BOV Premier League | Valletta 0 – Tarxien Rainbows 2

Following a number of matches without a win, Tarxien returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Valletta.

Warren Zammit
29 April 2017, 6:13pm
Triston Caruana of Tarxien in action. Photo: Dominic Borg
Triston Caruana of Tarxien in action. Photo: Dominic Borg
Valletta nearly opened the score after ten minutes. Maximiliano Velasco went on the left flank and sent a cross towards the unmarked Santiago Malano whose header forced a wonderful stop from Andrea Cassar.

Four minutes later, Leandro Aguirre of Valletta hit a low shot from distance that was neutralised by Cassar.

Tarxien responded by going ahead on the 16th minute. Alex Nilsson sent an excellent volley from the edge of the penalty area that went inside the corner of the net past Dziugas Bartkus.

On the 29th minute, the Rainbows tested Valletta’s defence again. From a corner, Triston Caruana delivered a cross that was met by Ebiabowei Baker who headed wide.

Valletta had a good chance on the 35th minute. From a free kick, Claudio Pani fired a shot that was well blocked by Cassar.

The Tarxien goalkeeper was a protagonist once more a minute later as he saved a penalty. Baker challenged Velasco inside the penalty area and the referee signalled for a controversial penalty. Velasco took charge of the penalty and hit a shot that was tipped behind by Cassar.

Valletta started the second half looking to score and went close on the 50th minute. Malano served Luke Montebello inside the penalty area and the latter finished high.

Paul Zammit’s side had another promising chance on the 55th minute. Following a corner, the Tarxien defence failed to completely clear their marks. Possession fell for Jean Borg whose low shot went off target.

Despite Valletta’s efforts to equalise, Tarxien scored their second goal on the hour mark. Alex De Paixao Alves sent a shot from the right which was blocked by Bartkus. Possession fell for Baker who placed the ball past the Valletta goalkeeper.

Tarxien nearly made it 3-0 on the 69th minute. Emerson Marcellina sent De Paixao Alves through on goal. The Brazilian went running inside the penalty area but saw his effort being blocked by Bartkus.

Valletta had a great opportunity to reduce the margin of the score on the 73rd minute. Umeh Uchenna Calistus sent a cross towards Velasco whose header went across the frame of goal before going out for a goalkick.

A minute later, Valletta were denied by the post. Malano fired a shot from inside the penalty area that hit the woodwork.

Tarxien hit back and had another massive opportunity on the 77th minute. Sergio Fernandez Prendes sent Ayrton Azzopardi through on goal, but the substitute player finished high.

Five minutes later, Llyewlyn Cremona of Valletta fired a shot from inside the penalty area that took a deflection before ending up marginally wide.

In the additional time, Nilsson served Azzopardi whose shot went off target.

Following this result, Valletta are officially out of the title race as it is now mathematically impossible to overcome Hibs and Balzan.

Valletta starting line-up: Dziugas Bartkus, Ryan Camilleri, Santiago Malano, Roderick Briffa, Luke Montebello, Jean Borg, Claudio Pani, Umeh Uchenna Calistus, Leandro Aguirre, Maximiliano Alejandro Velasco, Romeu Pericles Romao

Tarxien Rainbows starting line-up: Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Emerson Marcellina, Julian Galea, Triston Caruana, Alex Nilsson, Andrew Agius, Daniel Zerafa, Alex De Paixao Alves, Kurt Zammit, Sacha Borg

Referee: Malcolm Spiteri

Assistant Referees: Peter Abela, Theodore Zammit

Additional Assistant Referees: Trustin Farrugia Cann, Darryl Agius

Fourth Official: Paul Apap

BOV Player of the Match: Alex De Paixao Alves (Tarxien)