Day 21 Valletta 2 Tarxien R 0
Valletta overcome a stubborn Tarxien Rainbows side with a sparkling second-half performance to join Balzan at the top of the standings, albeit the latter face Gżira United on Monday.
Valletta’s fort passed through some anxious moments in the opening minutes following a cross by Wellington from the right which dropped into the box but Faria, under no pressure, shot straight at Nicky Vella, the Valletta goalkeeper.
Alba tested Andrea Cassar’s alertness with a dipping free-kick from long range which the Tarxien goalkeeper tipped over the bar.
The Citizens might have nosed ahead four minutes before the break when Enmy Pena Beltre produced a good cross from the right and Prosa dived full stretch but his header flashed wide.
Valletta threatened soon after the break when Piciollo sent in a menacing cross-shot that Cassar managed to tip over the bar. The danger was not over yet for Tarxien as Alba’s cross from the resultant corner was headed in by Santiago Malano.
Few moments later, Picciollo cashing in on a ghastly Andrew Agius misplaced pass, took the loose ball to veer sideways before hitting in beautifully to the near corner of the net past Cassar.
These two quick goals stunned the Rainbows and Valletta’s confidence, by contrast, flourished.
On 65 minutes, Baker’s tough tackle on Rowen Muscat earned him a second booking as Tarxien were reduced to 10 men.
Valletta were now on song and the Rainbows could not find a way back.
Source – timesofmalta.com
VALLETTA – N. Vella, S. Borg, R. Camilleri, S. Malano, M. Piciollo, E. Pena Beltre, J. Zerafa (J. Borg), R. Saleh, R. Muscat, M. Alba (U. Calistus), A. Prosa (K. Nwoko).
TARXIEN R. – A. Cassar, S. Radovanovic, E. Baker, G. Aquilina, A. Agius, L. Grech, A. Mitrev, S. Tounkara, W. De Oliviera Viera (G. Mackay), E. Calin (M. Spiteri), R. Faria (J. Brincat).
Scorers: 51′ S. Malano, 55′ M. Piciollo (V)
Yellow Cards: R. Camilleri, E. Pena Beltre (V) E. Baker, S. Radovanovic (T)
Red Card: E. Baker (T)
Man of Match: M. Piciollo (V)
Referee: E. Grech