Tarxien Rainbows extended their positive run with a fourth win in five matches as they defeated Sliema Wanderers by the odd goal in five despite having to play for the last thirty minutes in ten men after having a player sent off.
The Wanderers, on the other hand, disappointed once again as they suffered the fourth defeat in six matches.
Apart from the suspended Luke Dimech and Pedrinho, the Wanderers had another two changes as Johann Bezzina started on the bench and Rafael Ledesma was ruled out injured with Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Mark Scerri, Michael Mifsud and Peter Xuereb all named in the starting line-up. Tarxien, on the other hand, were in full strength.
The Rainbows managed to take the lead on the 7th minute when off a cross by Luke Montebello, Mark Scerri hit the ball past goalkeeper Glenn Zammit in an attempt to clear the ball into safety for an own goal.
Tarxien doubled the score on the 18th minute when Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos’ direct freekick was deflected by a defender past the Sliema goalkeeper.
Sliema pulled one back ten minutes in the second half thanks to a direct freekick by Gary Muir which gave goalkeeper Andrea Cassar no chance.
Three minutes later, the Wanderers notched the equaliser when Alex da Paixao Alves brought Aidan Friggieri down inside the area, referee Adrian Azzopardi ordered a penalty and Alex Muscat made no mistake from the penalty spot.
However their joy was short-lived as Tarxien regained the lead on the 59th with a great goal by Ayrton Azzopardi whose attempt direct from a corner from the right beat goalkeeper Glenn Zammit.
On the hour, the Rainbows were reduced to ten men as Ebiabowei Baker was sent off for a late tackle on Kerlon.
TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Bruno Giglio de Oliveira, Triston Caruana (84′ Manuel Caruana), Brandon Muscat, Ayrton Azzopardi (90+1′ Danilo Meira Santos), Carlos Menendez Hevia, Luke Montebello (67′ Daniel Zerafa), Alex da Paixao Alves, Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos, Anderson Raimundo da Silva.
Subs not used: Sean Mintoff, Timothy Tabone Desira, Roderick Bajada, Matthew Tabone.
Coach: Jacques Scerri
SLIEMA Glenn Zammit, Alex Muscat (67′ Johann Bezzina), Benjamin Essel, Mark Scerri, Michael Mifsud (76′ Kyle Hendry), Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, Peter Xuereb (79′ Marko Potezica), Aidan Jake Friggieri, Kerlon Moura Souza, Gary Muir, Stefano Bianciardi.
Subs not used: Timothy Aquilina, John Mintoff, Ryan Dalli, Christian Fernando Toro Perdomo.
Coach: Stephen Azzopardi
Referee: Adrian Azzopardi
Assistant Referees: Mitchell Scerri, Christopher Francalanza
Additional Assistant Referees: Mario Apap, Matthew Degabriele
Fourth Official: Ryan Aquilina
Yellow Cards: Muir, Hevia, Scerri, Lecao, Hendry, Bruno
Red Cards: 60′ Ebiabowei Baker
Scorers: 7′ own goal Mark Scerri, 18′ Joao Pedro Oliveira Santos, 55′ Gary Muir, 58′ Alex Muscat, 59′ Ayrton Azzopardi
BOV Player of the Match: Ayrton Azzopardi