Disappointing draw for Sliema and Tarxien
Sliema Wanderers 0 Tarxien Rainbows 0
Sliema Wanderers and Tarxien Rainbows fought out a disappointing draw.
The match turned out to be a drab affair with both sides clearly short of ideas in front of goal with the result that chances were far and between.
In the 23rd minute, Sliema punted the ball forward for Mintoff who exploited his speed off the mark to race past Carlo Mamo on the right flank and sent in a fine cross for Ivan Woods who tried to outpace Orosco Anonam but the Nigerian threw his body in the way of the striker to block him.
Tarxien were quick to respond. Andrezinho dashed through after a jinking run but his shot was beaten away by the alert Glenn Zammit.
The danger was not over for Sliema as the rebound came to Bueno, yet his effort was kept out by the lightning reflexes of the Sliema goalkeeper.
From then on the match lost much of the intensity with both teams failing to create any decent opportunity until a dazzling run by Stefano Bianciardi produced a half-chance out of the blue as he dallied past two defenders but his cross was cut out by the Tarxien rearguard, three minutes after the break.
The Wanderers tried to lift their game and in the 54th minute, Luigi Ruggiero came on for the subdued Woods and the move seemed to inject some fresh ideas into the Wanderers play.
In fact on 61 minutes, Mark Scerri was late to connect to a Ruggiero’s cross with the goal at his mercy. Sliema threatened again on 72 minutes when the Italian striker collected the ball from Ian Zammit before producing a cheeky lob over Nicholas Vella’s right shoulder which finished just wide.
Five minutes later, Tarxien looked to have suffered a potentially fatal blow. Caruana, who had just been booked, was dismissed after receiving a second caution for hauling down an opponent.
Sliema were now expected to pile the pressure but their reaction was tame. Two minutes from time, the Wanderers were unlucky when Ian Zammit’s thunderbolt was partially blocked by Vella but Ruggiero swooped on the rebound, but Tarxien no.1 managed to get his body in the way of the Italian as he leapt to prevent the ball from crossing the line.