Rabat fight back to hold Melita


Rabat Ajax came back from two goals down to rescue a point after a 2-2 draw with fellow relegation strugglers Melita at the Tedesco Stadium.

The result, the third draw between these two sides this season, left things as they were in the bottom part of the standings as Rabat remained one point clear of Melita and one behind third-from-bottom Hamrun Spartans.

Eight minutes into the game, Melita goalkeeper Philippe Schraz, who was preferred to Guillermo Garcia, tipped away a dangerous Manuel Fuster shot.Melita took the lead three minutes later when Alan Borg Olivier stunned Rabat goalkeeper Sean Mintoff with a perfectly-flighted cross-shot from the left wing.

The Amateurs threatened to increase their lead but Spanish striker Diego Cabanillas headed over from Julian Galea's corner.After Melita's goal, scoring chances were scarce as Rabat struggled to find their rhythm after going behind. On 27 minutes, Rabat created a fine move as Jose Luis Armario Negrin turned well in the box before laying the ball back for Carrillo whose first-time shot was blocked by the Melita defenders.Rabat were then unlucky not to level matters as Carrillo's powerful free-kick cannoned off the crossbar.

Melita capitalised as they went up at the other end to double their lead a minute from half-time. Sierra Camacho's cross from a free-kick flew towards the box and Tufegdzic mustered a dipping header that seeped through a posse of players before dropping into the far corner of the net.

Malcolm Licari, who replacedf the injured Gaetano Gesualdi at the start of the second half, threatened to make an instant mark on the game. Only two minutes from the start of the second period had passed when Licari leapt to meet Azzopardi's inviting cross but his header brought a fine save from Schranz.

Needing a goal to revive their hopes, Rabat were now pressing forward with more verve. Carrillo sped into the box but his low cross just missed Negrin.Rabat reduced the arrears on the hour. Schranz partially saved Azzopardi's left-wing cross and the ball landed at the feet Fuster who sidefooted home.

The Magpies came close again but Carrillo's low free-kick was touched away by Schranz.With 12 minutes remaining, Rabat were awarded a penalty after George Gribbon was deemed to have handled the ball inside the box. Negrin rifled his penalty kick past Schranz to make it 2-2.

Six minutes from time, Carrillo hit just wide from a free-kick. At the other end, Rudi Alhinho's header hit the side-netting from Borg Olivier's corner.

Rabat winger Carrillo was named BOV player of the match.


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