Day 25 Valletta 2 Tarxien R. 3 Published on: 12-03-2013

Tarxien Rainbows pulled off a shock this evening after they beat champions Valletta 3-2 in an exciting clash at the Hibs Stadium.

Valletta had been expected to win this match and cement their position at the top but they were rattled by a never-say-die Tarxien side who had twice come from behind before scoring the winner thanks to former City forward Leandro who had just come on as a substitute.

The result means that Hibs and Birkirkara will leapfrog Valletta at the top if they win their games tomorrow.Valletta took less than three minutes to open the scoring.

Brazilian Denni received a pass in the box before hammering past Nicky Vella. Denni then turned provider as his cross from the right reached Toure but the latter's header was blocked by Vella.

A goal behind after three minutes, Tarxien, for whom Daniel Mariano Bueno was playing his 100th match, took a while to get going but they did improve as the first half wore on.Andrew Agius fired high and wide after a good move involving Carlo Mamo and Bueno.

The Citizens were caught flat-footed at the back when Andrezinho picked out Roderick Bajada who ran through unchallenged only for the Tarxien midfielder to mishit his shot.

The impression that Valletta were struggling at the back was reinforced when Tarxien equalised on 24 minutes.Bueno's excellent pass flew past the City defenders and into the path of Andrezinho who ran forward before hitting a perfect shot past Manuel Bartolo.

Tarxien were delighted but not for long as, on 31 minutes, the champions regained their lead. Toure laid the ball back to Ryan Fenech who slipped past his marker before hammering the ball into the net from the edge of the box.Six minutes from half-time, Valletta produced another scoring opportunity when Briffa's cross was met by Vandelannoite who headed over.

Toure did likewise from another Briffa service.Four minutes into the second half when Michael Mifsud's pass from the right was only half-cleared by Tarxien with the ball falling invitingly to Edmond Agius who miscued his shot from outside the box.Valletta were finding it hard to find a way past the organised Tarxien and their task became more complicated when the Rainbows levelled on 57 minutes.

Mamo made headway on the left before crossing towards the centre where Bueno dived to send a glancing header past Bartolo.Tarxien pressed for more. They came close to taking the lead when Justin Grioli's low cross found Bueno unmarked inside the box but the Brazilian hit wide.

Thirteen minutes from time, Leandro, on as a substitute, shot straight at Bartolo after the Valletta goalkeeper had slipped as he dashed out of his goal.But, two minutes later, Leandro, who was facing his former team, made no mistake as he scored with a perfect volley after being teed up by Andrezinho.

Four minutes from time, Jojo Ogunuppe, who had just come on for Toure, was wide with an acrobatic volley.

The City faithful were left frustrated again when the unmarked Bogdanovic hit wide with only Vella to beat after receiving from Denni.Moments later, Briffa was also inches wide with a first-time shot as the Citizens pressed forward in search of an equaliser.

Denni did well to connect with a cross at the far post but his powerful shot grazed the other post.In a rare attacking foray, Andrezinho's rising shot ended over the bar.

Bueno was named BOV player of the match.


VALLETTA - M. Bartolo, R. Briffa, I. Azzopardi, J. Vandelannoite, E. Agius, R. Fenech, D. Dos Santos, D. Bogdanovic, D. Toure (J. J. Ogunuppe), M. Mifsud (J. Gabriel), D. Falzon

TARXIEN R. - N. Vella, C. Mamo, M. Caruana, A. Agius (M. Tulio Lopes Silva), A. de Souza Esposito (M. Tanti), R. Bajada (L. da Silva Almeida), J. Grioli, R. Sammut, D. Mariano Bueno, O. Anonam, S. Bonnici

Date: 12-03-13     Time:  20:00    Venue: Hibs Ground

Yellow Cards: M. Caruana, J. Grioli, N. Vella

Scorers: 3' D. Dos Santos, 24' A. Reinaldo De Souxa Esposito, 31' R. Fenech, 57' D. Mariano Bueno, 79' L. Da Silva Almeida.

Man of Match: Daniel Mariano Bueno (T)

Referee: Triston Caruana