Fair result in keen game

Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 13:09

APS Bank Under 17 Section B  

by Victor Ciangura courtesy of The Malta Independent
Naxxar L    1      Tarxien R   1 
A draw was a fair result in this game as both side had their good moments. After a balanced first period Tarxien enjoyed the lion’s share of exchanges afdter thr resumption. Following this game Tarxien are now in 5th place on 15 points from 10 games while Naxxar are in 6th place on 14 points from same number of games.
The first actions were created by Naxxar. Dwayne Bonnici was fouled outside the area and Tarxien keeper Antonio Chetcuti saved in two attempts from the free kick by Ryan Cassar. Robert Baldacchino served Tyan Mercieca in the area and chetcuti saved his close-range shot and later saved a shot by Matthew Grech from the edge of the area after being put through by Andrew Caruana.
The reaction by Tarxien was very immediate as they mounted four actions in a row. Clive Aquilina served Nigel Vella outside the area and Naxxar keeper Luke Pecorella saved his long- range shot. Josef Vassallo served Silas Caruana on the edge of the area and the ball missed the upright from his shot. Caruana then served Matthew Cassar with a square pass outside the area and the ball missed the bar by inches with Pecorella beaten and Aquilina served Jermy Galea with a cross from the left and Pecorella had to dive and save to a corner the latter’s close-range shot.
A minute after the restart Naxxar opened the score as Dwayne Bonnici was fouled on the left flank, Cassar floated a perefect ball in the area from the free kick and Kurt Bonnici netted with a flick.
Following this set-back, Tarxien pressed forward in an attempt to save the game and they created three actions. After a well-taken flag kick by Aquilina, Vella headed slightly out. After a one-two between Vassallo and Vella, the latter entered the area and Pecorella saved his grounder and Vassallo served Vella on the right flank who then crossed to Caruana in the area and Pecorella saved his shot.
Tarxien equalised on the hour. Vassallo was fouled on the right flank and following the free kick by Matthew McKay a Naxxar defender handled the ball in the area and Nigel Vella made no mistake from the resultant penalty.
In the 75th minute Tarxien came very close to take the lead when Vella was fouled outside the area, the ball was partly cleared from the free kick by Aquilina and from the rebound shot by Caruana from the edge of the area the ball was cleared on the fatal line, and a minute before the end, substitute Trevor Shepherd should have wrapped it up for Tarxien as he was put through in the area but he drove out from one metre with only Pecorella to beat, while just before the final whistle Chetcuti saved the day for Tarxien when he denied Bonnici with a diving save to a corner after he was put through by Andrew Caruana.
Referee: Darrell Agius                                           Player of the match: Josef Vassallo (Tarxien R)

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