Malta Football Association
Tarxien win play-off to retain top-flight status
Apr 28, 2018
Posted in:
BOV Premier League
BOV Challenge League

Tarxien Rainbows held off a spirited second-half fightback from Żejtun Corinthians to keep their BOV Premier League status after winning the Relegation/Promotion Play-Off 1-0 on Friday night.

A large crowd gathered at the Hibs Stadium for this eagerly-awaited match with one side packed with Żejtun Corinthians fans.


The goal that decided the match came after just seven minutes.


A quick counter-attack saw Samba Tounkara deliver an assist for James Brincat whose diagonal shot sailed past Dunstan Zarb, the Żejtun goalkeeper.


Tarxien were clearly the brisker side in the first half.


Tounkara and Brincat were denied by fine saves from Zarb. 


Żejtun survived another scare seven minutes from half-time when Tounkara’s effort came off the upright. 


The Corinthians had their best chance of the first half eight minutes from the break when Adam Smeir broke clear before releasing Adrian Carabott whose shot from the edge of the area ended just wide.


Żejtun raised their game in the second half with Tarxien dropping further back.


On the hour, Żejtun’s Junky Sato drove high following an inviting cross from the right.


The Corinthians pushed for an equaliser but were denied one by a top-notch save from Tarxien’s Andrea Cassar who kept out Johan Castano’s point-blank header.


Twelve minutes from time, the Rainbows were reduced to 10 men after Gabriel Aquilina was sent off but minutes later numerical parity was restored after Żejtun substitute Elland Vella received his second booking for a late tackle.


The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers by the jubilant Tarxien players fans and players as it meant another season in the top flight.

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