Hibernians and Tarxien Rainbows shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw at the National Stadium in a match from which both sides needed desperately the three points for different objectives.
The Rainbows are now three points ahead of Naxxar Lions but one behind St. Andrews and Mosta in the battle against relegation. The Paolites, on the other hand, join Floriana in fifth place, one point behind Birkirkara in the race for fourth place which could mean a place in the UEFA Europa League should Balzan or Valletta win the FA Trophy.
Tarxien had a perfect start taking the lead after just ninety seconds when off an assist by Boubacar Traore from the right, Samba Tounkara slammed the ball home past goalkeeper Andrew Hogg.
The Paolites equalised on the 16th minute when Ebiabowei Baker brought Marcelo Dias down inside the area and from the penalty spot, Clayton Failla made no mistake.
Six minutes from time, the Rainbows regained the lead when off an assist by Tounkara, Ricardo Silva Faria slotted the ball past Hogg.
However on the 90th minute, Hibernians restored the equilibrium thanks to a powerful drive by Jurgen Degabriele from outside the area which gave the Tarxien custodian no chance.
HIBS Andrew Hogg, Timothy Tabone Desira (38′ Dunstan Vella), Martin Kreuzriegler, Jackson de Lima Siqueira, Rodolfo Soares, Marcelo Dias, Jurgen Degabriele, Johann Bezzina (55′ Joao Moreira), Clayton Failla, Andrei Agius, Joseph Mbong.
Subs not used: Rudy Briffa, Conner Zammit, David Xuereb, Arlindo Oliveira Neto, Giorgi Gorozia.
Coach: Neil Zarb Cousin. Asst. Coach: Eric Lia. Goalkeepers’ Coach: Mario Muscat
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Stefan Radovanovic, Ebiabowei Baker, Gabriel Aquilina, Luke Grech, Andre Scicluna, Samba Tounkara, Bobacar Traore, Eduard Calin (88′ Godwin Mckay), Ricardo Silva Faria (90+3′ Wellignton de Oliveira Vieira), Sean Cipriott (71′ Andrew Agius).
Subs not used: Kylix Calleja, Matthew Brincat, Matthew Spiteri, James Brincat.
Coach: Jose Borg
Referee: Mario Apap
Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri Theodore Zammit
Fourth Official: Clayton Pisani
Yellow Cards: Baker, Cipriott
BOV Player of the Match: Andrea Cassar