Matchday 09: Valletta 1 Tarxien R 3
Valletta’s difficulties persisted after they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Tarxien Rainbows.
Bristling with determination, Tarxien tore the formbook to shreds with a commanding performance as Winston Muscat’s side deserved their moment of glory.
Early days these may be but Valletta are now under mounting pressure to improve their performances and results after dropping seven points in their last three matches.
Tarxien began well and took the lead after 20 minutes.
Joseph Zerafa sent Vanger crashing to the ground to end Tarxien’s first serious venture towards the City penalty area. Darren Falzon blasted a fulminating free-kick into the top left corner beyond the hapless Henry Bonello.
That clearly rattled the Lilywhites but they almost responded instantly. On the half hour mark, Miguel Alba stretched to meet Aguirre’s cross but his goal-bound header bounced onto the ground before being blocked by Daniel Fernandes.
Fontanella looked out of sorts for Valletta as he wasted a string of chances to equalise before half-time. Aguirre ran into the box before releasing the Italian striker who looked certain to score only to send his shot wide.
A minute later, he had a great opportunity to make amends for his miss but the striker shot wide.
Zerafa effected a double substitution at the start of the second half, Argentine striker Jonathan Requena and Shaun Dimech coming on for Malano and Zerafa.
But Tarxien stunned their more-quoted opponents for a second time when, two minutes into the second half, Plut gain possession in his own half, with the ball seemingly tied to his left foot, he slalomed his way through the entire Valletta defence before playing a one-two with Vanger and hitting past Bonello.
The third goalcame from the right flank, Plut set the ball rolling and teed up Matthew Spiteri who drifted wide of his markers before prodding the ball home. It had all been embarrassingly easy for Tarxien.
But Valletta were gifted a way back into the game when substitute Taisei Marukawa delivered a cross into the area and Eduardo Rosado inadvertently headed the ball over his goalkeeper.
Valletta risked over-extending themselves as they desperately sought another goal as Ryan Fenech lost cheaply possession to Vanger but recovered in time to block the Brazilian striker.
However, Valletta could not force a comeback as Tarxien clung on for a famous win.
VALLETTA: H. Bonello, J. Caruana, R. Camilleri, T. Caruana, S. Malano (J. Requena), E- Pena Beltre, J. Zerafa (S. Dimech-), L. Aguirre (T. Marukawa), M. Alba, R. Fenech, M. Fontanella.
TARXIEN R.: D. Fernandes, B. Muscat, D. Zerafa (A. Carniero), D. Falzon, M. Spiteri, V. Plut (K. Attard), J. Debono, Vanger (K. Pulo), E. Rosado, K. Gatt, M. Tabone.
Referee: D. Agius
Scorers: 20′ D. Falzon, 46′ V. Plut, 50′ M. Spiteri (T), 64′ E. Rosado (o.g.)
Yellow Cards: J. Zerafa, M. Alba (V), K. Gatt , D. Fernandes, B. Muscat (T)
BOV Player of the Match: V. Plut (T)