BOV Premier League | Tarxien Rainbows 2 – Lija Athletic 3

Despite playing for more than fifty minutes with ten men, Lija came from two goals down to secure a 3-2 win over Tarxien Rainbows.

Eduard Marian Calin of Tarxien challenging Leejoe Schembri for the ball. Photo: Dominic Borg
Eduard Marian Calin of Tarxien challenging Leejoe Schembri for the ball. Photo: Dominic Borg

Lija created the first opportunity of the match on the 11th minute. Abubaker Bello Osagie hit a shot from distance that went high.

Joseph Galea’s side kept insisting and went close again on the 19th minute. Lee Joe Schembri sent a cross from a corner that nearly stunned Christian Cassar.

The Rainbows responded by going ahead on the 22nd minute. Artur Benes went on a good run down the right flank and hit a low shot that was blocked by Luke Bonnici before hitting the upright. Patrick Borg failed to clear from the rebound and Ryan Darmanin headed inside the net from close range.

Two minutes later, Lija suffered another setback as Erjon Beu was shown his second yellow card by referee Eman Grech.

On the 33rd minute, Ricardo Silva Faria went through on goal and hit a shot that was blocked by Bonnici.

Tarxien managed to score again from the resulting corner as the ball went into the path of Godwin Mckay and the latter slotted it inside the net.

Lija responded on the 35th minute. Following a free-kick, Bello Osagie saw his header hitting the post.

However, Tarxien hit back on the counter and created a great opportunity on the 37th minute. Faria sent a through ball towards James Brincat whose shot from the edge of the penalty area failed to hit the target.

Lija started the second half on the attack and managed to pull one back on the 49th minute. From a corner, Leejoe Schembri sent a cross that was met by Borg who headed the ball past Cassar.

On the 52nd minute, Ayrton Azzopardi of Tarxien hit a low shot from a free-kick that was neutralised by Bonnici.

Jose Borg’s side created another chance on the 63rd minute. Calin delivered the ball towards Darmanin whose first time shot ended up over.

Two minutes later, Calin sent another excellent through ball towards Brincat who went through on goal, but found Bonnici in his way.

Tarxien threatened again on the 66th minute. Darmanin fired a low shot that went slightly wide.

However, Lija equalised a minute later. Schembri managed to find Raphael Kooh Sohna and the Cameroonian striker saw his initial shot hitting the post, but managed to conclude inside the net from the rebound.

Both teams ended up in ten on the 75th minute as Sean Cipriott of Tarxien was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.

Lija sealed their first win in the additional time given by the referee. Kooh Sohna received the ball inside the penalty area and finished behind Cassar.

Tarxien Rainbows starting line-up: Christian Cassar, Ebiabowei Baker, Godwin McKay, Eduard Marian Calin (Mamadou Traore – 79), Ayrton Azzopardi (Matthew Spiteri – 63), James Brincat, Andre’ Charles Scicluna, Artur Benes, Ryan Darmanin (Matteo Desira Buttigief – 82), Ricardo Silva Faria, Sean Cipriott

Lija Athletic starting line-up: Luke Bonnici, Predrag Babic, Patrick Borg (Leon Muscat – 83), Daniel Scerri, Erjon Beu, Leejoe Schembri, Alain Rapha Kooh Sohna, Abubaker Bello Osagie (Aidan Galea-73), Carl Cassar (McCallister Clinch – 88), Pusmane Sidibe, Djamel Leeflang

Referee: Eman Grech

Assistant Referees: Alan Camilleri, Christopher Francalanza

Fourth Official: Daryl Agius

Yellow Cards: Erjon Beu (Lija), Daniel Scerri (Lija), Erjon Beu (Lija), Ousmane Sidibe (Lija), Eduard Marian Calin (Tarxien), Carl Cassar (Lija), Sean Cipriott (Tarxien), Sean Cipriott (Tarxien)

Red Cards: Erjon Beu (Lija), Sean Cipriott (Tarxien)

BOV Player of the Match: Leejoe Schembri (Lija)