Galea strike gives Rainbows three precious points
An early second half strike by Julian Galea gave Tarxien Rainbows a precious three points from their direct relegation clash against Gzira United.
Despite their win, the Rainbows remain in ninth place, but they now have 13 points, one point behind Hamrun. Gzira remain in 10th place on nine points.
The Rainbows played without a coach as Kevin Vella resigned his post just one day after his appointment in lieu of Jacques Scerri. Assistant coach Ryan Pulis took charge of the team for this match.
On the other hand, Gzira had Darren Abdilla in charge following the resignation of Branko Nisevic. The Maroons had goalie Mauro Boerchio and striker Jallow Momodou making their debut.
The first half, which was played under a continuous downpour, saw Gzira enjoying territorial superiority and were also unlucky not to have taken the lead midway through as a Diamoutene header hit the post.
Tarxien showed greater determination than usual and despite seeing less of the ball, they also had their good moments and on two occasions it was Tarxien’s debutant goalie Mauro Boerchio who denied them with excellent saves.
In the second half, the match had a dramatic start as Tarxien took the lead.
From then on, the Rainbows appeared to be the best side and even if Gzira launched several attacks in search of an equaliser. Tarxien were so well organised at the back that the Maroons never really went close to levelling the score.
The match was only two minutes old when Gzira’s Conti fired a great shot which did not go far away off target.
Tarxien threatened seriously on six minutes when Daniel Ponce was set by Dylan Micallef, but his rising shot was brilliantly turned to corner by goalie Boerchio.
In the 20th minute, it was Frances who advanced on the left flank but his low cross had Julian Galea arriving a second too late in front of goal.
Two minutes later, from a Ledesma corner, it was Diamoutene who saw his header hitting the post. From the rebound, a shot by Momodou was blocked by the Tarxien defence.
At the other end, soon after, it was Gzira goalie Mauro Boerchio who was outstanding with a superb save off a Daniel Zerafa freekick.
Soon after the start of the second half, Tarxien took the lead when a Ponce shot from the angle was only partially parried by Boerchio and Julian Galea was on hand to tap the ball home into the empty net.
Tarxien were now playing much better and on the 62nd minute a Ponce shot just wide.
Tarxien scored another goal on the 76th minute, but Ponce was rightly flagged offside.
In the 85th minute, Gzira tried with a Conti header but it was too weak to trouble goalie Cassar.
The nearest Gzira came to levelling the score was in added time when they appealed for a penalty when a Yanis Tonna had a shot blocked by a Tarxien defender. The Maroons protested hotly for a penalty but the official ignored all and allowed play to go ahead.
Tarxien’s Alex de Paixao Alves defends the ball from the challenge of Gzira’s Karl Pulo