Spirited Tarxien remain on winning streak
Tarxien Rainbows dissected Hamrun Spartans in a commanding second half display, illuminated by fine goals from Alex Alves and Daniel Ponce. They now catch up with the Spartans on seven points each in the standings.
Hamrun had their moments, although their threat was sporadic. They were too slow into most of the 50-50 challenges and too laboured in their passing.
They started with the same eleven who won against St Andrews in the weekend. That meant that Christian Maldini was playing under the watchful eyes of his father Paolo, who was present at the Hibernians Stadium yesterday.
Tarxien had also won the previous game against Floriana and made only one change from that starting line-up. Ebiabowei Baker returned from suspension and played instead of the suspended Sergio Prendes.
Tarxien enjoyed more of possession and manipulated the ball better although they hardly severely tested the Spartans keeper David Cassar.
Tarxien threatened after 12 minutes as a Frances’ corner was headed by Baker but the Hamrun defence managed to clear off the line into another corner. Frances robbed Neto of possession but shot over from a distance. A Baker effort was blocked but Frances shot the rebound over.
On the other end Garba lofted the ball from an ideal position and midway through the half Giusti tested keeper Schranz with a powerful shot.
But it was still goalless at halftime.
The pattern of the game did not change much in the second period.
Tarxien’s composure increased and a decent spell followed after the interval. Immediately Frances’ cross shot was palmed out by keeper Cassar. Nilsson’s header was blocked again by the Hamrun shot stopper.
The Tarxien goal was in the air and it followed on 48 minutes. Zammit was quick to recover the ball in midfield, passed it to Ponce who put Alex Alves clear to advance from the right and beat keeper Cassar.
Hamrun’s reaction came when Giusti ran down the left flank. His cross was met by Garba who headed wide.
Hamrun though kept struggling to get going in midfield and gave away possession too cheaply.
Tarxien were in firm control and punished them for the second time . On 66 minutes Baker put Daniel Ponce through, the Hamrun goalkeeper rushed off his line but fumbled the ball and the Tarxien player could only steer it into an empty goal.
Hamrun were left with nothing to lose. Mifsud Triganza and Darren Falzon were added into the fray. Garba’s fierce drive simmed the upright and a Grech free kick was parried by keeper Schranz but Garba hit the loose ball wide.
Deep into five minutes of added time, Jean Pierre Mifsud Triganza headed a consolation goal but that served for little purpose.
Alex da Paixao Alves (no.18) shooting at goal in front of David Cassar Photo: Michael Camilleri
Milan legend Paolo Maldini (middle left ) was at the Hibernians Stadium watching his son Christian Photo: Michael Camilleri