Tarxien Rainbows retain Premier League status

An early goal enabled Tarxien Rainbows to retain their Premier League status as they defeated Zejtun Corinthians 1-0 at the Hibernians Stadium on Friday in the BOV Premier League Play-Off.

Tarxien were a better side during the first half but after the break, Zejtun Corinthians, who had placed third in the BOV First Division, showed better ideas.

The Rainbows managed to take the lead on the 7th minute when Samba Tounkara concluded a good move with an assist for James Brincat on the left and the latter beat Dunstan Zarb with an angled shot.

Photos: Copyright © Jonathan Bugeja

Zarb then performed two saves at point blank on Tounkara and Brincat. Then on the 38th minutes Samba Tounkara was unlucky to hit the upright when served on the right by James Brincat. Three minutes later in a counter-attack for Zejtun, Adam Smeir served Adrian Carabott whose shot from the edge of the area ended just wide.

On the hour, Junky Sato hit high following an inviting cross from the right for Zejtun and five minutes later, Andrea Cassar performed a good save into a corner on a Johan Castano close-range header.

Twelve minutes from time, the Rainbows were reduced to ten men after having Gabriel Aquilina sent off and on the 84th, it was substitute Elland Vella who was given marching orders by the referee for a late tackle.

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TARXIEN Andrea Cassar, Stefan Radovanovic, Ebiabowei Baker, Gabriel Aquilina, James Brincat, Andrew Agius, Luke Grech, Andre Scicluna, Samba Tounkara, Ricardo Silva Faria (90′ Wellington de Oliveira Vieira), Sean Cipriott (71’ Godwin Mckay).
Subs not used: Dean Sciberras, Matthew Brincat, Matthew Spiteri, Matthew Degiorgio, Matteo Desira Buttigieg.
Coach: Jose Borg

ZEJTUN Dunstan Zarb, Clayton Giordimaina (81’ Gianluca Sultana), Diego Albanese, Neil Tabone (86’ Ryan Dalli), Yessous Camilleri, Brooke Farrugia, Omar El Hussieny, Adam Smeir (58’ Elland Vella), Adrian Carabott, Junky Sato, Johanalberto Castano.
Subs not used: Jurgen Tabone, Kenny Spagnol, Andrea Scozzese, Emerson Vella.
Coach: Joe Borg. Team Manager: Alan Mifsud

Referee: Stefan Pace
Assistant Referees: Edward Spiteri, Duncan Sultana
Additional Assistant Referees: Philip Farrugia, Jude Amin Utulu
Fourth Official: William Debattista
Yellow Cards: Castano, Carabott, Aquilina, Farrugia, Vella, Albanese, McKay, Ricardinho, Sultana
Red Cards: 78′ Gabriel Aquilina, 84′ Elland Vella
Attendance: 1,871