Day 10 Valletta 3 Tarxien R. 0
Valletta made it four wins on the trot after beating Tarxien Rainbows 3-0 with Brazilian Denni scoring a brace.
The Citizens were the better side but their cause was aided by the second-half dismissal of Tarxien goalkeeper Nicky Vella who had been one of his side’s best performers.
Thanks to this win, sealed with a late goal by Aziz Corr Nyang, Valletta remained two points behind leaders Hibernians who beat Balzan 1-0 this afternoon.
Valletta dominated the first half but had to wait until the last minute to take the lead after missing a host of scoring chances.In the early stages, Denni’s drive was high.
A prolonged City raid ended with Roderick Briffa, confirmed at right-back, attempting a half-volley which was blocked by by the Tarxien defenders.A central shot by Jason Vandelannoite on 18 minutes was saved by Nicky Vella, the Tarxien goalkeeper.
The Citizens continued to press forward. Denni dragged the ball back for Fenech whose rising effort sailed over.In a rare attack, Tarxien almost opened the scoring. The Rainbows produced a good move with Andrew Agius dinking the ball to Luca Martinelli on the right and the latter’s dipping cross soared across the the area and into the path of Ryan Sammut at the far post. Sammut headed the ball towards Ronallie but the Brazilian nodded over from close in.Jorge, the Tarxien winger, then sprinted past Briffa inside the box but his effort was wide.
Nine minutes from half-time, Vella, the Tarxien goalkeeper, denied his former team with two excellent saves.Luke Dimech sent a teasing cross into the box and Denni, left unchallenged, produced an angled header that looked destined to end in the back of the net but Vella was alert to palm the ball away. Corr Nyang was first to the loose ball but his close-range attempt was blocked by Vella.
Valletta were left to curse their luck, or rather the lack of it, when, six minutes from half-time, Fenech’s corner from the right was met by Vandelannoite whose header was nodded on by Denni but the ball came off the crossbar.A minute from half-time, Valletta surged ahead.
Latching on to Fenech’s through-ball, Denni raced past Josef Mifsud and sidefooted the ball past Vella.Early in the second half, Yenz Cini, the Valletta goalkeeper, blocked a low shot by Jorge.
Valletta should have increased their lead five minutes into the second half. Nafti surged into the box from the left before picking out the advancing Corr Nyang who fired over with only Vella to beat.
Second best for most of the first half, Tarxien improved their attacking play in the second half.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, Jorge darted into the area and cut the ball back to the unmarked Karl Pulo who blasted over from a great position. Pulo had replaced Everton Souza at the start of the second half.
Tarxien’s hopes were shattered when, 20 minutes into the second half, goalkeeper Vella was sent off for pushing Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza, on as a substitute, in the box. Denni beat Anthony Curmi, Tarxien;’s reserve goalkeeper, from the spot.
With 16 minutes remaining, Steve Borg made his much-awaited return from injury after replacing Vandelannoite.
Curmi denied Valletta a third goal when touching away Edmond Agius’s strong shot from the distance.The game was won and lost but Tarxien soldiered on. They came close to pulling one back but Jorge’s volley from inside the box was tipped away by Cini.
Valletta went up at the other end and scored their third goal. Briffa released Nyang who evaded his marker before firing past Curmi.Denni, voted man of the match, then hit the foot of the post with a low shot.
VALLETTA – Y. Cini, R. Fenech (L. Cremona), E. Agius, J. Caruana, A. Nafti (J.P. Mifsud Triganza), A. Corr Nyang, S. Bajada, D. Dos Santos, J. Vandelannoite (S. Borg), R. Briffa, L. Dimech.
TARXIEN R. – N. Vella, F. Lopez Alcantara, A. Agius (M. Caruana), M. Potezica, R. Caiheira Seara, M. Ciantar (A. Curmi), E. Souza Santos (K. Pulo), R. Sammut, J. Mifsud, G. Santos Silva.
Date: 02.11.13 Time: 16:15 Venue: Centenary Stadium
Scorers: 44′ 60′ D. Dos Santos, 90′ A. Corr Nyang
Yellow Cards: M. Potezica (T)
Red Cards: N. Vella (T)
Man of Match: Denni Dos Santos (V)
Referee: Kevin Azzopardi