Galea strike gives Rain­bows three precious points

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

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

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