Tarxien in last gasp equaliser against Hibs
Hibernians 2 (Farrugia 56, Jackson 75 (pen.)
Tarxien R 2 (Danilo 12, Andrezinho 90+4)
Tarxien Rainbows earned a last-gasp equaliser against Hibs this evening thanks to an exquisite strike into the top corner by Andrezinho.
A fiercely resilent Tarxien side ran out determined to re-claim the bragging rights against arch-rivals Hibernians. Clive Mizzi's side fought for every ball and phyiscally harassed Michael Woods's side in the opening period. Yet, both sides were largely cancelling each other out in a congested midfield.
Jackson Lima tested waters with a stringing free-kick that posed no trouble for Nicholas Vella within the first three minutes. But inertia blighted the start of the encounter as both teams looked more to contain their opponents and forgot the meaning of constructive football.
When the goal did arrive after 14 minutes, it was owed to a blunder from Hibernians defender Zoran Levnaic rather than a renewed attacking flair by Tarxien. A low pass from the halfway line by Karl Pulo seemed to pose little danger for the Paolities defence. It was not to be as Levnaic lost his balance when rushing in to nudge the ball away, letting Danilo off on a diagonal run before he poked it home from close range.
That goal was expected to spark the Paolities into life but they failed to create any meaningful chances.
Mizzi must have said something different to his players in the break because within two minutes of the restart, Justin Grioli crossed from the right and Karl Pulo's header from point-blank range finished somehow wide.
That semed to wake up the Paolities, though, and a clever move saw the ball shift quickly from Jackson Lima to Marcelo Dias, presenting the breaking Jean Paul Farrugia with the simplest of tap-ins of level matters after 56 minutes.
Tarxien refused to be cowed and on the hour mark, Danilo crossed the ball towards Bueno whose header finished just over the bar.
On the other side of the pitch, five minutes later, Clayton Failla's free-kick brought an excellent save from Vella.
15 minutes from time, the back-tracking Ryan Sammut gave away a penalty in a bid to stop Jackson Lima, wrestling him to the ground.
From the resulting penalty, Jackson Lima drilled his shot low into the left-hand corner.
Hibernians were dealt an unexpected blow when a second bookable offence by Pulis saw the Paolities emerge a man lighter for the last ten minutes. However, two minutes from time, substitute Ribeiro failed to make a decent contact with the ball in front of a gaping goal after being set up by Nwoko.
And Hibernians paid dearly for that miss in stoppage time. Andrezinho unleashed a tremendous drive that flew past a hapless Mario Muscat, the ball hitting the top corner of the net in the fourth of added time to send the Rainbows fans to ruptures.