni hit wide after receiving from Leandro while William Barbosa's tame effort was saved by Cassar.
Late in the first half, Valletta created their best chance when Ryan Fenech supplied a through-ball to Denni but the latter's effort was kept out by Cassar.Michael Mifsud replaced Shaun Bajada at half-time as Valletta coach Mark Miller switched to 4-3-3.
Jonathan Caruana went close to an equaliser as his header from Fenech's cross landed tantalisingly close to the far post.In a frenetic start to the second half, Barbosa's free-kick from the distance sailed over and Bueno went close to increasing Tarxien's advantage but his close-range flick from Andrezinho's assist ended wide.
Leandro hit a post for the Citizens after getting on the end of Mifsud's low cross but, 13 minutes into the second half, Valletta levelled. Latching on to a long ball from the back, Denni looked to have nudged the ball towards Mifsud who went past Cassar and sent a low shot into the far corner of the net.Evaldo let fly a powerful drive from a free-kick but his effort was off target. Bartolo then saved Andrezinho's free-kick before Valletta regained the upperhand.
Mifsud burst into the box from the left before pulling the ball back for Denni who was dispossessed by the sliding Orosco Anonam.Cassar then punched away Barbosa's strong free-kick. In the dying stages, Ian Zammit, on for Leandro, fired a shot that was deflected towards Barbosa but the Brazilian volleyed over.In the last action of the game, Briffa headed wide from Zammit's cross.
Tarxien's Andrezinho was voted BOV player of the match.
VALLETTA - M. Bartolo, J. Caruana, L. Da Silva Almeida (Ian Zammit), R. Barreto Da Rocha Filho (J. Gabriel), K. Magro, D. Dos Santos, S. Bajada (M. Mifsud), W. Barbosa, R. Fenech, R. Briffa, I. Azzopardi
TARXIEN R. - D. Cassar, J. Grioli, O. Anonam, D. Mariano Bueno, E. Silva Dos Santos, A. De Souza Esposito, K. Pulo (A. Agius), R. Sammut, M. Tanti (R. Bajada), L. Romulo de Castro (M. Caruana), S. Bonnici.
Date: 18-11-12 Time: 16:00 Venue: Hibs Ground
Scorers: 10' E. Silva Dos Santos (T), 58' M. Mifsud (V)
Yellow Cards: Andrezinho, L. Romulo de Castro, J. Grioli, E. Silva dos Santos (Tarxien) R. Fenech, J. Caruana, I. Azzopardi (Valletta)
Man of Match: Andrezinho (T)
Referee: Mario Apap