Ten-men Mel­lieħa turn the tide

Malta Independent - - SPORT - Vic­tor Cian­gura

De­spite play­ing with ten men for 55 min­utes Mel­lieħa man­aged to turn de­feat into a de­served vic­tory as they were the bet­ter out­fit by creat­ing more oc­ca­sions than Għaxaq.

Mel­lieħa threat­ened in the first min­utes. Ma­tias Mari served Ryan Tonna with a cross from the right flank and Għaxaq keeper Liam At­tard saved his cross-shot in two at­tempts and Owen Az­zopardi re­leased Mari on the right flank and he missed the far post by inches from his hard drive.

Għaxaq then mounted two ac­tions .Af­ter a Shem­izen Buha­giar flag kick a de­fender blocked a shot from in­side the area by Daniel Picco and Redeemer Borg re­leased Picco on the edge of the area and Mel­lieħa keeper Dea­con Xuereb saved his hard grounder.

In the next ac­tion by Għaxaq in the 19th minute they opened the score as Tris­ton El­lul served Picco with a through ball in the area and he scored with a hard grounder.

Mel­lieħa came very close an equaliser in the 24th minute when the ball was cleared on the line from a free kick by Mat­tei Vella af­ter Az­zopardi was fouled on the right flank and a minute later they were re­duced to ten men when Giuseppe Galea Curmi was shown a straight red card for el­bow­ing Mikhail Bal­dacchino.

Mel­lieħa equalised in the fifth minute af­ter restart as Mat­tei Vella re­leased Ma­tias Mari in the area and af­ter he was tripped Mal­colm Said made no mis­take from the spot.

Għaxaq replied as Mel­lieħa keeper Xuereb partly saved a shot by Buha­giar and the ball was cleared af­ter a Dean Borg through ball and a free kick by Buha­giar was partly cleared and Dar­ren Mi­callef drove slightly over the bar from the re­bound.

Be­tween the 59th and 60th minute Mel­lieħa scored two more goals. Mari net­ted with an over­head kick from in­side the area af­ter a well-taken free kick by Said and Sam­mut scored di­rect from a free kick af­ter Mari was fouled out­side the area.

In an Għaxaq ac­tion Dean Borg en­tered the area af­ter drib­bling past an op­po­nent and Xuereb saved his ef­fort and Mel­lieħa mounted the last ac­tion be­fore the end when a free kick by Sam­mut cre­ated havoc in Għaxaq’s area but the ball was cleared away.

Għaxaq: L.At­tard, E.Cu­ta­jar, D.Borg, O.Bar­bara, D.Mi­callef, M.Bal­dacchino, T.El­lul, R.Borg, D.Picco, J.Aquilina, S.Buha­giar

Mel­lieħa: D.Xuereb, M.At­tard, O.Az­zopardi, I.Balzan, G.Conti, G.Galea Curmi, M.Mari, M.Said, S.Sam­mut, R.Tonna, M.Vella.

Ref­eree: Kurt Sal­iba

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